Serial Killers And Gender Differences

974 Words Oct 9th, 2015 4 Pages
eywords: Serial killers, females, psychopathy, archival research
Motivations of Serial Killers & Gender Differences
Serial killing is a topic that has long fascinated those who study psychology, criminal behavior, and even the general public. Figures such as Ted Bundy, Ed Gein, and Jeffrey Dahmer have been the subject of numerous studies, documentaries, and books. Females do not readily come to mind when one thinks of serial killers because it is a rare phenomenon. Aileen Wuornos is one female who brought the concept of a female serial killer to the public’s attention, but she is not the only woman who has committed these types of crimes. PK (a pseudonym) is another female studied who was similar to Aileen in that she was also predatory and reactive. Serial killers have different methods and traits, but some primary motivations can be gleaned from studying their case reports. One can also attempt to ascertain why the female serial killer is such a rarity and whether their motivations are similar.
One motivation that quickly becomes apparent within a serial killer is that of psychopathy. Psychopathic traits include narcissism, irresponsibility, lack of empathy, promiscuity, poor behavior, lying, and impulsivity (Arrigo & Griffin, 2004). Because psychopaths lack the ability to care or feel for their victims, it is easy for the perpetrator to disregard them and perform whatever acts they wish upon them. A psychopathic person also feels a low sense of self-worth, which can be…

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