The Real Reason Women Love True Crime Shows

Photo: Ron Lach, D-Keine, Mark D'aiuto | Canva, Chase Fade, Joel in ‘t veld | Unsplash 
Woman listening to true crime

Many of us have fond memories of gathering in a circle and taking turns spinning a thrilling tale.

Although the stories and characters that enthralled us as kids might no longer grab us, we still crave the adrenaline rush and inwardly ask, "What happens next?"

We may not sit around a campfire anymore, but we use technology to fill our need for mystery and suspense with TV shows, movies, and podcasts built around true crime.

Statistics and surveys show this genre has a strong and growing appeal for women. Why do so many women love true crime and real-life murder stories?

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According to research by Amanda Vicary, a criminal psychology expert, the number of women interested in the true crime genre climbed by 16% in 2019.

According to another poll performed by ABC in 2018, real-crime podcasts are gaining popularity due to a growing interest among women.

One true-crime podcast called Wine and Crime claims to have half a million monthly downloads. And, women are an overwhelming 85% of the audience.

Here's the reason women love true crime shows — and use them to relieve anxiety.

1. The most popular theory for why women enjoy actual crime is that they believe they will learn something from it.

This might be because women frequently see themselves in true crime stories. Simply put, women may experience a sense of secondhand comfort while seeing other women in potentially harmful situations because they're pleased they're not there.

They believe they could learn lessons about self-defense or taking wise precautions against crime by watching. Many women use these shows to mentally think through what they would do in similar situations to prepare for a possible encounter with one of these predatorial men.

It's more than that, though.

According to some experts, women's interest in true crime may be linked to their higher sense of empathy. This may make actual crime more appealing to women, just because empathizing creates an emotional connection that helps a viewer make a deeper investment into the story.



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2. Women's higher empathy levels may also lead to a stronger interest in the backgrounds of murderers and criminals.

Another potential explanation is that it is one of the few genres that allows viewers to indulge in an urge to absorb violent content.

Many women are socially indoctrinated to behave traditionally feminine, but that doesn't imply they can't have a tougher side. True crime may allow women to vicariously experience suppressed feelings of fury and terror or a combination of the two.

3. Women are drawn to the genre because it helps them understand how and why crimes are committed.

True-crime programs help women comprehend the thinking of criminals and foster a feeling of justice. True crime stories frequently reveal facts about criminals' mental processes.

Viewers absorb information about how to cope with gruesome encounters and spot warning indications that might escalate to violence.

Women in a very patriarchal culture can feel unsafe and afraid. The inner yearning to feel secure and protected by judicial institutions is met when they watch stories where justice triumphs. The sense of justice we get at the end of a true-crime movie or series reflects their desire to be a part of societal and legal systems that strive relentlessly to protect and safeguard women.

Photo: Lario Tus via Shutterstock

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4. Women imitate techniques and methods they see on TV shows without realizing their need to be protected attracts them to the genre.

When concluding a real-crime narrative, women aren't put off by discomfort or dread.

Vicary discovered that while everyone reacted with terror at various moments throughout an actual crime podcast, women listeners had higher anxiety levels. Their desire to continue with the topic, however, was harmed.

They want to know what happens next and instinctively read between the lines, which outweighs the discomfort and unpleasant sensations related to watching or listening to disturbing material. Then again, those sensations might be the very things that draw us back into the gritty world of true crime.

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Sidhharrth Kumaar is an astro-numerologist and Founder of NumroVani. He couples his knowledge of modern sciences to solve real-world problems in the areas of mental well-being and relationship growth.