Female psychopath  

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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.
Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.

Female psychopaths are considered a rarity, and the nature of psychopathy has been researched as being a male quality. An influential paper in this respect, which argues that the female psychopath has not been given enough credibility, has been "The Last Frontier: Myths & the Female Psychopathic Killer" (2010) by Perri and Lichtenwald.




A 2009 study by Coid et al. of a representative sample of British prisoners, unlike selected samples used in many other studies, found a prevalence of PCL-R > 30 in 7.7% of men and in 1.9% of women.


The 1941 book The Mask of Sanity by Hervey M. Cleckley has two accounts of female psychopaths, Roberta and Anna. Of Anna, whose intelligence was above average according to Cleckley, he says:

"More specific inquiry brought out opinions on Hamlet's essential conflict, comparison between the music of Brahms and the music of Shostakovitch, an impressive criticism of Schopenhauer's views on women, and several pertinent references to The Brothers Karamazov."

Perri and Lichtenwald argue that Cleckley was blinded by cultural myths about male aggression and female innocence, and thus tended to overlook or minimize psychopathic behaviors in women.

In fiction


Female psychopaths are often represented in fiction as treacherous schemers and/or sexual predators in the stereotyped model of the femme fatale, the lesbian vampire, or the abusive care provider.

See also

Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "Female psychopath" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on original research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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