Hans Temrin

Hans I Temrin

Associate Professor

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Works at Department of Zoology
Telephone 08-16 40 45
Visiting address Svante Arrheniusväg 18 B
Room D 541
Postal address Zoologiska institutionen: Etologi 106 91 Stockholm


A selection from Stockholm University publication database
  • 2015. Eva-Marie Wergård (et al.). Behavioural Processes 113, 51-59
  • 2014. Shuyang Yao (et al.). Evolution and human behavior 35 (6), 481-488

    Criminality is highly costly to victims and their relatives, but often also to offenders. From an evolutionary viewpoint, criminal behavior may persist despite adverse consequences by providing offenders with fitness benefits as part of a successful alternative mating strategy. Specifically, criminal behavior may have evolved as a reproductive strategy based on low parental investment reflected in low commitment in reproductive relationships. We linked data from nationwide total population registers in Sweden to test if criminality is associated with reproductive success. Further, we used several different measures related to monogamy to determine the relation between criminal behavior and alternative mating tactics. Convicted criminal offenders had more children than individuals never convicted of a criminal offense. Criminal offenders also had more reproductive partners, were less often married, more likely to get remarried if ever married, and had more often contracted a sexually transmitted disease than non-offenders. Importantly, the increased reproductive success of criminals was explained by a fertility increase from having children with several different partners. We conclude that criminality appears to be adaptive in a contemporary industrialized country, and that this association can be explained by antisocial behavior being part of an adaptive alternative reproductive strategy.

  • 2011. Hans Temrin (et al.). Current Zoology 57 (3), 253-259

    In an evolutionary perspective individuals are expected to vary the degree of parental love and care in relation to the fitness value that a child represents. Hence, stepparents are expected to show less solicitude than genetically related parents, and this lack of genetic relatedness has been used to explain the higher frequencies of child abuse and homicide found in stepfamilies. However, other factors than non-genetic relatedness may cause this over-representation in stepfamilies. Here we use a 45-year data set of parental child homicides in Sweden to test two hypotheses related to the higher incidence in stepfamilies: 1) adults in different types of family differ in their general disposition to use violence, and 2) parents are more likely to kill stepchildren than genetically related children. Of the 152 perpetrators in biparental families there was an overrepresentation of perpetrators in stepfamilies (n=27) compared with the general population. We found support for the first hypothesis in that both general and violent crime rates were higher in stepfamilies, both in the general population and among perpetrators of child homicide. However, we found no support for the second hypothesis because of the 27 perpetrators in stepfamilies the perpetrator killed a genetically related child in 13 cases, a stepchild in 13 cases and both types of children in one case. Moreover, out of the 12 families where the perpetrator lived with both stepchildren and genetic children, there was no bias towards killing stepchildren. Thus, we found no evidence for an effect of non-genetic relatedness per se.

Show all publications by Hans I Temrin at Stockholm University

Last updated: November 30, 2018

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