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Why Are Women Infatuated With True Crime?

The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.
This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at VCU chapter.

It’s not a secret that people are infatuated with true crime. Suppose you look at the number of views and popularity of documentaries and videos on it. In that case, you’re bound to find that millions of people are fascinated by what happens when human beings do the worst to each other. 

Women, in particular, make up a large percentage of those interested in the topic, and it isn’t by coincidence—there’s a psychology behind why women are drawn to the gory details of crimes, most of the time ones that are committed on other women. It is much more likely that women will be victims and survivors in these cases. 

So, why, if women are the primary victims, do other women feel naturally drawn to the subject matter of true crime? There are a few different reasons to explain. 

True crime allows women to experience thrilling horror behind the safety of a screen. It’s easy to empathize with the victims especially if they are also women. Imagine that one of those horrific stories might be you if you had bad luck or were at a place at the wrong moment. There’s an adrenaline rush from knowing that the dangers of the world are at large at any moment but still being able to experience it safely.

Other than to satisfy innate human curiosity, women also tend to learn about what to do and what not to do in situations of danger. In the current world that we live in, it’s inevitable for women to be afraid of the worst when statistically they risk being more vulnerable than men are. In these real true crime stories, they can dive into the mindset of people who want to hurt them, and in turn, know what to expect or do in these potential situations. This directly affects their own behavior in real life.

The feelings of being unsafe as a woman also bring a certain camaraderie among the gender. It’s pretty much a universal feeling and such, it is easy to empathize with victims in situations and feel a sense of empowerment when they receive the justice that they rightfully deserve. Of course, that is not always the case, but in those rare instances where the legacy of the victim is preserved, it can feel like a new wave of hope in our justice system. 

Lastly, the recent popularity of true crime amongst females has gone up by 16% in 2019 meaning that women are in tune with crime stories more than ever before. In a world where women are taught to be feminine and shun gore or horror, the freedom of the 21st-century perspective allows women to break out of that mold and experience it at full force. True crime is a way for them to experience these details without sacrificing their femininity or while embracing their lack-there-of. 

True crime has made its mark in many lives of women. It not only provides a safe haven for the curious, but it also serves as a catalyst in providing women with the support and information they need to keep themselves safe.

Courtney Te is a Graphic Design major and a Psychology minor at Virginia Commonwealth University. She is passionate about animals, writing and graphic design.