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Why There are More Male Than Female Psychopaths

Men are most prominent in the crime statistics. Both sexes can be criminal, but men seem to be more likely to become psychopaths than women. Here you find out why.

A lot of who people tend to criminal behavior can be found in our intelligence. Our IQ or intelligence quotient that can be determined by a series of test, might also be an indication to your abilities to commit cruel crimes.

The intelligence is measures by a series of tests and compared to average results that might show how capable you are of solving problems. You might call it your trouble shooting ability.

An average person has an IQ of about 100. This means that as a ten-year-old kid, you were able to solve what most ten-year-olds could.

Now typical for serial killers is that they have in many cases a very high, or a very low IQ.

Examples of the high IQ killer are the psychopaths like Hannibal Lector, who consider their monstrous activities as some kind of challenge. It are those criminals that are hard to catch and that will often get away with an array of murders, before they are caught, if they ever are.

When they do get arrested, they usually shock a nation with their horror. Those are the ones that might have perfectly hidden corpses in their house or backyard and they do not stand out in society.

Yes, most get caught, after a while, when their self-esteem gets so high they might become a bit slobbier. But many do manage to leave unsolved mysteries.

Their high intelligence makes them superior actors, that hide their lack of empathy. They may be your nice neighbor and can have a degree or function.

On the other hand you have the low IQ killer. Those are the ones that become violent and kill their victims, because their lack of mental capacity to solve things differently. In this category, you will mainly find passion killers, or those who kill their girlfriend in the most horrible way when she wants to break up.

They usually get arrested, since they are also not smart enough to cover their tracks. Usually they get caught easily.

Now tests have shown that with women, the average IQ does not vary that much. You have not so many female geniuses than there are male, but also less stupid ones as well.

This is why you have less female psychopaths. Also women tend to be more emotional and more empathic than men. So among men you find more individuals with an abnormal IQ and an empathy problem.

Scientists have also discovered that psychopaths lack empathy. It is a part of the brain that makes us capable of getting others and understanding their feelings, that does not work with them or not like with a normal person.

Considering this combination, you might understand why there are less women in jail than men and why women tend to be more easily victims of crimes than men.

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  1. Inna Tysoe

    On March 30, 2010 at 9:41 pm


    Thanks for that.

  2. Butterfly Musings

    On March 30, 2010 at 10:49 pm


    I read somewhere, that men psychopaths usually kill for power, and women for revenge and/or money.. great article!

  3. zoeyclark

    On March 31, 2010 at 11:43 am


    This is really interesting. Well, environmental and upbringing does affect, but IQ’s effect alone is actually scary.

  4. Will

    On September 29, 2011 at 11:01 pm


    This article seems extremely poor. Who wrote it? Where are the references? I find it highly unlikely that IQ is the main determinant of psychopathy and serial killing. It is likely that it would be a factor, and possibly a strong factor in some instances, but not the main one in any sense.

    The difference in male and female psychopath numbers would be tied to the different types of brains they have – as a *generalization*, the women with the more empathetic brain, the men with the more self-interested, goal-oriented, analytical brain. When that brain ends up at the more extreme end, you have psychopathy.

    I think this article should be removed.

  5. Ferdob

    On April 28, 2012 at 8:33 pm


    I agree with the person above. This article is too simplistic. Psychopathy is not a pathology determined by primarily by IQ. I expected to see something about testosterone. The notion of female IQ being for stable than male is spurious. There were no citations to prove this. The idea that ‘there are less female geniuses’ but also less ’stupid females’ is a very crude analysis, not taking into account of social structures and so on.

    I was thoroughly disappointed with this article and its lack of evidence.

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