Sex Differences in Homicidal Fantasies among Finnish University Students


Homicidal behavior is sex-linked. But research comparing male and female homicidal fantasies is sparse even though there is a potential link between fantasies and behavior. The aim of this study was to examine the frequency and contents of homicidal fantasies (targets, triggers, instruments, and emotional reactions) and their relation to substance abuse among 617 Finnish university students (mean age 24.2 years) contingent on gender. Sixty seven percent (n = 413) of respondents reported that they had experienced generally non-substance abuse-dependent homicidal fantasies during their lifetime. Males reported homicidal fantasies more frequently than females. Male fantasies involved the use of a weapon or tool and their fantasies frequently targeted a stranger, an acquaintance, or a public figure whereas female fantasies targeted intimate relationships such as family members or partners. Females reacted with negative emotions to their own homicidal fantasies but males lacked emotional response. Results suggest that homicidal fantasies are sexlinked.

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Auvinen-Lintunen, L. , Häkkänen-Nyholm, H. , Ilonen, T. & Tikkanen, R. (2015). Sex Differences in Homicidal Fantasies among Finnish University Students. Psychology, 6, 39-47. doi: 10.4236/psych.2015.61004.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.


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