Differences between male and female psychopaths

According to one 2012 study published in the International Journal of Women’s Health, female psychopaths are more likely to flirt and use their sexuality to manipulate people. They’re more likely to be verbally aggressive and mean and less likely to violently attack people. Psychopathic men, on the other hand, are more physically aggressive and more likely to commit fraud — perhaps why there are many more men in prisons.

Another study published in the Journal of Personality Disorders in 2017 found that female psychopaths are more likely to be anxious, have emotional problems, and be promiscuous.

Raine didn’t want to make any claims about male and female psychopaths, but he did say female psychopaths are definitely antisocial, like their male counterparts.

“I think if I had to speculate, if there is a general male-female divide, that males are more aggressive physically than females,” he said. “And if you look at women in prisons, a lot of it is drugs and a lot of it is prostitution. And I’m suspecting that in respect to female psychopaths, you’ll see a similar reflection there.”

Female psychopaths probably dabble in all sorts of criminal offenses too, he added, but they’re usually not the ones raping people.


Psychopaths and Sociopaths are wired differently

Background: Despite the relevance of narcissistic personality disorder (NPD) in clinical settings, there is currently no empirical data available regarding the neurobiological correlates of NPD. In the present study, we performed a voxel-based morphometric analysis to provide initial insight into local abnormalities of gray matter (GM) volume. Methods: Structural brain images were obtained from patients with NPD (n = 17) and a sample of healthy controls (n = 17) matched regarding age, gender, handedness, and intelligence. Groups were compared with regard to global brain tissue volumes and local abnormalities of GM volume. Regions-of-interest analyses were calculated for the anterior insula. Results: Relative to the control group, NPD patients had smaller GM volume in the left anterior insula. Independent of group, GM volume in the left anterior insula was positively related to self-reported emotional empathy. Complementary whole-brain analyses yielded smaller GM volume in fronto-paralimbic brain regions comprising the rostral and median cingulate cortex as well as dorsolateral and medial parts of the prefrontal cortex. Conclusion: Here we provide the first empirical evidence for structural abnormalities in fronto-paralimbic brain regions of patients with NPD. The results are discussed in the context of NPD patients’ restricted ability for emotional empathy.


Stop listening to your mind.

… that your hearts know in silence the secrets of the days and the nights.

Kahlil Gibran said that, and he was right. 

Listen, therefore, to your heart. Cultivate the ability to do this.

Practice it. Produce it. Perfect it.

It is not that difficult. Just be quiet with yourself.

And for heaven’s sake, stop listening to your mind.

You will not find the truth there. You may find the answer, but it will not be the truth unless

it coincides with the answer in your heart.

You think there is more to know about life than this, but there is not.

Your heart holds the key.

Your heart holds the wisdom.

Your heart holds the future.

Your mind knows nothing but the past. It imagines the future will be just like yesterday, so it makes its decisions

based on that.

Only your heart can see beyond memory’s horizon


Example of case instructions

All estimates are based on the following assumptions:

  •  individual being assessed speaks fluent English without marked sensory impairment; 
  •  individual being assessed attends as scheduled and is generally cooperative
     individual being assessed arrives with necessary aids if applicable (e.g. reading glasses,hearing aid)
  • total expected reading is no more than 300 pages; 
  •  Medical records are available, if relevant; and no highly specialised low frequency issues.

Should any of these assumptions be violated additional time is likely to be required.

It is erroneous to assume there is any economy of scale when multiple family members are included in an assessment. This adds complexity owing to the increased requirement for synthesis of additional data sources and potential conflicts therein.

A: Regulation/ accountabilityIs the practitioner psychologist currently registered with the HCPC and report their registration number and date of registration?If not, ask which code of conduct they operate within and to whom they are professionally accountable to(see Appendix 1).
Is the academic psychologist currently chartered with the BPS?
B: Protected titlesDoes the psychologist use one or more of the protected titles? (E.g. registered, practitioner, clinical, counselling, educational, forensic, occupational, health, sport and exercise, chartered.)If not, ask which, if any, protected title they are eligible to use
(see Appendix 1).
C: Competence as an expertDoes the psychologist demonstrate recent CPD specific to working as an expert witness in the Family Court in England and Wales and acknowledge the requirement for compliance with relevant FPR and PDs?If not, ask for more details (see Appendix 2 and 5.9–5.10).
Does the psychologist demonstrate broad experience and exposure to the matter of relevance to the Family Court?If not ask for more details (see 5.7).
D: Use of data gatherersDoes the psychologist state their intention to undertake all aspects of the work themselves?If no, ask for details of data gatherers used, their qualifications and status (see 5.12).
E: Use of psychometric assessmentsDoes the psychologist state their intention to use psychometric assessments that have specific restrictions? Have they confirmed their competence/qualifications in using such tests?If no, ask for details of likely tests, seek confirmation of eligibility and qualifications(see 5.13–5.15).
F: Supervision/ peer reviewDoes the psychologist state their intention to seek supervision and/or peer review in relation to work undertaken within the Family Court?If no, ask for details of supervisory and review processes in place (see Appendix 3).
G: Letter of instructionHas the psychologist’s view been sought with regard to the appropriateness of the questions posed in the Letter of Instruction? Have they confirmed their competence to answer them and agreed a sufficient time estimate?If not, initiate a dialogue regarding how to best achieve quality, sufficient and relevant questions. (see 4.8 and 5.6 and Appendix 4).
H: Compliance with legal requirementsHas the psychologist confirmed compliance with all relevant aspects of professional practice? (e.g. enhanced DBS, professional indemnity insurance, ICO registration).If not, ask for details (see 7.10–7.11).

Psychologists as expert witnesses in the Family Courts in England and Wales 33

Role of psychologists as expert witnesses

  1. As set out in Psychologists as expert witnesses: Guidelines and procedure (BPS, 2015):‘An expert is a person who, through special training, study or experience, is able to furnish the Court, tribunal or oral hearing with scientific or technical information which is likely to be outside the experience and knowledge of a Judge, magistrate, convenor or Jury’.Experts may be instructed in the family courts when their expertise is necessary to make decisions in the case.
  2. 2.2  Psychologists offer expertise in considering the individual and collective psychological profiles of different family members, and their impact on key issues and decisions for determination by the Court, in public or private family court proceedings.

How do I find a suitable Psychologist

There are a number of different ways to find a suitable Psychologist. The Court may recommend one or you could ask your solicitor or barrister if they can recommend one they have worked with in the past (and respect). You can also look for one on the British Psychological Society website where you can see details of their qualifications and areas of expertise.

In 2012 an investigation found that 20% of Experts in cases lacked any qualifications and a further 20% lacked the necessary experience to act as an Expert witness in that specific area. You can check whether a Psychologist is, in fact, a practising Psychologist via the Health and Professions Council (HCPC) statutory register:

HCPC Register 

Recent criticism of Expert Witness Psychologists largely revolved around Chartered Psychologists who were academics, or senior consultants, and did not carry a current case load working with clients on a regular day-to-day basis.

Past complaints to the British Psychological Society may be upheld against a Chartered Psychologist, yet that Psychologist would still be able to practice if there was no HCPC complaint – another reason to check the HCPC Register!

As with any professional, some are more suitable than others and have a better reputation. If you are using a solicitor or barrister, their recommendation is important, since they will have seen the quality of reports previously provided, how the Psychologist stands up to cross-examination, whether their findings tend to be ambiguous and open to challenge or whether their reports are precise and well founded.

The main association for Psychologists is the British Psychological Society. Check specialisms, qualifications, and locations on the BPS website.

Directory of Chartered Psychologists


What is a Psychological test?

Psychological tests (known as ´personality inventories´) are questionnaires designed to identify whether the person being assessed has thoughts and behaviours that indicate they have a personality disorder or clinical illness.

The statements included in the questionnaires cover a wide range of topics, including attitudes on religion, sexual practices, perceptions of health, political ideas, information on family, education and occupation. The questionnaire identifies symptoms that are exhibited by people suffering from certain forms of mental disorder.

These tools are commonly used by Psychologists or psychiatrists to help carry out psychological evaluations.


Psychological Assessments


Yes, but the Court will only consider such a request if there are good reasons. We strongly recommend you only make such a request if you believe that your ex-partner´s mental health poses a real risk to the children (themselves or others). Be aware that psychological evaluations can delay court proceedings for months and are costly. Even if a parent has a mental illness or disorder, this does not necessarily mean they are not a capable parent.


PA Psychologist Experts

Expert reports are variable in quality and the joy of this new initiative and the intentions behind it are to not only set appropriate standards for psychological assessments, but to introduce feedback mechanisms to improve standards in expert reporting. The guidance goes further in giving examples of what psychological assessments should include (see the image below… the example being for contact/residence disputes). Make sure you read it!



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