Donald of violence began at a very young age

Donald Henry Gaskins, born as Donald Henry Parrott, was born on March 13, 1933 in Florence County, South Carolina. He was given the nickname “Pee Wee” from a very young age due to his small stature, and never heard his real name until the time that he was well into his teenage years. Despite his nickname he was dubbed the “meanest man in America,” after people witnessed his profound lack of empathy towards others. David Henry Gaskins had a psychopathic mind that believed he  “…walked the same path as God, by taking lives and making others afraid, I became God’s equal. Through killing others, I became my own master. Through my own power I come to my own redemption.” His acts of violence began at a very young age with the bullying and raping of other children and escalated to brutal murders until the time that he was executed. The primary cause of David Gaskin’s extreme social deviance is nurture. An application of the concepts of psychosocial development and evolutionary psychology, agents of socialization, as well as roles, mores, norms and Sigmund Freud’s theories of defense mechanisms and violence will be used to prove that nurture is the primary cause of his extreme deviance.Erik Erikson’s eight stages of psychosocial development can be used to explain why Donald Gaskins turned to extreme social deviance as the result of nurture. According to Erikson, from birth to the age of 18 months old, infants are learning to trust or mistrust the world that they are brought into. During this extremely important time in a person’s life, trust is developed when needs are met quickly and constantly by parental figures. However, if the needs of the infant are not met, emotions such as frustration and withdrawal begin to set in and may lead to a lack of trust far beyond infanthood. Donald Gaskins’ lack of trust in the world is the direct result of an absence in parental responsibilities. According to a biography done by the Crime Museum, Gaskins was raised by a single mother who brought home many men, all of which would verbally and physically abuse Donald, simply for being around. From this information it can be concluded that Donald had a mother that neglected him, and did little to protect him against the harms and dangers that he faced. This lack of protection from his maternal figure would have lead to Gaskins developing deep mistrust in the world around him. The constant violence from men in his life could have also lead him to develop an idea that the only men who are respected are the ones who must assert dominance through violence. This belief would have understandably lead Gaskins to become more violent in the future as a way to prove his own self worth. This evolutionary behaviour is more oftenly seen in males and can be linked back to our days as hunters and gatherers over 13,000 years ago. Humans had to be more violent and have a stronger fight or flight mechanism in their amygdala to increase their chances of survival from threats such as other humans and animals. Although we may have adapted to be more peaceful today, it is still completely normal for these innate tendencies to appear when we feel threatened and scared by the environments that we are in, which Donald definitely was for the majority of his childhood.  In an interview with the Crime and Investigation organization, Gaskins said “Being born on a farm, I know the difference between raising something and it just growing. You raise tobacco and vegetables…and pigs and sheep…They got purpose; you tend them. But weeds grown on their own, tended or not. I grew; I wasn’t raised; that’s for damn sure.” From the bottom of Donald’s heart, it is clear to see that he has a deep hatred for the world and how unfairly it had treated him. He is scarred by a childhood where he was given no purpose, and is now living a life where he developed the sole purpose to inflict harm upon others.Donald’s psychopathic mind can also be analyzed through a sociological lense. Primary and secondary agents of socialization, as well as roles, norms, and mores are all concepts that can be applied to Donald to better understand why he became the way that he was. Socialization is the process by which we acquire a self-identity and the necessary social skills for survival, and it is taught to us by primary and secondary agents. Primary agents are typically small groups that include family and close friends, where membership is highly valued. Donald may have had a biological family, but he did not have the sense of security, protection and support that a real family would have provided him. The neglect from his parental figures meant a lack of socialization, which can explain why Gaskin’s turned to acts of violence, for he did not know any better. When Gaskins dropped out of school at the age of eleven, he became friends with two other adolescent boys by the names of Danny and Marsh (Crime Museum, 2017). These two boys became his secondary agents of socialization, people by which he would acquire further influences on his identity and social skills. Together, the three boys terrorized their small town in the form of burglarizing homes, raping littles boys and picking up prostitutes. By this time, Donald had created an image of himself that he now had to live up to. He had developed the role of the antagonist, which will shape his behaviour as he learns what is expected of him. Due to Gaskins’ small frame and stature, it was always expected of him to be weak, powerless, and easy to pick on. However, instead of cowering in the corners, Donald turned to violence as a means to prove others wrong. When he broke countless social mores, which are the highly valued social views and unbreakable rules of society that are enforced by the law, sanctions, or punishments, did not work to prevent Donald from continuing his actions because he did not care for the consequences. Reform schools, jail time, and countless other efforts did little to improve his extreme social deviance; he was too far gone.An austrian neurologist and psychologist by the name of Sigmund Freud and his theories can be used to analyze Donald Gaskin’s mind and the results of it. According to Sigmund Freud, our ego is the balancing force that keeps us safe. The ego distorts reality to deal with reality in the form of defense mechanisms. Repression, which is the process by which unacceptable desires or impulses are excluded from consciousness and left to operate in the unconscious, as well as displacement, or the shift of an emotion from its original focus to another object, person or situation, are both defense mechanisms that Donald can be seen using. From the evidence gathered from The Crime Museum, Gaskins did not become violent until he started school at the age of four. From this information we can conclude that the feelings of anger towards his parents was being repressed and was slowing building up inside of him up until that point. When he became violent, he released the anger on his classmates, as well as other innocent victims, including a female acquaintance who attempted to stop him from burglarizing a home. Donald Gaskins was not necessarily mad at these people, he was merely displacing his hatred for a society that failed him onto the members of that society. Later on in Gaskins’ life, he killed hitchhikers and other wandering civilians as a form of “weekend fun,” insisting that his mind has began to associate harming others with feeling good. Sigmund Freud also believed that violence was a struggle within the mind of an individual. He suggested that death energy is constantly moving within our mind and bodies, and that if the energy could not be released in small, socially acceptable ways, then it will build up and explode. Due to Donald’s lack of socialization and knowledge of how to positively release his anger, his acts of social deviance were much more extreme than other kids his age.