Date of Award
Master of Arts (MA)
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.
Johnson, Ella R., "The Romanticization of Violent Male Offenders: How Trauma and Internalized Sexism Can Explain Women's Fascination with Serial Killers" (2020). CUNY Academic Works.