Why The True Crime Genre Is So Popular With Women

According to Magellan TV, studies show that a recent resurgence in true crime media is largely thanks to women. Although The New York Times states that men are most likely to commit violent crimes, women just can't seem to get enough of watching the genre. But the correlation isn't just limited to visual media; a 2010 study found that women enjoy true crime books more than men. Moreover, podcasts like "Crime Junkie," True Crime Obsessed," and "My Favorite Murder," continually top the charts (via Mother Jones). That being said, while these podcasts are not unsavory they don't sugar coat details either.

Why then, would women want to watch, read, or listen to anything that describes violence and trauma against victims that are most likely women? Forbes reports that women enjoy the psychological aspect of true crime stories; they want to know how a killer works. Social psychologist Amanda Vicary found that it's fear that drives women's obsession with true crime as they are more likely to be the victims of it. However, as Sauce Mag explains, it seems that the answer is much more multi-dimensional than that.

The knowledge of true crime is powerful to women

Early on, women are told to not trust strangers or walk alone at night (via Magellan TV). As Vogue India puts it, consuming true crime can help women understand how a crime is perpetrated and how to not become the next victim. Thus, it's all about self-preservation, even if it's at a subconscious level (per Sauce Mag). Simply put, knowledge is power and women use the true crime genre to confront and understand what might be their biggest fears. Then of course, there's empathy. The BBC reports that as women are more likely to be the victims of violence, they tend to have more compassion toward the victims of the stories their listening, reading, or watching.

This creates even more suspense, making the women emotionally invested in the narrative. The same can be said about the killer's motive and background; what happened that led them to this point? Beyond this, there is also the aspect of escapism and the mystery to it all. One can enjoy true crime from a distance and feel like their solving the case, without actually being in the midst of it. Forbes describes it as an "inoculation" of sorts. It builds up tolerance just in case something horrible does happen. Whatever the reason one might be into true crime, it's popularity will live on, especially if it continues to provides a sense of security.