A team of researchers from Sweden reveals how different male and female criminals commit murder. They say that the findings can pave the way for creating deadly violence risk assessment tools and management approaches specifically based on gender.

The study involved analyzing data from 1990 and 2010 in Sweden, where crime is relatively low. The rate of deadly violence decreased but men were the perpetrators of deadly violence nine out 10 times.

Published on March 30 in the International Journal of Forensic Mental Health, the research reveals the violence committed by women, which have largely been understudied before. It turns out that nine out of 10 crimes committed by women happen in homes.


Handcuffs on criminal. Credit: Youtube/Chris J

Researcher Thomas Nilsson from the University of Gothenburg says that the adult victims of women were usually men and an intimate partner. During the time of the crime, their male victims were more likely under the influence of substances like drugs or alcohol and died usually due to knife violence.

Previous violence before the deadly crime between the female perpetrator and her victim were more common than in male criminals. Women were also more likely to use asphyxia or suffocation to kill a child.

On the other hand, male criminals were more likely to use deadly violence. Male perpetrators were also more likely than female perpetrators to have committed crimes previously.

However, both the male and female perpetrators are just as likely to take their lives when their victim is a child. Still, women were more likely to commit suicide after infanticide or murder of an infant.

Women were more likely to be considered as having severe mental problems when committing deadly violence. Their crimes were more likely to be categorized as manslaughter or infanticide.

Meanwhile, the deadly crimes of men were more likely to be categorized as involuntary manslaughter by assault or murder.

The research team asserts that more investigations on female perpetrators are still needed. Furthermore, other studies seeking to dig deeper into this issue are recommended to concentrate on substance use and its role in the murder and other types of violence against children and adults.