Photoperiodicity and annual rhythms of wars and violent crimes Academic Article uri icon


  • The seasonal variations of individual violent crimes, i.e. sexual offenses and aggravated assaults, and non-violent offenses, i.e. burglary, in Israel, the USA, Denmark and New South Wales, Australia, representing four continents, were analyzed. Seasonal variations in the opening dates of wars were similarly analyzed. In northern hemisphere countries, although non-violent offenses are distributed equally throughout the year, individual violent crimes and collective acts of hostility are characterized by an annual rhythm of incidence, with a peak in the months of July-August and a nadir in December-February. Inverse rhythms were obtained in southern hemisphere countries. These rhythms were found to be correlated in a statistically significant manner with the duration of the daily photoperiod. The existence of similar patterns of annual variations in violent crimes and in the opening dates of wars indicate similarities between individual and collective aggressiveness with respect to the underlying mechanisms and probably also to the means of their prevention.

publication date

  • January 1, 1997