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An expert suggests that there may be a higher number of psychopathic women than initially believed.

An expert suggests that there may be a higher number of psychopathic women than initially believed.

When thinking of a classic psychopath, the well-dressed and groomed Patrick Bateman from the book American Psycho may come to mind. However, one specialist suggests that the number of women with this neuropsychiatric condition could be much higher than previously believed.

Individuals with psychopathic tendencies are commonly believed to have a deficiency in empathy and guilt, engage in antisocial actions, regularly deceive others, and possess traits of ruthlessness, narcissism, and manipulation.

According to Dr. Clive Boddy, a specialist in corporate psychopaths from Anglia Ruskin University, individuals with this disorder are primarily motivated by money, power, and control.

Although the concept of psychopaths being aggressive, anti-social criminals has shifted to a more complex perspective, with Boddy and others suggesting they are frequently present in corporate environments, the belief that they are predominantly male persists.

According to Boddy, the actions of female psychopaths are not as noticeable or overt as those of male psychopaths, making them less likely to be identified.

According to research, there is a growing amount of evidence suggesting that female psychopaths tend to exhibit violence through verbal means rather than physical actions. This violence is often relational and emotional in nature, and may be less obvious compared to the violence displayed by male psychopaths. This may include spreading rumors and falsehoods for their own personal gain.

According to Boddy, a concern is that the Levenson self-report psychopathy scale (LSRP), which is used to identify psychopaths, may be biased towards identifying men as having the disorder.

According to him, this was due to the fact that the initial portion of the evaluation examined a person’s emotional detachment, self-centeredness, lack of empathy, and manipulative tendencies, while the latter portion, which dealt with the psychopathic lifestyle, concentrated on aggression and antisocial actions.

Researchers believe that the measures for the secondary element, which were derived from studies of incarcerated criminals and their psychopathic tendencies, are not applicable in identifying female psychopathy.

According to the speaker, there have been less research on psychopathy in females compared to males. Additionally, evaluators may hesitate to classify women as psychopaths.

Certain approximations have proposed a potential 10:1 proportion of male to female individuals with psychopathic traits, however Boddy’s research, utilizing only the initial portion of the LSRP, indicated that the numbers were significantly dissimilar.

Boddy stated that the results were nearly identical, but emphasized that further research involving a larger sample of adults selected at random would be necessary for a more conclusive understanding.

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Boddy, who is due to give a talk on female psychopaths at the Cambridge festival next month, said that while an estimated 1% of men were psychopaths, the diagnosis sat at one end of a spectrum.

The initial LSRP analysis predicts that approximately 23% of men possess enough psychopathic traits to potentially cause issues for society, though they may not be entirely classified as psychopathic,” he stated.

Boddy conducted his own research by surveying white-collar workers and found that these characteristics were not rare among females. He stated, “Approximately 12% to 13% of females possess enough of these traits that could potentially cause problems.”

Identifying psychopathic traits in both men and women is crucial, according to Boddy, as these individuals can greatly influence the workplace by mistreating and harassing employees. Furthermore, he emphasized that companies led by such individuals may lack direction, leading to negative perceptions of large organizations.

He stated that people are witnessing the selfishness, dishonesty, and aggression of those in positions of power, which weakens the foundations of democracy and the legal system.

Boddy recommended implementing screening measures for potential job candidates as a means of safeguarding employees.

As one’s level of seniority increases, they gain more power and control, making it necessary to undergo screening and psychometric tests, according to the speaker.

Source: theguardian.com