Doug's Darkworld

War, Science, and Philosophy in a Fractured World.

Why are there no female Ted Bundys?

with 8 comments

Everyone knows Ted Bundy, right? The original and quintessential serial killer. Well, not the first one, but the first one where it finally got into the popular (and professional) consciousness that monsters might be normal looking people hiding among us. And Ted was a monster, no doubt about it, he killed dozens, maybe over a hundred, women. All strangers taken off the street, or killed in their homes, to satisfy his perverse needs. And he’s not alone, there have been many others caught since then. Men who hunt humans for their own psychological needs, sometimes rape and/or necrophilia is involved, sometimes it’s just killing.

 However, and it’s a big however, there are essentially no such female serial killers. There are female murderers, there are women who hunt enthusiastically, there are women psychopaths … yet somehow our culture essentially doesn’t produce any female Ted Bundys? Yes, there are female serial killers, but they almost always were simply killing for personal gain. The few examples offered up that I know of would be Aileen Wournos and the Countess Bathory. And both of them are very debatable, if there’s a Theresa Bundy out there somewhere, she hasn’t been caught yet.

So why is this so? Beats me. This sort of thing doesn’t get as much study as it should, basically because people get upset if there was some inherent reason why men were prone to this psycho-pathology for want of a better term. This topic  is also gets uncomfortably close to a wider observation that gets people upset when it is made, and that is violence seems to be a predominantly male activity. And while there may be cultural reasons for this, it’s hard not to conclude that men are more predisposed to violence than women. I know in the USA at least, they commit virtually all violet crime. The only category of violent crime with a fair proportion of women … is bank robbery. Which also has some uncomfortable implications, but we won’t go there for now.

And while not all male violence has a sexual component, a lot of it sure does. The aforesaid serial killers, clearly a sexual component in much or all of their crime. War and rape go hand in hand, anyone who denies that hasn’t been paying attention. And males in many cultures have a shocking tendency to harm or kill their sexual partners. Not to mention the rape and neo-rape that again is all to common in many cultures. This isn’t exactly a  secret, even if people don’t want to talk about it, “sex and violence” is a phrase everyone has heard or banded about in some context. It would be hard to convince me that on some level in all men, sex and violence are intimately linked. Is it cultural or inherent? A little of both I suspect.

However, getting back to my main point, let’s assume for the sake of argument that men aren’t inherently more violence than women, that women have just as many violent urges, fantasies, and even compulsions as men. If so, why then is it mostly the men who act out their violent urges? No idea there either.

What can I say, these are observations, not conclusions. Hopefully someday science will give them the attention they deserve. And I hope we listen to what they have to say, because this is important.

(The above image is claimed as Fair Use under US copyright law. It’s a low resolution, grey scale reproduction of the original that is not being used for commercial purposes. Credit ad copyright: AP. It’s a boat that was washed way from Japan in last year’s tsunami, recently spotted drifting near the US west coast. It’s the first of a lot of debris drifting our way here in California and points north. I used it because it conveyed the kind of creepy mood this topic gets me into. No way was  going to post an image of Ted Bundy, they should be destroyed, not reproduced.)


Written by unitedcats

March 24, 2012 at 7:40 pm

8 Responses

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  1. It is a deep well. Women are and have been subjectified for centuries. Religions tell women they deserve and should accept abuse. Societies subjectify women and the laws of the lands are not founded in equality for women. Most laws are made by men and benefit men. So you see a long history of societies that turn their head when men are violent towards women. It could be said that men are encourged to subjectify women. That they are rewarded by society in many cultures for base behavior. Women, on the other hand, have learned that their best way in societies is to objectify themselves to meet their survival needs. Women can provide children and sex and stroke the male ego. Women believe they need men and men believe that women need men. So women are cunning and men are allowed to be violent and overt in their behavior. Would take a book to really understand all the dynamics.

    Lee A Whittaker

    March 25, 2012 at 7:13 am

  2. Subjectified??? Really? C’mon, please…
    Men partake in violence for one reason- testesterone… Women have less than 10% the testesterone of men… And btw I bet anyone $1000 that this idiot Zimmerman who killed ‘Treyvon'(the soon to be cannonized one) is going to be found INNOCENT… Treyvon was not the saint he’s been made out to be, nor is Zimmerman the demon he’s accused of being.


    March 26, 2012 at 3:38 pm

    • It would seem to me that Treyvon had every right to attack Zimmerman. The Stand Your Ground law would apply to someone being followed by someone they didn’t know. Being afraid for their safety. Perceving a threat from an unknown individual that is armed. Why isn’t the public cring out for Treyvon’s right to stand HIS ground! And don’t talk to me about stupid ideas like testosterone being the culpert in the agression of men. That by itself is not enough to account for violent behavior. Otherwise all men would be serial killers.

      Lee A Whittaker

      March 26, 2012 at 5:15 pm

  3. Zimmerman was the one following the kid around, calling the police, and just in general acting like he was looking for a confrontation. Apparently he got one, though of course it’s only his word that Trayvon confronted him. And what, exactly, was Trayvon doing that warranted calling the police or an armed confrontation? If Zimmerman had minded his own goddamned business, Trayvon would still be alive. Shitty law, and it’s situations like these why cops oppose these laws. They encourage armed vigilantism. You can defend your home with a gun, but running around looking for trouble isn’t defending yourself, it’s running around looking for trouble. Too bad if his life is ruined becasue of this, it should be. As for testosterone being the cause of violence in men, it doesn’t pass the laugh test.


    March 26, 2012 at 7:10 pm

  4. Laugh test? Cesar Beccaria spotted this problem a long time ago… Btw I didnt say testesterone was only factor, only that it was a reason men wrer more violent than women. My bet still stands about Zimmerman getting away with it– the local authorities are alot less racist than people think ( I live 10min away, and spanish is spoken more than english, the stereotypical redneck cop think is long gone) and reason they didnt charge this asshole is cause they couldnt… Treyvon should have had a gun…


    March 27, 2012 at 6:25 am

    • I didn’t know that a 17 year old could carry a handgun legally in Florida, another reason never to visit the state. And of course we all know how dangerous it is to walk to buy skittles in a gated community, what was he thinking? @@


      March 27, 2012 at 9:37 am

  5. There are plenty of female serial killers, they just haven’t been caught.


    April 24, 2012 at 9:01 pm

  6. Mary Bell was a serial killer with a spectacularly short career. I say Was a serial killer because I believe she is reformed. Which lays to rest (in my mind) two popular misconceptions; that females don’t commit serial murder in the same spirit as men (women kill for money, freedom, revenge and occasionally out of sheer madness, etc), and that you cannot reform a serial killer. Perhaps it is only male serial killers who cannot be reformed…How come there are no reformed male serial killers?


    April 27, 2012 at 9:54 pm

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