Friday, July 27, 2018

Female Psychopaths: Quotations (Academic)


Female Psychopaths: Quotations /  Notes on a major, and long overlooked, area of scientific study.

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QUESTION: Why are more men diagnosed as “psychopath” than women?

ANSWER: The criteria for measuring “psychopathy” (as is the case with the profile of the “serial killer”) is based upon the study of the male brain, which has a different neuroanatomy structure than the female brain. Further, much less research as been done on female that male aggression, leading to a failure – in law enforcement, criminal justice, forensics, psychology practice and everyday life – to understand and identify severe female aggression.

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1) Gynocentrism, Chivalry

• MYTH: “Violence is masculine. Men are the cause of it, and women and children the ones who suffer. . . .  Though the evidence may contradict the statement, the consensus runs deep. Women from all walks of life, at all levels of power – corporate, political, or familial, women in combat and on police forces – have no part in violence. It is one of the most abiding myths of our time.” [Patricia Pearson, When She Was Bad: Violent Women and the Myth of Innocence, 1997, Viking Press, p. 7]

• “The message being conveyed is that women, being blameless, are entitled to victimize without consequence.” [Patricia Pearson, When She Was Bad: Violent Women and the Myth of Innocence, 1997, Viking Press, p. 232]

• “There’s a common erroneous assumption that because females are “nurturing,” they won’t be violent. But we’ve had female serial killers who have shot, stabbed, smothered (with her enormous weight), and even used chain saws and ice picks.” [Katherine Ramsland Ph.D., “What Do You Say to a Teenage Murderess?” Psychology Today, Jan. 27, 2012]

• “Dana Crowley Jack (Behind the Mask: Destruction and Creativity in Women’s Aggression, 1999, Harvard UP) commented on the issue: Almost all of what psychologists have thought and felt about aggression has been shaped by a predominantly male perspective. This position is supported by the facts that much of the research conducted on female aggression has been associated with domestic violence or violence perpetrated on a significant other and that many in the social and behavioral sciences communities were unwilling to accept that women could be violent—and men the victims—when researchers examined the evidence of female on male aggression (Beckner, 2005).” [Frank S. Perri, J.D., Terrance G. Lichtenwald, Ph.D. “Last Frontier: Myths and the Female Psychopathic Killer,” Forensic Examiner, V:19,  Iss: 2., Summer 2010, pp. 50-67. p. 53]

2) Failure of Academic Research to Study Female Aggression

“The study of female aggression is a phenomenon in itself has only recently begun to receive due attention. Buss (1961) claimed that women are so seldom aggressive, that female aggression is not worth the trouble to study. Aggression is, accordingly to his view (at that time), a typically male phenomenon. Olweus (1978), who investigated bullying, i.e., aggressive harassment, among adolescent school children, was of the opinion that bullying occurs so rarely among female adolescent that he excluded girls as subjects from his research. Later, he has changed his opinion, and he is now investigating bullying also among girls (e.g., Olweus, 1986). Frodi, Macaulay, and Thome (1977) reviewed 314 studies on human aggression, and found that 54% of these concerned men only, and only 8% women. These facts are certainly revealing.” [Kaj Bj√∂rkvist. Sex Differences in Physical, Verban, and Indirect Aggression: A Review of Recent Research. Sex Roles. Vol. 30, Nos. 3/4. 1994.]

• “So, what can one say to a teenage girl who either wielded a weapon or masterminded a slaughter? So far, we have solid data on treatments only for boys at risk for adult psychopathy.” [Katherine Ramsland Ph.D., “What Do You Say to a Teenage Murderess?” Psychology Today, Jan. 27, 2012]

• In 2013, British Forensic psychologist Zoe Stephenson noted more generally that there was still a “dearth of gender-specific research” on violent juveniles and in her study, “Sex differences in predictors of violent and non-violent juvenile offending,” concluded that “more attention needs to be paid to the mental health of female offenders.” [Zoe Stephenson et al., Sex differences in predictors of violent and non-violent juvenile offending. Aggressive Behavior. Volume 40, Issue 2, March/April 2014. pp. 165-177.]

• “So, what can one say to a teenage girl who either wielded a weapon or masterminded a slaughter? So far, we have solid data on treatments only for boys at risk for adult psychopathy.” Katherine Ramsland Ph.D. “What Do You Say to a Teenage Murderess?” Jan 27, 2012]

• “When women act violently, the only explanations frequently offered have been that it is either involuntary, self-defense, the result of mental illness, or hormonal imbalances inherent in female physiology. This article’s review of relevant research, however, shows that homicides committed by women stem from diverse motives, including the offender’s psychopathic traits that spawn a motive for the homicide. . . .  the authors caution forensic examiners and law enforcement personnel to avoid acting on misconceptions of gender-based violence when interacting with female psychopaths.” [Abstact, Frank S. Perri, J.D., Terrance G. Lichtenwald, Ph.D. “Last Frontier: Myths and the Female Psychopathic Killer,” Forensic Examiner  V:19  Iss:2. Summer 2010, pp. 50-67.]

• “Female serial killers … haven’t received anywhere near the same amount of attention from the media or from criminologists as males have. Even researchers on psychology have tended to focus on male populations. There’s a common erroneous assumption that because females are “nurturing,” they won’t be violent. But we’ve had female serial killers who have shot, stabbed, smothered (with her enormous weight), and even used chain saws and ice picks.” [D. P. Lyle, MD, “Forensic Psychologist Dr. Katherine Ramsland Talks About Serial Killers,” The Writer’s Forensics Blog, June 25, 2009]

• “Our belief in the intrinsic, non-threatening nature of the feminine is deceiving to both genders and actually exposes both to homicidal risks that are ignored because of long-internalized myths about female criminality. As we shall see in the next section on female psychopathy, some of the societal perceptions of female aggression may have influenced the lack of research on female psychopathy because it has not been seriously explored until recently. We will also look at how the myths that still surround female aggression are used by female psychopaths in what Dr. Robert Hare refers to as “impression management.” [Frank S. Perri, J.D., Terrance G. Lichtenwald, Ph.D. “Last Frontier: Myths and the Female Psychopathic Killer,” Forensic Examiner  V:19  Iss:2. Summer 2010, pp. 50-67. p. 53]

• “[E]mpirical research explicitly examining gendered relationships between BPD [Borderline Personality Disorder] and psychopathy factors is lacking. . . . [The study’s] results suggest that BPD and psychopathy, at least as they are measured by current instruments, overlap in women and, accordingly, may reflect gender-differentiated phenotypic expressions of similar dispositional vulnerabilities.” ] Sprague, J., Javdani, S., Sadeh, N., Newman, J. P., & Verona, E. (2012). Borderline personality disorder as a female phenotypic expression of psychopathy? Personality Disorders: Theory, Research, and Treatment, 3(2), 127-139.]

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3) Myth of Absence of Agency

• “It is a common but mistaken belief among law enforcement and forensic professionals that people who commit violent, incomprehensible crimes must be crazy, psychotic, or they “just snapped.” This perception is reinforced in the media (Herve & Yuille, 2007).” [Frank S. Perri, J.D., Terrance G. Lichtenwald, Ph.D. “Last Frontier: Myths and the Female Psychopathic Killer,” Forensic Examiner  V:19  Iss:2. Summer 2010, pp. 50-67. p. 54]

• “[T]he study of female criminality (as opposed to the study of male criminality) has only recently been linked to antisocial behaviors instead of relying on socio-cultural explanations.” [Frank S. Perri, J.D., Terrance G. Lichtenwald, Ph.D. “Last Frontier: Myths and the Female Psychopathic Killer,” Forensic Examiner  V:19  Iss:2. Summer 2010, pp. 50-67. p. 52]

4) Relational Aggression; Getting Away With Psychopathy

• “If a woman is a psychopath, she can be just as dangerous as a male psychopath—perhaps more so because, based on social conventions, we're less likely to see her coming.” [Seth Meyers PhD, “The Field Guide to the Female Psychopath . . . and why we rarely see her coming,” Psychology Today, Aug. 10, 2015]

• “For years, the research has told us that psychopaths are usually male. Research on psychopaths largely stems from studies conducted from prison samples, but remember that those in prison are there because they have been caught. We will never truly know the exact prevalence for male or female psychopaths because many only come to light once they have been arrested for a crime. (Robert Hare estimates that approximately 1% of the population are psychopaths.) Is it possible that women can get away with certain crimes more than men because society is less likely to expect certain antisocial or violent behaviors among them?” [Seth Meyers PhD, “The Field Guide to the Female Psychopath . . . and why we rarely see her coming,” Psychology Today, Aug. 10, 2015]

• “Other research has examined the importance of relational aggression among females, suggesting that women may display aggression differently than their male counterparts. Crick and Grotpeter (1996) studied relational aggression, also known as covert aggression, which is a type of aggression in which harm is caused by damaging someone's relationships or social status—and it’s different from the type of aggression (typically, physical) that males show each other. Relational aggression tends to be more subtle and manipulative. /// It may be that while many male psychopaths act in traditionally aggressive, socially -constructed ways which can eventually lead them to be incarcerated (and evaluated for psychopathy), female psychopaths operate in more nuanced, less overtly physically aggressive ways, though they can ultimately lead to equally destructive outcomes. Think of a seemingly kind older female nurse who cares for a sick man. This woman could well be a psychopath but her presentation as an older woman in a helping profession causes others to see her in a benevolent light.” [Seth Meyers PhD, “The Field Guide to the Female Psychopath . . . and why we rarely see her coming,” Psychology Today, Aug. 10, 2015]

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5) Relational Aggression

• False Accusations frequently destroy lives and sometimes lead to the suicide of the victim. Oddly the press – after years of being fed fake theories, fake statistics and fake pseudo-psychology – still refers to criminals who make false rape accusation as “the victim” (unless the false rape accuser is a male). [Robert St. Estephe, Jul. 27, 2018]

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