I see that scientists have conducted research that indicates (note I say "indicates") that aggressive, antisocial teenage boys with the condition known as conduct disorder (CD) have differences in the size and structure of parts of the brain that relate to empathy.
The study indicates that the differences are there, regardless of the age at which the patients developed the disorder.
However, it has yet to be "indicated" as to whether these brain differences are the cause of CD or are in fact caused by CD.
Suffice to say (as with so many other "excuses" used by certain parents and those with a political agenda) this research will be used by some to excuse the behaviour, and to abdicate responsibility for the CD of their offspring.
However, life is never really that simple; we cannot simple shrug our shoulders (when someone acts like a git) and say "well, it's genetic there's nothing we can do".
Human society has been around long enough for each generation to have had its fair share of gits with CD, yet we have managed to survive and deal with those individuals.
The brain (even in those humans classified as super intelligent) is barely used, it has the capacity to achieve far more than we have ever yet tried to do with it. There are many people who have been struck down by strokes, severe autism, disabilities etc who with the correct stimulation can regain part (in some cases all) of their faculties as the brain rewires itself and compensates for shortcomings in certain areas.
As with any animal (humans are but a "nano chromosome" removed from animals) that is "acting up", corrective behaviour can be instilled into the animal via a mixture of kindness, patience, rewards and punishment.
A child that constantly ignores warnings not to put his hand into the flames will one day put his hands into the flames, but once burned he will never do that again.
The responsibility for correcting CD rests with the parents (in extreme cases with the appropriate support of professionals). Where the parents refuse to accept that responsibility, and let the child run amok in the community, then the situation can be addressed by taking away all of the family's "toys".
Specifically institute a family curfew every evening (confine the entire family to their house), and deprive them of their TV's, stereos, pcs, mobile phones etc. They would be forced (like it or not) to face each other very evening, without the distractions of their "toys". Eventually they would have to address (one way or another) their behaviour as individuals and as a group, and the consequences of that behaviour on themselves and others.
One way or another, empathy would be learned (even if the parts of their brains that normally deal with empathy are withered and redundant).
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