Lombroso’s Law

Picking Sides

In 1899, C. Lombroso wrote a little book called Crime: Its Causes and Remedies. Little Brown, Boston. See if you can figure out Lombroso's rule of thumb for crimes against people.

He concluded that such assaults were twice as common in the south of France as in the central or northern areas. Homicide was 31/100,000 in southern Italy, moderate in central Italy (15.2/100,000), and only 7.2/100,000 in northern Italy. He found that the rate of homicide was 10 times higher in southern England compared to northern England.

Lombroso published his data and his hotter latitudes differences passed the p< .01 test. In the US it was 19.37/100,000 in the southern states and 3.55/100,000 in the northern States (p < .001).

Lombroso's ideas do not apply to aggression when comparison between nations, only within nations. Unlike interpersonal aggression, political aggression seems to know no latitudes. However, if you want to be with the winner when a fracas starts up, get on the side of the country with its capital at the highest latitude.

Lombroso did, however, find that political aggression was most common in July in the Europe and in January in South America. Modern US data, drug-based aggression included, confirms the latitude/temperature correlation with homicide, rape and assault. We also know know that hot years have more violent crime than cold years (p <.0001). I can see the headline now: Global Warming to increase homicide, rape and assault!

If things go Hell in a handbasket, meaning: things are bad and getting worse, lookout Iceland, here we come (Reykjavik 64 .13 N). Compare with Moscow's torrid latitude (55.75 N). If they go to war, pick the Icelanders, formally Vikings, who were not without credentials of looting, raping and pillaging (looting by force).

In the event of a civil war, gravitate toward more chilly climes.


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