Friday, February 3, 2017

When Women Become Violent

Lizzie Borden (Source

       A couple interesting articles about violence and women. First, an article from Milo Yiannopoulos at Breitbart discussing the unusually high rate of domestic violence among lesbian couples. From the article:
       Up to 45 per cent of lesbians have been the victim of at least one act of violence perpetrated by a female partner and that 30 per cent of lesbians have reported sexual assault or rape by another woman. And those are conservative figures from a small domestic violence support group. 
       Only transsexuals have a rate anywhere close to that, with 34.6 per cent of trannies reporting nails ripped off, wigs torn and HRT pills flushed down the loo, according to a Massachusetts survey.
        ...  The Huffington Post reported in 2014 that 50 per cent of lesbian women experience one of these Sapphic skimishes at some point in their lives. ...
The article goes on to note that these surveys come from middle- and upper-class white women. Since domestic violence is known to, overall, be higher among poor and minorities, the author extrapolates that domestic violence among minority and low income lesbian couples is undoubtedly much higher.

       The second is an article entitled "Lady Killers" at The New Yorker magazine.  From the article:
       Female serial killers are more rare than their male counterparts, but they aren’t nonexistent; about one in six serial murderers is a woman. As a group, they are often overlooked and underestimated. “I think society is in denial that women are capable of such hideousness,” Marissa Harrison, an evolutionary psychologist at Penn State Harrisburg, said. Harrison conducted a study of female serial killers that recently appeared in The Journal of Forensic Psychiatry & Psychology. It is part of a small but growing body of research into the subject, and the data suggests that female serial killers are lethal in their own unique way.

       Harrison, who has previously studied the evolutionary origins of mass murder, began by compiling a list of American female serial killers, which she defined as women who had killed three or more people with at least a week between each death. She and her colleagues started at murderpedia.org, an online encyclopedia of serial killers and mass murderers. They ultimately identified sixty-four female serial killers who were active between 1821 and 2008. The researchers then used reputable news sources to compile a profile of each murderer, noting her age, birthplace, ethnicity, relationship status, religion, and more. From these profiles, the researchers assembled a portrait of the average female serial killer operating in the United States; what stood out was just how ordinary she was.

       “She’s likely to be in her twenties or thirties, middle-class, probably married, probably Christian, probably average intelligence,” Harrison said. “I just described, you know, your next-door neighbor.” (Something similar is true of male serial killers, who tend to possess average intelligence and work blue-collar jobs. Very few are legally insane.) Altogether, the women on the list had killed at least three hundred and thirty-one people, an average of six victims each. More than half had murdered children, and a quarter had targeted the elderly and infirm. Female serial killers also appear to have become more common over the years. Harrison’s team identified thirty-eight who were active in the United States between 1965 and 2014, compared with just fifteen during the preceding fifty years. That’s an increase of more than a hundred and fifty per cent, although, Harrison noted, it’s possible that serial killers are simply more likely to be caught in the modern era.

       The details of the women’s crimes differed notably from those committed by men. Nearly all of the women in Harrison’s study had killed people whom they knew, often targeting their husbands and children. Male serial killers, in contrast, appear much more likely to kill strangers. Whereas the most common motive for male serial killers is sex, female murderers were most often driven by money; almost half of the women in Harrison’s sample killed for financial gain. And poison was by far their preferred method; male murderers are most likely to shoot, strangle, or stab their victims.

       Harrison also found that many of the killers worked in caregiving roles, as nurses, Sunday-school teachers, babysitters, or stay-at-home moms. But it’s hard to know precisely what to make of this finding, Harrison said. Perhaps the murderers sought occupations that gave them easy access to potential victims. Or perhaps disturbed women with aggressive impulses are more likely to become killers if they find themselves in jobs that give them power over vulnerable people. “What comes first?” Harrison asked. “ ‘I want to kill, so I adopt that profession,’ or ‘I am in that profession, so wow, I see easy access to victims’?”
 Read the whole thing. I suspect that women murder just as much as men, but are less likely to be caught--or even accused--than men.

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