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"Never say that a woman is incapable of a crime. I have seen women commit a whole range of criminal offences, everything from child abuse, domestic violence, homicide, sexual assault, aggravated sexual assault, gang violence, everything. Women are capable of just as much as men are."

--Jonathan Alston

Criminal Intelligence Analyst Jonathan Alston talks about the similarities and differences between male and female perpetrators of violent crime:

"There is no question that in recent years there has been a convergence in female and male violent crime. If you looked at all the female offender homicides before 1990, you would find that the vast majority of victims were intimates - husbands, children, other family - of the offender. You would rarely have heard of a woman attacking a stranger such as a prostitute or other vulnerable victim. Now these cases come often. Men still dominate largely in every violent crime category, but women are catching up."

However, gender differences do exist in violent crime. For example, while studies have shown that domestic violence is fairly even in terms of raw numbers or incidents of violence in the home, male violence typically causes more harm.

When it comes to murder, there are other gender differences. For example male serial killers tend to kill for the sake of killing; female serial killers tend to kill as a means to a goal, like killing for money such as for an insurance payout. "There is, as far as I know, no female serial killer in modern times who, acting alone, has killed principally for the pleasure of it," says Jonathan, "Aileen Wuornos (dramatized in the movie 'Monster') comes the closest to that in that she was killed out of a need for revenge. But even that was complicated as a pleasure motive as Wuornos suffered from serious mental disorders."

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