When She was Bad: Violent Women & the Myth of Innocence

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Viking, 1997 - Psychology - 288 pages
Our culture, argues award-winning journalist Patricia Pearson, is in denial of women's innate capacity for aggression. We deny that women batter their husbands. We forget that the statistics prove that children in America are abused mostly by women. We ignore the 200 percent increase in crime by women during a period in which most crime statistics are dropping. Instead, we transform female violence into victimhood by citing PMS, battered wife syndrome, postpartum depression as the sources of women's actions. When She Was Bad tells the stories of such women as Karla Homolka, who raped and killed three women, including her own sister, then blamed it on battered wife syndrome; Dorothea Puente, who murdered several elderly tenants in her boardinghouse before attracting any attention; and Marti Salas-Tarin, an ex-con who runs a halfway house for women just out of prison. Pearson weaves these and other stories with the results of research by criminologists, anthropologists, and psychiatrists to examine the facts of women's violence and to demolish the myth of female innocence.

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WHEN SHE WAS BAD: Violent Women and the Myth of Innocence

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A compelling, frightening look at women, not as victims of violence, but as perpetrators of it. Alarmed by the number of violent women who later claim their behavior was accidental or caused by abuse ... Read full review


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