Altruistic Behavior among Twins

Human Nature 29 (1):1-12 (2018)

Abstract
According to kin selection theory, indirect reproductive advantages may induce individuals to care for others with whom they share genes by common descent, and the amount of care, including self-sacrifice, will increase with the proportion of genes shared. Twins represent a natural situation in which this hypothesis can be tested. Twin pairs experience the same early environment because they were born and raised at the same time and in the same family but their genetic relatedness differs depending on zygosity. We compared the degree of willingness to fight and sacrifice for the co-twin among monozygotic and dizygotic pairs in a sample of 1443 same-sex and opposite-sex twins. We also analyzed the effect of the subject’s gender and that of the co-twin on those altruistic behaviors. Results partly supported the postulated explanation. MZ twins were significantly more likely than DZ twins to self-sacrifice for their co-twins, but zygosity did not affect willingness to fight for him/her. The genders of the subject and of the co-twin, not genetic relatedness, were the best predictors of aggressive altruistic intentions.
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DOI 10.1007/s12110-017-9304-0
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Does Sexual Selection Explain Human Sex Differences in Aggression?John Archer - 2009 - Behavioral and Brain Sciences 32 (3-4):249-266.
Human Beings as Evolved Nepotists.Steve Stewart-Williams - 2008 - Human Nature 19 (4):414-425.

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