Date of Award

6-2020

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)

Department/Program

Forensic Psychology

Language

English

First Advisor

Chitra Raghavan

Second Reader

Bridget Amatore

Third Advisor

Elizabeth Jeglic

Abstract

Past research has noted that women are interested in true crime more than men (Vicary & Fraley, 2014), and that some women romanticize violent male offenders (Isenberg, 1991). This study investigated women’s fascination with serial killers compared to other offenders and the psychological correlates of women who are fascinated with serial killers. I hypothesized women’s fascination was unique to serial killers and may be related to safe and culturally acceptable ways of coping with interpersonal trauma. Results largely support these hypotheses, indicating women were more fascinated with serial killers compared to other offenders, and with PTSD, child abuse, intimacy attitudes, and internalized sexism being correlates. This suggests traumatic events, negative attitudes toward intimacy, and internalized sexism influence women's fascination with serial killers.

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