An abusive childhood can lead to a misunderstanding of right from wrong. It is this failure to develop a strong moral foundation which can develop into abusive and criminal behavior in adulthood. Children learn from and display the behaviors shown to them through their most formative years. Charles Manson displays many characteristics typically associated with the behavior of an abused child.
His own reports of his early life vary but it one account claims that his mother, who was a prostitute and alcoholic, did not want anything to do with him when she got maried to a man who was not Charles's father. Probation reports state that Manson suffered from feelings of rejection and was always looking for love, which suggests this was lacking from his childhood.
A few biographies have revealed the likelihood that Charles Manson suffered abuse as a child. While the abuse may not have been physical, he was certainly neglected. He was born to a 15-year-old mother who went to prison for five years when he was just four. This certainly didn't help his development.
Although Manson was the child of a teenage mother who spent time in jail for minor crimes, he was not abused. According to a biography of Manson, he was indulged and had a history of lying and manipulating people to get them to do things, starting in elementary school where he talked two girls into beating a boy up and then claimed that the girls had merely done as they wanted.