Callous. Unemotional. Lacking empathy. Aggressive. Impulsive. Acting without any regard for the welfare of others. These descriptions have consistently been used to describe psychopathy, a rather grim personality constellation that is over-represented in prison inmates (although the majority of inmates are not psychopaths and most psychopaths are not in prison). This personality make-up is also consistently documented more often in men versus women; in fact, the ratio has been as high as 20:1.
However, new research suggests that some of the difference between men and women may not be in the existence of deceitful, manipulative, and exploitive personality traits but in the expression of them. Specifically, these researchers found that women may be more likely to express these personality deficits through behaviors that are typically associated with, and diagnosed as, other mental illnesses.