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Are female psychopaths different from male psychopaths?

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We examined the relations of psychopathy with physical attractiveness, several aspects of sexual behavior, and appearance-related self-esteem. In a mixed-sex sample of 198 undergraduate students, we found substantial sex differences in the correlates of psychopathy. Consistent with previous research, psychopathy was associated with early and promiscuous sexual behavior and affairs in both men and women. However, there was a marked sex difference in the esteem correlates of psychopathy: Among men, psychopathy was associated with high self- (and other) rated attractiveness, low appearance anxiety, and low body shame, whereas psychopathy in women was associated with low self-esteem and high body shame. The differences between men and women in the links between psychopathy and body esteem variables were not attributable to any sex differences in the effect of promiscuous sexual behavior on esteem, as sexual behavior was roughly uncorrelated with the esteem variables in both sexes. Further research is required to investigate the nature of this puzzling sex difference.

Source: “Psychopathy, sexual behavior, and esteem: It’s different for girls” from Personality and Individual Differences, Volume 48, Issue 7, May 2010, Pages 833-838

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