Home Tech More women are psychopaths than previously thought, expert claims – these are the 7 key signs to look out for

More women are psychopaths than previously thought, expert claims – these are the 7 key signs to look out for

by Elijah
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From American Psycho's Patrick Bateman (played by Christian Bale, pictured) to Tom Ripley in The Talented Mr Ripley, on-screen psychopaths are usually men. This may fuel the assumption that the vast majority of psychopaths are men, but one academic claims this may be wrong.

From Patrick Bateman to Tom Ripley, on-screen psychopaths are often men, not to mention violent criminals.

This may fuel the assumption that the vast majority of psychopaths are men, but one academic now claims this may be wrong.

Dr Clive Boddy, an expert at Anglia Ruskin University, says female psychopaths are “more common than we think” because studies have failed to identify them for a long time.

Signs of psychopathy in women are different to those in men and often come in the form of sexually seductive and manipulative behaviour, Dr Boddy told MailOnline.

Other key signs include spreading lies or rumors and “expressing violence verbally,” in the form of yelling or screaming.

From American Psycho's Patrick Bateman (played by Christian Bale, pictured) to Tom Ripley in The Talented Mr Ripley, on-screen psychopaths are usually men. This may fuel the assumption that the vast majority of psychopaths are men, but one academic claims this may be wrong.

From American Psycho’s Patrick Bateman (played by Christian Bale, pictured) to Tom Ripley in The Talented Mr Ripley, on-screen psychopaths are usually men. This may fuel the assumption that the vast majority of psychopaths are men, but one academic claims this may be wrong.

However, on-screen psychopaths do exist, and they include Villanelle (Jodie Comer) from the BBC series Killing Eve.

The 7 key signs of psychopathy in women

  1. Expressing violence verbally.
  2. emotional aggression
  3. Spread lies/rumors
  4. Deception
  5. Flirtation
  6. Seduction
  7. Handling

Female psychopaths on screen do exist, and include Alex Forrest (played by Glenn Close) in Fatal Attraction and Villanelle (Jodie Comer) from the BBC series Killing Eve.

According to Dr. Boddy, female psychopaths use deception and sexually seductive behavior to gain social and financial advantages more than male psychopaths.

“Psychopaths are driven by the need to have power and control other people through whatever resources they have at their disposal,” he told MailOnline.

‘For male psychopaths, this can veer into physical domination through violence, harassment and threats.

“For psychopaths, this can veer into manipulation through seduction, relational aggression, and spreading rumors and lies about people with the goal of gaining personal advantage and preference over those people.”

What’s more, people generally attribute general psychopathic characteristics to men more than women, such as being insincere, deceitful, antagonistic, unempathetic, and lacking emotional depth.

“Even when women display some of the key traits associated with psychopathy because they are considered masculine characteristics, they may not be labeled as such, even when they should be,” she said.

Current scientific evidence suggests that male psychopaths outnumber female psychopaths by approximately six to one.

But Dr Boddy believes the actual ratio of psychopathy between men and women is about 1.2 to one, up to five times higher than previously suggested.

“Due to the lack of studies on female psychopaths, not enough is known about them,” she said.

A famous psychopath on the big screen is Alex Forrest (played by Glenn Close) in Fatal Attraction (1987).

A famous psychopath on the big screen is Alex Forrest (played by Glenn Close) in Fatal Attraction (1987).

A famous psychopath on the big screen is Alex Forrest (played by Glenn Close) in Fatal Attraction (1987).

According to the academic, the signs of psychopathy that women usually present are sexual in nature and include flirting, seduction and manipulation.

Psychopathic women also express violence, but it is usually verbal rather than physical in nature, such as yelling, cursing, or screaming.

Therefore, it is more subtle than the violence expressed by male psychopaths, which tends to be more physical.

“Furthermore, female psychopaths tend to use words, rather than violence, to achieve their goals, unlike how male psychopaths typically act,” she said.

The academic is concerned that the studies fail to identify female psychopaths because they rely heavily on profiles of criminal and male psychopaths.

Part of the problem is a widely used method of diagnosing psychopathy, known as the Levenson Self-Report Psychopathy Scale, which is biased toward identifying signs of male psychopathy.

“If female psychopathy is expressed differently, then measures designed to capture and identify male criminal psychopaths may be inadequate to identify non-criminal female psychopaths,” he said.

The academic is concerned that the studies fail to identify female psychopaths because they rely heavily on profiles of criminal and male psychopaths. Pictured: Gone Girl, starring Rosamund Pike as Amy Elliott Dunne.

The academic is concerned that the studies fail to identify female psychopaths because they rely heavily on profiles of criminal and male psychopaths. Pictured: Gone Girl, starring Rosamund Pike as Amy Elliott Dunne.

The academic is concerned that studies fail to identify female psychopaths because they rely heavily on profiles of male, criminal psychopaths. Pictured: Gone Girl, starring Rosamund Pike as Amy Elliott Dunne.

‘This has implications for the criminal justice system because current risk management decisions involving partners and children may be flawed.

“It also has implications for organizational leadership selection decisions because female leaders cannot automatically be assumed to be more honest, thoughtful, and concerned about issues such as corporate social responsibility.”

Dr Boddy will give a talk on psychopathic women at the Cambridge Festival on March 16, where he will present evidence from his own studies and those of others to argue that there are more psychopathic women than anyone had previously imagined.

The expert, who has researched the effects of psychopaths in the workplace since 2005, recently revealed the key signs that your boss is a psychopath.

These include a “shallow charm,” a lack of remorse or sincerity, a tendency to cheat, and being emotionally shallow.

These are the five personality traits that indicate that someone you know is a psychopath

A leading psychiatrist has revealed five personality traits that psychopaths often display.

Dr. Jaleel Mohammed from the United Kingdom said that when people “absorb” others, have many short-term relationships, or lack empathy, they could be psychopaths.

He added that psychopaths often have very short tempers and show signs in childhood, such as being violent towards animals and other children.

“Having just one of these traits does not make someone a psychopath, but it is the overall picture of someone’s personality based on these (and other) recognized traits of psychopaths that can lead to a classification of psychopathy,” he explained.

The first sign of a psychopath according to Dr. Jaleel is someone who leads a “parasitic life” in the sense that he “absorbs” others instead of doing something for himself.

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