Psychopathy and Gender

Psychopathy refers to a personality disorder characterized by interpersonal manipulation, lack of empathy, callousness, and impulsivity and a risk-taking, parasitic, irresponsible, and socially deviant lifestyle. In the criminal justice system, a diagnosis of psychopathy is an important aspect of risk assessment, because research has shown that psychopathic offenders recidivate at about 2.5 times the rate of nonpsychopathic offenders. Much of the research on psychopathy has been conducted with male offender samples, given the substantially higher base rate of psychopathy in men, particularly incarcerated men. However, there is growing research on the extent to which the psychopathy construct extends to women as well as to subclinical (e.g., student, community, workplace) samples. This research suggests that although women tend to be much less psychopathic than men, the ...

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