The Feminine Mask
—“Psychopathic personality is also consistently documented more often in men versus women; in fact, the ratio has been as high as 20:1.
However, new research suggests that some of the difference between men and women may not be in the existence of deceitful, manipulative, and exploitive personality traits but in the expression of them.
Specifically, these researchers found that women may be more likely to express these personality deficits through behaviors that are typically associated with, and diagnosed as, other mental illnesses.
For example, these researchers found overlap between some of the symptoms such as histrionic personality disorder or borderline personality disorder. (link is external) A woman whose extreme fear of abandonment leads her to periodic outbursts of rage over real or imagined transgressions, flips between seeing her significant other as either completely perfect or totally evil, or who has to constantly be the center of attention (link is external) certainly isn’t who we think of when we think of the classic psychopath.
But she may be just as incapable of true empathy, and just as manipulative and deceitful, as the callous, unemotional male.”—