Hybristophilia: why some are sexually attracted to criminals

When Ted Bundy, one of America’s most notorious serial killers, was defending himself at his trial on those charges, several women were waiting for him outside the court doors, supporting and defending him, because they did not believe that a man, in their opinion, so beautiful, could perform such acts.

This attraction that people, especially women, can feel for criminals, It has a name and is a condition studied by several psychologists.

What is hybridophilia?

As described by the American Psychological Association, this is understood as “the interest and sexual attraction for those who commit crimes”.

According to what was studied by the sexologist and doctor John Money, in 1986, crimes can range from armed robbery to rape or murder and, only in some cases, a situation that can lead the person attracted to commit crimes as well. Colloquially, it is known as “Bonnie and Clyde syndrome”.

Clinical psychologist Katherine Ramsland in her publication “Women love serial killers” mentions that attraction can be explained in certain patterns studied in women who have married or entered into lasting relationships with convicted felons.

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This syndrome is known more in women than in men, but it is not exclusive.

From what Dr. Ramsland explains, these women might believe that “their love can transform conviction.” According to this theory, women would see in these criminals wounded people who need salvation, which they can provide.

Another reason may be that they want the attention that the media gives to criminals and the women who persecute them, probably to achieve their own fame and to be able to live on it.

It should be clarified that This syndrome is not something that can be found only in women, but it is more prevalent in the female gender. So far, no specific social patterns have been clarified such as social status, geographic location, education, among others, that give a more specific idea of ​​which women may be more attracted to this type of person.

However, Ramsland did find that it tends to be more recurrent in women between 30 and 40 years of age.

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Are there types of hibristofilia?

More than types, they could be described as intensities. For some people, it is not even necessary to establish a physical relationship with the murderers, but to maintain some type of contact, such as letters with them.

Serial killers like Charles Manson, Richard Ramirez or Ted Bundy were among the people who received the most correspondence in their prisons and much of it came from people, especially women, declaring their love.

However, there is a type of hibristofilia that is considered more aggressive, in which women not only establish sentimental and physical relationships with criminals, but also They are also involved in their actions.

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What other explanations exist?

Several studies and hypotheses have emerged to explain this attraction. Ramsland even presents a theory in which he finds a possible source in the relationships between the apes.

Over there, females usually prefer males that are “larger, louder and more aggressive, showing clear signs of their masculinity”. In this sense, the psychologist proposes that it is possible that the same thing happens in the case of some human beings.

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Are there examples of this?

There are several media cases about hibristofilia.

While Ted Bundy was on trial for two murders and other assaults recorded at Florida State University, Carole Ann Boone, a woman who worked with him, agreed to marry and have a child.

The Manson family, as it became nicknamed, for example, was a sect made up primarily of women who loved Charles Manson and they acted under his orders, murdering more than five people during a period of time.

Even after their respective sentences, Manson received love letters from various women who had known him. over time and were attracted to the bloody leader.

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Hybristophilia: why some are sexually attracted to criminals