Sigrun Rossmanith and Spiegel Online talk about gender roles and the underestimated shadow of women.
Women rarely commit murder, but forensic psychiatrist Sigrun Rossmanith has treated many female killers. She tells SPIEGEL ONLINE that women’s dark side is underestimated.
SPIEGEL ONLINE: Frau Rossmanith, in your book you pose the question of whether women make better murderers than men. Is that the case?
Rossmanith: They are certainly more creative than men. More inventive. Take the revenge incident that I describe in the book: An unfaithful wife from Asia passionately kisses her partner — and in doing so slips a cyanide capsule into his mouth, which he is forced to swallow. She combines an act of love with the murder. Would a man come up with such an idea?SPIEGEL ONLINE: Hard to say. Are women perhaps more creative with murder because they lack the physical strength for more heavy-handed violence?
Rossmanith: Naturally, they must compensate for a lack of physical strength. Often they render their victims defenseless in order to actually carry out the act. A frequently used tool is incidentally the knife, a distinctly European trait compared with the United States, where firearms are predominantly used. Naturally, one must also say that women rather rarely become killers. Men kill something like ten times more frequently than women.
SPIEGEL ONLINE: Is it true that when women kill, it’s almost always friends or relatives?