The question of increasing the rate of crimes is the controversial issue for any state. That is why, the politicians, sociologists, and researchers pay much attention to examining the factors which can lead to decreasing this rate.
The early 1990s can be characterized by the considerable decrease of the crime rate, and the main researchers’ task was to examine the process in order to determine the causes for the phenomenon. In their article “Where Have All the Criminals Gone?”, Steven D. Levitt and Stephen J. Dubner provide an arguable vision of the possible causes for decreasing the crime rate which differs significantly from the other popular opinions on the nature of the process.
Levitt and Dubner focus on discussing the law on the legalization of abortions in the late 1970s as the main cause for decreasing the crime rate in the early 1990s, and the researchers develop their argument with the help of discussing the relevant statistical data on the problem.
The Definition of the Problem
The purpose of Levitt and Dubner’s discussion is the presentation of arguments to support the direct connection between the legalization of abortions in the USA in the 1970s with decreasing the amount of criminals in the country’s streets in the 1990s. The provocative definition of the problem is discussed with references to the situation in Romania where abortions were strictly forbidden during the years of Nicolae Ceausescu’s ruling.
The authors concentrate on presenting the negative results of forbidding abortions for Romania and the social and political situation in the country in order to create the necessary frame for presenting the situation in the USA with its opposite results (Levitt and Dubner). From this point, the story of the Romanian abortion question of the 1970s-1980s can be considered as the context for discussing the situation in the USA in the 1990s.
Basing the argument on the opposition of the results of forbidding or legalizing abortions in two countries, Levitt and Dubner reveal such weak points of the question as the possible obviousness of the connection between the laws on abortions and the decrease or increase of the crime rate; the correlation between the effectiveness of the police work and decreasing the amount of criminals in the USA. These uncertainties are discussed by the authors in detail as the part of building the support for their argument.
The Relevant Information
The key point of Levitt and Dubner’s research is the presentation of the evidence for supporting the idea that the right to do abortions led not only to decreasing the number of births but also to decreasing the number of potential criminals. The researchers develop their argument in relation to the idea that when women received the right to give the birth or not, they also received the possibilities to control their life and the life of their children.
Levitt and Dubner state that when women decide not to have a child they have some important reasons for this decision, and these reasons are credible for not giving the life to a baby who would not get the necessary care and love in the future.
The authors provide the evidence taken from many resources the main idea of which is the presentation of the other researchers’ conclusions about the rate of abortions and births in the USA and the rate of crimes during the following years.
Levitt and Dubner discuss such factors as the childhood poverty and the fact of bringing up in a single-parent family as influential for developing the child’s criminal future with references to the other researchers’ points of view. Moreover, the authors compare the data on the periods of legalizing abortions in different states of the country during the 1970s with the changes in the rates of crimes in these states during the 1990s.
The results of the comparison allow speaking about the connection between the processes. Thus, the periods of decreasing the crime rates are different in various states according to spreading the Roe v. Wade decision in these states.
The Alternative Views
It is important to note that those alternative points of view in relation to the discussed problem which are presented in the article are usually considered as traditional ones and can be accentuated as alternatives only with references to the authors’ position. Discussing the possible causes for decreasing the crime rate in the 1990s, Levitt and Dubner present the accepted versions provided in different investigations and surveys.
The authors sequentially discuss the irrelevance of such causes as innovative policing strategies according to the point of their effectiveness for influencing the crime rate in the country. In this case, the role of the police in the situation is the traditional vision of the process’s aspects, but it is possible to refer to the role of police as the alternative cause for changing the situation in the criminal field.
Levitt and Dubner also concentrate on a rather controversial point and the cause for much prejudice which is the discussion of the fact of abortion as the crime itself. Thus, the authors provide the opinion on correlation between the significance of a fetus and a newborn in order to examine the situation from different points. Providing the logical counterarguments for the alternative viewpoints, Levitt and Dubner strengthen their vision of the problem with references to a lot of reasonable evidences.
The Criteria for Concluding
The evaluation of alternatives is based on contrasting and comparing the results associated with the alternative variants of solving the problem of the crime rate and the results connected with the numbers of the abortion rates in the 1970s and crime rates in the 1990s. To reach the well-supported conclusion, Levitt and Dubner focus on logical explanation of all their evidences and arguments which are presented successively. Thus, the authors use the causal mechanisms for presenting the relevance of their argument.
The conclusion of the article is based on the idea that women are right when they assess their possibilities in bringing up children and decide to choose or not the abortion. The authors’ conclusion depends on the consistent discussion and analysis of the points which are connected with the problem of the bad environment in the family, the women’s unwillingness to have a child, and the absence of the possibility to do the abortion.
They are presented as influential for possible bringing up criminals. Furthermore, the direct connection between the legalization of abortions and the decrease of the crime rate is based on the logical argumentation and on the evidences presented both for supporting the fact and revealing the weaknesses of the other viewpoints.
Levitt, Steven D. and Stephen J. Dubner. Where Have All the Criminals Gone? n.d. Web. 10 Sep. 2012.