The study that correlated regional and national crime rates to the geographic distribution of leaded gasoline raises questions about whole generations of Anericans. If lead instigated greater criminality, did it also change “noncriminal” behavior such as norms for sex, drinking, and drugs? Could it have affected parenting norms, leading to increases in emotional abuse?
- Kevin Drum from Mother Jones sums up all the key data correlating lead and crime.
- A report by the BBC links to the articles by Nevin and Wolpaw-Reyes.
- Forbes describes the correlation as certain (linking to Drum).
- Mark Kleiman on Samefacts.com raises questions about this, and the comments provide multiple alternative theories for the rise and fall of crime.
- Philip J. Cooke and John H. Laut counter environmental and cohort explanations of shifting crime numbers.
- Rick Nevin: found a correlation where changes in leaded gas use are reflected twenty years later in crime rates – does this indicate that childhood exposure to lead exacerbates criminal tendencies? Here’s the link to his report.
- Jessica Wolpaw-Reyes: her study supports Nevin’s conclusions. Here’s the link to her study.