Why do some women like serial killers

Hybristophilia - When women are into murderers and rapists

by Julia Ballerstädt
The fact that women are into bad boys is a common cliché in film and television. But if they fall in love with felons, they may suffer from hybristophilia.

In the romantic love films of our time, the beautiful, female protagonist always falls in love with the wrong man. In the end, however, she still gets the bend and decides in favor of the nice guy next door. I too have to admit: the bad boys have that certain something. In real life, I still don't want to be with a rock star and his drug problems. I don't need a man who is so free that he doesn't see any need to reply to my messages, stick to agreements or maybe even try to help me, but I can make him sexy with this attitude Find.

Actually, he's not like that ...

But why are so many women into nasty guys? Is it the kick? Boredom? Self-mortification or the well-known helper syndrome? After all, we've all had this phase of altruistic sacrifice in the hope that HE would change. And in my own little Hollywood movie, I was the only woman who could save that lost soul in the guise of an asshole. Unfortunately, there was no sensitive being hidden under the robe that only wanted to be recognized and loved.
But why is that now? Are we looking for self-affirmation? Is it because of our complexes? In the best case scenario - as in the film - one grows beyond these men at some point, finds confirmation in oneself and one good Man.
But if that doesn't happen and only felons, rapists and murderers can win the heart, there may be a disease behind it that psychologists call hybristophilia.

Hybristophilia - What is it?

Hybristophilia, also known as Bonnie and Clyde syndrome, is the clinical picture in which those affected feel attracted to felons. It is primarily women who develop romantic feelings for sex offenders and murderers. The associated risks, especially for your own life, are what make this particularly attractive. Above all, the sexual component plays an essential role: What others perceive as repulsive triggers arousal in them.

Causes of Hybristophilia

Although the disease is getting a lot of media coverage, there is little research into hybristophilia.

Psychologists suspect the reasons for the sexual inclination mainly in:

  • lonliness
  • low self-esteem
  • Experiences of violence and abuse in childhood
  • an excessive helper syndrome

Love at a safe distance: the attraction of potential danger

If the lover is behind bars, a power imbalance arises over which the woman is in control: she does not have to worry about her husband cheating or hurting her. There can be no everyday life that kills love. Visits are rare and the woman is free to decide. At the same time, the belief that the partner could change maintains not only affection but also the feeling of being needed. And don't forget: Many people find evil fascinating - that is already evident from the large number of crime series on television. In women with hybristophilia, it is no longer just fascination, but admiration.

Bonnie and Clyde: Fascination Outlaw

In addition to the passive hybristophilia, which manifests itself primarily through sexual attraction to a criminal, there is, albeit less often, the active form of the disease. That means: sometimes the partner also becomes an accomplice. Crimes committed together create a very special bond.

The countless love letters that prominent murderers, such as the US mass murderer Charles Manson, who died in 2017, or the Norwegian gunman Anders Breivik, reach, show that the symptom does not only affect individual cases. Even courtroom weddings happen again and again.