Acts of serious violence – often committed by seemingly average people – leave us only to ask “Why?” Culture, genetics, and low self-esteem are often cited, but growing evidence points to brutalization experienced in childhood, often at the hands of parents or peers.

In an SFI Community Lecture November 12 in Santa Fe, Ginger Rhodes and Richard Rhodes explored the work of criminologist Lonnie Athens, whose "violentization" model identifies a four-stage process by which almost any human being can be socialized into someone who will assault, rape, or murder. They examined the history of violence, questioned the association of violence with mental illness, tested Athens’ theory on real-life cases, and made an argument for early intervention.

Watch the lecture video (November 12, 80 minutes)

Hear an interview with Ginger and Richard Rhodes on the Santa Fe Radio Cafe (November 12, 2014)

Read an article about the lecture in the Albuquerque Journal North (November 13, 2014)

Ginger Rhodes is a licensed clinical psychologist in private practice in San Francisco specializing in trauma treatment. Richard Rhodes is an award-winning author including of The Making of the Atomic Bomb, which won a Pulitzer Prize in nonfiction.

The 2014 Community Lecture series was made possible through the generous sponsorship of Thornburg Investment Management.

For a calendar of upcoming SFI community events, click here.