Wednesday, March 21, 2018

Female Psychopaths - Devastating Impacts on Children

Female psychopaths that are mothers have a devastating impact on their children ... some may murder, maim, or expose them to recklessly endangering situations ... others, countless more, intentionally expose their children to psychologically and emotionally damaging circumstances.
Why? What motivates this behavior?  Psychopaths fundamentally devalue others so as to enrich their personal sense of self ... they gain at the expense of others ... including their own children.  Female psychopaths want to dominate, control and win ... and who better to win against than their own children, who are there all the time to exploit.  They are easy prey, and the impacts can reverberate for generations to come.

For more information ... see Born to Destroy at

Sunday, March 11, 2018

FEMALE v. MALE PSYCHOPATHS - a special post by Drs. Gacono and Smith


In studying psychopaths for several decades (see Gacono & Meloy, 1994; Cunliffe & Gacono, 2005, 2008; Cunliffe et al., 2016; Smith, Gacono & Cunliffe, in press; Smith et al., 2014), we have found both male and female psychopaths to be callous and lack empathy. They share a cognitive style, as evidenced by their verbalizations, that reflects their callousness, their entitlement, and their refusal to take responsibility for their actions.  One female psychopath who was charged with a sex offense against a young male stated “I hope he burns in hell” while another female psychopath reported she suffered more than the victim she killed because she was incarcerated (victim stance). Both males and females can be conning/manipulative although women may use the “damsel in distress” persona to gain the attention and support she craves (see the case of Karla Homolka).

 While both male and female psychopaths share a borderline or psychotic level of personality organization (see Gacono & Meloy, 1994; Smith et al., 2014), there are noted differences involving self-esteem, emotion regulation, aggression, and their relationships. Male psychopaths effectively utilize their grandiosity to maintain their self-esteem while warding off any internal or external threats to their self-image. They tend to have more aggressive acts.  Females have a pathological self-focus though it coexists with a sense of being damaged.  They also exhibit more painful emotions than their male counterpart.  Female psychopaths can engage the same type of violent acts as males, they tend to use more indirect aggression (verbally aggressive with gossip). Female psychopaths also want to be around others but for selfish reasons (attention) something that male psychopaths do not exhibit (their lack of attachment). These differences are important because one may encounter these females throughout their life as not all are incarcerated. Understanding the female presentation and identifying their patterns could make you less vulnerable to their deceptions and manipulations.
 Jason M. Smith Psy.D. & Carl Gacono, Ph.D., ABAP

 Cunliffe, T.B., & Gacono, C.B. (2005). A Rorschach investigation of incarcerated antisocial
                personality disordered female offenders. International Journal of Offender Therapy
                and Comparative Criminology, 49, 530-547.
Cunliffe, T.B., & Gacono, C.B. (2008). A Rorschach understanding of antisocial and psychopathic women. In C. B. Gacono, F.B. Evans, N. Kaser-Boyd, & L.A. Gacono (Eds.). The handbook of forensic Rorschach assessment (pp. 361-378). New York, NY: Routledge.
Cunliffe, T.B., Gacono, C.B., Smith, J.M., Kivisto, A.J., Meloy, J.R., & Taylor, E.E. (2016).
Assessing psychopathy in women. In C.B. Gacono (Ed.), The clinical and forensic assessment of psychopathy: A practitioner’s guide (2nd ed., pp. 167-190). New York, NY: Routledge/Taylor & Francis Group.
Gacono, C.B., & Meloy, J.R. (1994). The Rorschach assessment of aggressive and
             psychopathic personalities. Hillsdale, NJ: Erlbaum.
Smith, J.M., Gacono, C.B., & Cunliffe, T.B. (in press). Comparison of male and female
psychopaths on select CS Rorschach variables. Journal of Projective Psychology and Mental Health.
Smith, J.M., Gacono, C.B., Cunliffe, T.B., Kivisto, A.J., & Taylor, E.E. (2014). Psychodynamics
in the female psychopath: A PCL-R/Rorschach investigation. Violence and Gender, 1(4), 176-187.
For additional information about female psychopaths ... see Born to Destroy at