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Female Sociopaths: Understanding, Identifying, and Coping

female sociopaths cover

Female sociopaths are a relatively new topic in the world of psychology. In this blog post, we will explore what these sociopaths are, how to identify them, and how to cope if you find yourself in a relationship with one.

Understanding Female Sociopaths

Female sociopaths are a particular type of psychopath. They share many of the same characteristics as male sociopaths. But there are some key differences. Female sociopaths tend to be more manipulative. In addition, they often use their charms to get what they want. Furthermore, they may also be more likely to engage in histrionic or borderline behavior.

History And Development

The first female sociopath wasn’t until the 1970s. But this type of psychopath has likely been around for centuries. Correspondingly, there are many cases of women who have committed heinous crimes and shown all the signs of psychopathy. But they were never rose to the scene because the concept of female sociopaths didn’t exist at the time.

Traits Of Female Sociopaths

female sociopath traits

Several key traits are common among them. They include:

A need for control: These women feel the need to be in control of everything and everyone around them. Therefore, they can be very domineering and demanding, and they have a hard time dealing with any type of criticism or dissent.

A lack of empathy or concern for others: These women are often cold and callous. Therefore, they don’t care about how their actions affect other people and will often hurt others without any remorse.

A history of manipulation and deceit: These women are often skillful at manipulating others. Hence, they will often lie and cheat to get what they want.

Grandiose sense of self-worth: Female sociopaths often have an inflated sense of self-worth and believe that they are superior to others.

A lack of guilt or remorse: Female sociopaths don’t feel guilty or ashamed about the things they do. No matter how hurtful they may be.

A tendency to be violent: Female sociopaths often have a history of violence. Either directed at others or towards themselves.

Poor impulse control: Female sociopaths often have trouble controlling their impulses. It can lead to a lot of reckless and impulsive behavior.

DSM And Its Criterion

The DSM-V is the diagnostic manual that helps mental health professionals to diagnose mental disorders. It has specific criteria for diagnosing female sociopaths. Thus, to have the female sociopathic disorder, a person must meet three or more of the following criteria:

  • A history of manipulating others through deceit or fraud
  • A lack of empathy or concern for others
  • A grandiose sense of self-worth
  • A tendency to be violent or aggressive
  • Poor impulse control
  • The inability to feel guilt or remorse for their actions

Types Of Female Sociopaths

female sociopaths types

There are several different types of female sociopaths. Here are some of the most common:

The histrionic sociopath: This type of female sociopath is often very emotional and dramatic. Furthermore. she may have a lot of mood swings and exhibit excessive behaviors. Such as talking excessively, dressing provocatively, or being sexually promiscuous.

The seductive sociopath: This type of female sociopath is often very charming and manipulative. Expectedly, she uses her charms to get what she wants. And she can be very convincing.

The victim Sociopath: This type of female sociopath often plays the victim role. Thus, she acts helpless and pitiful to get others to feel sorry for her. This is how she drives others to give her what she wants.

The borderline sociopath: This type of female sociopath is often unstable. Consequently, she has a very thin line between love and hate. As a result, she can be very volatile, and her moods can change rapidly.

The bully sociopath: This type of female sociopath is often aggressive and violent. Expectedly, she intimidates and bullies others to get what she wants.

Causes Of Female Sociopaths

There is no one cause of female sociopathy. However, some possible causes include:

  • Genetic factors: There may be a genetic component to female sociopathy, as the condition seems to run in families.
  • Environmental factors: Female sociopaths may be more likely to develop if they had an upbringing in an environment that is abusive or neglectful.
  • Traumatic experiences: A traumatic experience, such as abuse or neglect, may trigger the development of female sociopathy.

Female Sociopaths Vs. Male Sociopaths

There are some key differences between female and male sociopaths. Here are some of the most notable:

  • Female sociopaths often have a history of violence. While male sociopaths are more likely to be physically aggressive.
  • Female sociopaths are more likely to use emotional manipulation. While male sociopaths are more likely to use intimidation and threats.
  • Female sociopaths are more likely to exhibit histrionic or victim behaviors. While male sociopaths are more likely to be bullies.

Evaluating Female Sociopaths

No one test can help diagnose these women sociopaths. However, some tests can help evaluate a person for the condition.

The Hare Psychopathy Checklist-Revised (PCL-R): This test is helpful to assess for psychopathy, which is closely related to sociopathy.

The MMPI-II: This test is helpful to assess for a wide range of mental disorders, including sociopathy.

The Millon Clinical Multiaxial Inventory III (MCMI-III): This test is also helpful to assess for a wide range of mental disorders, including sociopathy.

Harms That Female Sociopaths Can Inflict

Female sociopaths can cause a great deal of harm to those around them. However, some of the most common harms include:

  • Emotional abuse: Female sociopaths often use emotional manipulation to control and hurt their victims.
  • Financial abuse: Female sociopaths may use financial means to control and exploit their victims.
  • Physical abuse: Female sociopaths may be physically violent towards their victims.
  • Psychological damage: Victims of female sociopaths often suffer from psychological damage, such as depression, anxiety, and PTSD.
  • Sexual abuse: Female sociopaths may sexually abuse their victims.

Female Sociopaths In Present Context

There may be some people who use the term “female sociopath” as a way to delegitimize women’s experiences and voices. This is not ok. In the present context, female sociopaths are often portrayed as a new kind of feminist. This is also not accurate. Female sociopaths have been around for centuries and are not a product of feminism. Contrarily, if you are concerned about the behavior of a new era feminist, it is important to remember that there is no evidence to suggest that they are female sociopaths.

Throwing The Label Around

It is important to be careful when using the term “sociopath.” Only a qualified professional can make a diagnosis of sociopathy. Since using the label “sociopath” casually could lead to someone undergoing an incorrect diagnosis and treatment.

NOTE: If you are concerned that someone you know may be a female sociopath, it is important to seek help from a professional.

The Negative Stereotypes Of Female Sociopaths

female sociopaths negative stereotypes

There are many negative stereotypes that are often associated with these women sociopaths. However, some of these stereotypes include:

The madwoman in the attic: This stereotype suggests that women sociopaths are crazy and unstable.

The femme fatale: This stereotype suggests that women sociopaths are sexy and seductive, and use their charms to manipulate men.

The black widow: This stereotype suggests that women sociopaths are dangerous and will kill their partners.

The baby stealer: This stereotype suggests that women sociopaths will kidnap and/or harm children.

Coping With A Female Sociopath

If you are concerned about a female sociopath, here are some self-help tips:

Don’t ignore the signs: If you see red flags, don’t ignore them. Rather, talk to someone who can help.

Set boundaries: It is important to set boundaries to protect yourself from further harm.

Take care of yourself: Make sure to take care of yourself both physically and emotionally.

Get Support: Talk to someone who can support you, such as a friend or therapist.

Talking To A Professional

If you are in a relationship or have some contact with a female sociopath, it is important to talk to a professional. Many professionals can help, including:

  • Forensic psychologist: A forensic psychologist specializes in the assessment and treatment of offenders.
  • Psychiatrist: A psychiatrist is a medical doctor who specializes in the diagnosis and treatment of mental disorders.
  • Therapist: A therapist is a professional who provides counseling and therapy.

A Short Note Forensic Psychologist

A forensic psychologist is a mental health professional who specializes in the assessment and treatment of criminal behavior. Furthermore, they often work with individuals who have been arrested or are involved in the criminal justice system.

If you think you may be a female sociopath, or you are concerned about someone you know. Then it is important to seek help from a forensic psychologist. Since they can provide you with the proper assessment and treatment you need.

Treatment For Female Sociopaths

treatment options female sociopath

There is no one-size-fits-all treatment for female sociopaths. However, some treatments that may be effective include:

Therapies: Therapies that may be effective for female sociopaths include cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT), dialectical behavior therapy (DBT), and psychodynamic therapy.

Medications: Medications that may be effective for female sociopaths include antidepressants, antipsychotics, and mood stabilizers.

Inpatient treatment: Inpatient treatment may be necessary for severe cases of female sociopaths. It is a type of treatment where the person lives in a hospital or residential treatment center.

Outpatient treatment: Outpatient treatment may be appropriate for less severe cases of female sociopaths. It is a type of treatment where the person visits a hospital or clinic regularly.

Anger management: Anger management may be helpful for female sociopaths who have problems with anger.

Therapies

Several therapies are effective to help female sociopaths. Some of the most common therapies include:

Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT): CBT is a type of therapy that focuses on changing harmful thoughts and behaviors.

Dialectical behavior therapy (DBT): DBT is a type of therapy that focuses on helping people manage their emotions.

Psychodynamic therapy: Psychodynamic therapy is a type of therapy that focuses on the unconscious mind.

Medications

Several medications may be effective for female sociopaths. However, some of the most common medications include:

Antidepressants: Antidepressants are medications that are helpful to treat depression. Thus, they may be helpful for female sociopaths who have problems with mood swings and depression.

Antipsychotics: Antipsychotics are medications that are helpful to treat psychosis. Therefore, they may be helpful for female sociopaths who have problems with hallucinations or delusions.

Mood stabilizers: Mood stabilizers are medications that are helpful to treat bipolar disorder. Furthermore, they may be helpful for female sociopaths who have problems with mood swings and anger.

NOTE: One thing to remember is that women sociopaths are still people. They may be difficult to deal with. But they still deserve to be treated with kindness and respect. However, this can be a challenge. But it is important to remember that these women are struggling and need help. Thus, the best way to get help for them is by seeking professional treatment.

Experts Opinion About Female Sociopaths

There is still much that we don’t know about female sociopaths. However, some experts have weighed in on the topic. Here are some of their opinions:

“Female sociopaths may be worse than male sociopaths because they use their sexuality as a weapon.”

-Dr. Helen C. Gavrielides, forensic psychologist

“Female sociopaths are more likely to be highly manipulative and to use sex as a weapon.”

-Dr. Robert D. Hare, criminologist

Brain Activity 

There is still much that we don’t know about the brains of female sociopaths. However, there are some things that we do know. Studies have shown that the brains of female sociopaths appear to be more active in the areas that deal with emotion. Contrarily, they appear less active in the areas that deal with cognitive function and inhibition. This may be why female sociopaths are often more manipulative and sexually predatory than male sociopaths.

Case Study

There is no one-size-fits-all approach to treating female sociopaths. However, here is an example of how one woman was treated:

The patient was a 25-year-old woman who had been diagnosed with antisocial personality disorder and borderline personality disorder. Thus, she was treated with cognitive-behavioral therapy, dialectical behavior therapy, and medication. As a result, the patient showed significant improvement and was eventually able to live independently.

High Profile Cases

female sociopath input

There have been several high-profile cases where women have been targeted as female sociopaths in the news recently. Here are some of them:

Examples of Wrongly Accused

Amber Heard: Amber Heard is an actress who was recently divorced from Johnny Depp. During their divorce proceedings, it was revealed that she had been diagnosed with a borderline personality disorder. Expectedly she had a history of domestic violence. It implies that she is wrongly accused a female sociopath.

Carrie Fisher: Carrie Fisher was an actress and author who died in December 2016. She was open about her struggles with mental illness, including bipolar disorder and addiction. Some people have speculated that she may also have been a sociopath. However, these speculations do not hold concrete ground.

Hillary Clinton: Hillary Clinton is a former U.S. Secretary of State and presidential candidate. There have been allegations that she is a sociopath. But there is no evidence to support this claim. Noteworthy, it is unfortunate for a society to label a woman of her stature simply because she is ambitious.

The Actual Female Sociopaths

Aileen Wuornos: One of the most famous cases of a female sociopath is that of Aileen Wuornos. Wuornos was a prostitute who killed seven men between 1989 and 1990. She claimed that they had all raped or attempted to rape her. But there was evidence that she had targeted them for their money. Eventually, Wuornos was eventually arrested and sentenced to death. She was executed in 2002.

Leanne Teale and Stephanie Slater: Leanne Teale and Stephanie Slater are two women who were convicted of murdering four children between the ages of five and thirteen. They claimed that they had killed the children to save them from a life of abuse. But there was evidence that this was not true. Consequently, they were both sentenced to life in prison.

Movies And Books

There have been several movies and books that have been made about female sociopaths. Some of them are:

Movies

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo: This movie is based on the book of the same name by Stieg Larsson. It tells the story of a young woman who is hired by a wealthy man to investigate his daughter’s disappearance. It turns out that she was murdered by a female sociopath.

The Talented Mr. Ripley: This movie is based on the book of the same name by Patricia Highsmith. It tells the story of a young man who is seduced by a wealthy woman and then becomes embroiled in her dark world.

Books

The Sociopath Next Door: This book is written by Martha Stout, Ph.D. It discusses the characteristics of sociopaths and offers advice on how to deal with them.

Red Flags of Love Fraud: This book is written by Donna Andersen. It discusses the signs that someone may be a sociopath and offers advice on how to protect yourself from them.

So You’re In Love With A Sociopath: This book is written by Liane Leedom, M.D. It discusses the symptoms of sociopathy and offers advice for how to cope with them.

How To Spot A Dangerous Woman: This book is written by Jay Carter, Ph.D. It discusses the traits that make women dangerous and offers advice on how to protect yourself from them.

NOTE: The above are just a few examples of the resources that are available on this topic. If you are concerned that you may be in a relationship with one, it is important to seek out help. Fortunately, many professionals can assist you in this situation.

Conclusion

Female sociopaths are a relatively new topic of study, and we still have much to learn about them. However, there are some things that we do know. They can be incredibly manipulative and destructive.

Furthermore, they often use sex as a weapon. Therefore, to treat them, a variety of therapies may be necessary. If you know someone who has this trait, it is important to be aware of these things and to take steps to protect yourself.

Last but not least, be careful before you give someone this harsh label. It is important to consider several accounts into the picture like mental illnesses, circumstances, and so on before really calling someone a dangerous women misfit for society!

A Word From Therapy Mantra

Your mental health — Your psychological, emotional, and social well-being — has an impact on every aspect of your life. Positive mental health essentially allows you to effectively deal with life’s everyday challenges.

At TherapyMantra, we have a team of therapists who provide affordable online therapy to assist you with issues such as depression, anxiety, stress, workplace Issues, addiction, relationship, OCD, LGBTQ, and PTSD. You can book a free therapy or download our free Android or iOS app.