Degree Name

MA (Master of Arts)


Criminal Justice and Criminology

Date of Award


Committee Chair or Co-Chairs

Larry S. Miller

Committee Members

Michael C. Braswell, John T. Whitehead


Psychopathy and serial murder are 2 of society's most devastating and least understood tribulations. Even less is comprehended with regards to the differences in the way these ills are expressed between the genders. In this study, psychopathic personality traits are considered in a sample comparison of male and female serial murderers. Traits are measured using questions derived from Hare's Psychopathy Checklist Revised (PCL-R, 1991). A content analysis was performed to score the components for each subject, using known and accepted biographical and personal interview materials. Findings showed a distinct difference between the sexes, with females scoring lower than their male counterparts, indicating that factor structure of the PCL-R may need to be restructured in regards to females. Implications for public policy including the way female psychopathy is viewed and diagnosed are reviewed.

Document Type

Thesis - unrestricted


Copyright by the authors.