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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