The History of and Difference Between Male and Female Serial Killers

Breaking News

The History of and Difference Between Male and Female Serial Killers

There have been 3,029 male serial killers and only 309 female serial killers for the past 11 decades/ Photo By Volodymyr Melnyk via 123RF


Serial killers have been known as some of the most notorious criminals for the past several decades. They have proven their reputation to the world, killing in the most gruesome way they can think of. While some serial killers like Ted Bundy, Andrei Chikatilo, Jeffrey Dahmer, and many more are already behind bars, there are those who managed to get away with their crime like the infamous "Jack the Ripper." 

The Federal Bureau of Investigation defined a serial killer as someone who has killed more than three people. An article by the Paranormal Guide reported that the 1980s was the golden time for serial killers. It has been recorded that during that decade, there were about 765 serial killers who murdered people. However, many of these serial murderers have not been caught. An article by Live Science reported that since 1980, there are at least 2,000 unrecognized series of homicides. 

With that, thousands of people around the world have made their own assumptions as to why serial killers prefer to commit murder or other gruesome acts. Fortunately, researchers and psychologists are doing their own studies to further understand their prevalence around the world. 

Prevalence of Serial Killers

Why are serial killers terrifyingly popular compared to other criminals? The answer is because they cause more deaths than an ordinary murderer or criminal. However, cases like these are also some of the most difficult to solve especially if the serial killer is notorious for his or her kind. 

According to an article by Forbes, serial murders can be difficult to solve for several reasons. First, these killers may have no close connection to the victims, making it difficult for the police to link them to the crime. Another is the failure within the police to share information about crimes or what they call "linkage blindness." This is particularly important to connect one crime to the other especially if they have different jurisdictions. 

It has been recorded that there have been 3,029 male serial killers and only 309 female serial killers for the past 11 decades. This is contrary to the popular belief that only men can commit serial murders because most of the time, women are portrayed as victims. Although there has been more male serial killers than females throughout time, the presence of female serial murders is well documented in the crime data. The Scientific American reported that in the United States alone, 17 percent of all serial homicides are committed by women. 

There are several reasons serial killers murder many people throughout their lifetime. Their primary purpose is to attain sexual satisfaction because they want to feel empowered. This is followed by financial gain, then gang activity, anger, a desire to gain attention, to avoid arrest, hallucinations, and others. What's more surprising is that the average IQ of a serial killer is 94.1. 

One of the reasons why serial killers murder many people throughout their lifetime is to attain sexual satisfaction because they want to feel empowered/ Photo By obradov via 123RF


The Difference Between Male and Female Serial Killers

Now that we have established that women also have the capacity to commit serial murders, let's know the difference between male and female serial killers. 

In a recent study conducted by researchers from Penn State, they have found that male and female serial killers tend to choose their victims and commit crimes in different ways probably because of thousands of years of psychological evolution. 

For male serial killers, they choose victims who are strangers to them. Meanwhile, females tend to "gather" their victims and target people who they may already know mostly because of financial gain. In an interview, Marissa Harrison, associate professor of psychology at Penn State Harrisburg, stated that the results of this study can contribute to the future of murder investigations. 

Since murders committed by serial killers are often difficult to solve, police use details of the crime to create a profile of the possible criminal. "So if you know that men are more likely to commit a crime in a certain way and women are more likely to do it another, hopefully, it can help investigators go down the correct path," Harrison said. She also said that although serial killers are popular in some ways, there has been a little research about them because they are rare.

According to an article by Science Daily, the difference between how male and female serial killers choose their victims and the manner in which they will commit the crime goes back to ancient roles. Historically, men were tasked to hunt animals for survival, while women are those who gather nearby resources such as plants and grains. 

The researchers used reliable and reputable news sources such as Reuters, Associated Press, TV networks, and national and local newspapers to gather data about serial killers. They used the information of 55 male serial killers and 55 female serial killers from the U.S. The results show that male serial killers are six times more likely to murder a stranger. Female serial killers, on the other hand, are almost twice as likely to kill a person they already know. 

Additionally, the study also revealed that 65.4% of male serial murderers stalked their victims while only 3.6% of female serial killers did so. "In our sample, there were two female serial killers who engaged in stalking-like behavior during their crimes. Interestingly, reports indicate that men were also involved in those crimes," Harrison said. 



Grazielle Sarical

7 of History's Most Notorious Serial Killers


Frances Brinas

Piglet the Pink Puppy Inspires Kids to Deal With Differences


GiAnn Esgana

Scientists Identify Brain Differences and Genes Linked to Left-Handedness