Women Tend to Love True Crime – But Why?

It’s honestly no secret that women love true crime. Hell, even SNL did a skit about it once! Sort of like how most men watch porn, most women enjoy true crime.

I’m certainly no exception! I love Law and Order SVU, I watch plenty of true crime YouTubers, and the only podcasts I really listen to are crime and conspiracy related ones. But it’s odd to think that there’s such a gender divide in the crime genre.

And I can’t help but wonder, why do women love true crime shows so much?

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6 Reasons Why Women Love True Crime

1. It’s a Learning Tool

One popular theory as to why women love true crime suggests it’s because they can learn from it.

Both men and women can be victims of violent crimes, but women have a much higher chance of being sexually assaulted, stalked, or killed by an intimate partner. So, the thinking here goes that women want to watch true crime as a way to learn how to protect themselves from becoming victimized.

This makes some sense, too. Look at the vast majority of true crime shows and you tube channels – the victims are often women. And then there’s SVU. Its entire premise is centered around sexually based crimes committed mostly against women.

2. It Promotes a Sense of Justice

When you watch a true crime series or video, it’s usually about a case that’s been solved. The killer is caught, the rapist is found guilty, the criminal somehow pays for his crime.

Even though that’s not always the case, there’s a sense of justice that comes with true crime shows.

3. It Triggers Empathy

Women are naturally more empathetic than men. It’s a stereotype, I know, but in general, I’d say this is fairly accurate.

And TV capitalizes on this. The same way that ‘sex sells’ when it comes to male viewers, shows that target a more female-based audience tend to tug at the heartstrings. Look at This is Us, or any movie on Hallmark.

True crime shows might not be specifically targeted towards women, but the fact that they evoke the same feelings of empathy make women more interested in watching.

4. It’s Cathartic in a Way

Watching true crime is oddly cathartic.

The stories themselves provoke some anxiety, so when you’re watching it, there’s a bit of an adrenaline rush. But the fact that you’re watching it from the comfort and safety of your own home gives you an immediate sense of relief. That combination can make true crime shows relaxing in a way.

5. Allows Women to Talk about and Explore Vulnerabilities

It’s a sad fact that most women (1 in 5, actually) have some sort of experience with sexual assault, domestic violence, or stalking.

Watching true crime shows, then, may help women process their own traumas. It could also help them explore their fears and anxieties about being harmed in the future.

This is a sad, but highly plausible reason for why women love true crime.

6. It’s a Form of Escapism

Personally, this is the explanation I lean towards the most.

As I mentioned earlier, true crime shows create suspense. There are compelling “characters” and, typically, the victim is relatable in some way. Even the criminal is fascinating – almost how you can’t look away from a train wreck.

All of that combined makes true crime stories good stories. They might not be fiction, but the fact that they’re not directly related to you makes it a form of escapism.


The reason why women love true crime is, much like women themselves, complex. There’s no one right explanation. But, really, does there need to be? Can’t we just have something we like?

What do you think? Do you have any other reasons for why women love true crime? And how about you – are you a fan?

Let me know in the comments below!


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  1. avatar

    I love true crime – but some of it is too much for me! There’s one called Canadian True Crime that’s very good, but some of the cases seemed to close to home for me.
    I’ve switched to more white-collar crime podcasts (Bad Blood, The Dropout,Swindled) lately, so I don’t know what that says about me!

    1. avatar

      Interesting! I can see that sometimes it’s too much, but I also find it fascinating

  2. avatar

    I never really thought about this but do have a friend and we are always trading true crime podcasts. Some of them are quite dark because if you think about people and the things they do, it can be terrifying. Sometimes I can’t believe it. We bond over it and talk about peoples thought processes.

    1. avatar

      as dark as it is, I’m also a fan of true crime podcasts.

  3. avatar

    You know, I never considered the idea that predominately women love true crime, but I know for a fact that I LOVE it! Like you mentioned, it gives you adrenaline, but you also feel comforted. And at the end of the day, it’s one of my favorite forms of escape. Great post! xxx

    Melina | http://www.melinaelisa.com

    1. avatar

      Absolutely! Same here – and yes, I always wondered why it was more of a female interest, but it makes sense.

  4. avatar

    Lol I love true crime too! Especially all the 20/20 and Dateline reruns. I think every item on your list is true for me. But I’ve got one more reason for you. I love it because most of the stories have proper endings within the 1 hour episode. Mostly everything else I watch drag on for entire seasons and series and you never get the proper ending because they try to leave you hanging for the next episode instead. Great topic! I love this post!

    1. avatar

      That is a good point – I sometimes watch YouTube channels where not every story is solved, but for the most part, there’s always a definitive ending.

  5. avatar
    Nons Mshengu says:

    I used to think I was odd for enjoying true crime as much as I do. But you are so right about it making us more aware and God forbid, but better know how to deal with that situation if we were ever in it. I have learned so much more about how to protect myself since watching true crime as well as red flags in men.

    So glad to know so many women enjoy them too.

    1. avatar

      Yes! It really does help you figure out certain red flags to look for. Scary, yes, but better to be safe.

  6. avatar

    Such an interesting post! I don’t watch a lot of true crime shows, but I know a lot of people who do! It’s very interesting to see it emerge as a new trending favorite for women. Thanks for sharing!

    1. avatar

      It really is! It’s weird that more men aren’t interested in it.

  7. avatar
    Basic With Life says:

    This is so true. I’m a huge fan of True Crime but I’ve never really thought about why I’m such a fan well other than my lack of trust 🤣

    1. avatar

      Hah! I hadn’t considered that as a reason, but it does make sense.

  8. avatar
    jessica says:

    you know what i’ve never thought about why i love true crime shows so much but this makes sooo much sense!! not only for all those reasons but i love to watch a mystery unfold and know the truths of what’s going on around the world!

    jessica | http://www.overdressedblogger.com

    1. avatar

      Yes, exactly! I’m also always curious as to why people do the things they do. It’s fascinating to me.

  9. avatar

    I LOVE crime shows and have always watched them.

    The reasons you’ve listed make a lot of sense and I’m glad to meet so many fellow true crime fans.

    1. avatar

      Yes, same here! I’m a huge fan and I love the YouTube channels especially.

  10. avatar

    i love listening to true crime podcasts. not for entertainment though, because what happened to those victims really suck but i’m learning to protect myself and to always be aware that not everyone has the nicest intention. great post! x

    erin | littlesipsoftea.com

    1. avatar

      That’s a great point – I listen to it out of curiosity and for entertainment, but interesting to know that some people really do want to find out more about how to protect themselves.

  11. avatar

    Great post! I enjoy true crime from time to time. I try not to get sucked into it because it gives me nightmares haha. I agree it can be used as a learning tool and gives you a lot to think about.

    1. avatar

      I know people who feel that way, so I get it. It upsets me, of course, but I can separate it from myself if that makes sense.

  12. avatar
    Catarina says:

    I LOVE true events movies, tv shows, horror movies..everything that happened in real life. But crime is another level. I use to watch discovery channel like the detective shows.

    1. avatar

      I always liked those ones too – but lately I’ve been listening to more True Crime podcasts and youtube channels

  13. avatar

    I have to say I hate true crime haha, but this is an interesting insight into the popularity of these kind of shows x

    1. avatar

      Wow, that’s so crazy! I don’t know many women who dislike true crime but plenty of guy friends are not into it

  14. avatar

    Its true, we do love true crime! I never really thought much about it before but the theories you shared make sense!

    1. avatar

      It’s such a fascinating topic!

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30ish Lifestyle blogger, relationship "expert," and modern-day agony aunt.
Sometimes humorous, always honest.