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Bad Boys, Bad Men: Confronting Antisocial Personality Disorder

Bad Boys, Bad Men: Confronting Antisocial Personality Disorder
Author: Donald W. Black
ISBN 13: 9780195137835
ISBN 10: 195137833
Edition: Revised ed.
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Publication Date: 2000-04-20
Format: Paperback
Pages: 240
List Price: $21.95

Whether called black sheep, sociopaths, felons, con men, or misfits, some men break all the rules. They shirk everyday responsibilities, abuse drugs and alcohol, take up criminal careers, and lash out at family members. In the worst cases, they commit rape, murder, and other acts of extreme violence as though they lack a conscience. What makes these men—men we all know, whether as faces in the news or as people close to us—behave the way they do?

Bad Boys, Bad Men examines antisocial personality disorder or ASP, the mysterious mental condition that underlies this lifelong penchant for bad behavior. Psychiatrist and researcher Donald W. Black, MD, draws on case studies, scientific data, and current events to explore antisocial behavior and to chart the history, nature, and treatment of a misunderstood disorder that affects up to seven million Americans. Citing new evidence from genetics and neuroscience, Black argues that this condition is tied to biological causes and that some people are simply born bad. Bad Boys, Bad Men introduces us to people like Ernie, the quintessential juvenile delinquent who had an incestuous relationship with his mother and descended into crime and alcoholism; and John Wayne Gacy, the notorious serial killer whose lifelong pattern of misbehavior escalated to the rape and murder of more than 30 young men and boys. These compelling cases read like medical detective stories as Black tries to separate the lies these men tell from the facts of their lives.
Bad Boys, Bad Men not only describes the warning signs that predict which troubled children are more likely to become dangerous adults, but also details progress toward treatment for ASP. This volume will be an essential resource for psychiatrists, psychologists, criminologists, victims of crime, families of individuals afflicted with ASP, and anyone else interested in understanding antisocial behavior.

Library Journal

Black (psychiatry, Univ. of Iowa Coll. of Medicine) claims that ample new evidence from genetics and neuroscience supports a biological cause for antisocial personality disorder (ASP), lending truth to the adage "some people are simply born bad." ASP is intimately connected to many of society's ills, including crime, domestic violence, drug and alcohol abuse, and even rape and murder. For men with severe ASP, life becomes an opportunity to break all social and moral rules without remorse. But there are ways of detecting warning signs in troubled children, and there are procedures--various combinations of medication, psychotherapy, and social institutional interventions--to prevent and treat ASP. Black emphasizes the fundamental need for a healthy moral conscience by analyzing a wide variety of case studies. An excellent companion title is Adrian Raine's The Psychology of Crime: Criminal Behavior as a Clinical Disorder (Academic, 1993). An eye opener suitable for all libraries.--Chogollah Maroufi, California State Univ., Los Angeles