The genre of true crime has solidified its place within the cultural fabric of society. The allure has existed for quite a long time. The fascination with true crime content has evolved the reach among audiences along with the evolution of the media. For example, back in the day, although a literal definition of the true crime genre did not exist, but detailed reports of true crime columns existed in newspapers and magazines, also with the popularity of radio many shows shared detailed stories of true crime. Now with the incoming internet platform for online content viewers, just like any other type of content saw changes with the medium like documentaries and podcasts. This attraction towards the type of content is a tangled web of curiosity, empathy fear, and desires to understand.
First, there exists a need a understand the viewership of true crime content.
1. A Sense Of Morbid Curiosity:
As humans, we have a tendency to be curious about the darker side of life, and true crime content negates the risky factor and provides a taste of the darker side in a controlled and safe-to-consume manner.
We as humans are not bereft of empathy. Modern true crime content focuses heavily on the victim and their loved ones. Viewers form an empathetic connection and develop a sense of solidarity with those who were affected by the crime.
3. Preparation For The Worst:
True crime content provides a sense of control by already knowing the situations one could be in. Viewers equip themselves to recognize danger and avoid situations that involve uncontrolled risk.
4. A Cathartic Release:
The suspense and tension present in true crime content give an adrenaline rush followed by the catharsis of the final end where most cases are solved and the danger has subsided.
5. Cognitive Engagement:
True crime content constantly feeds its viewers with mental stimulation with an ongoing narrative. This leads to an engaging time where skills of problem-solving and critical thinking are being fostered.
6. Societal Discussions:
The popularity of true crime content leads to an increase in societal discussions about criminal activity, vulnerable groups, biases, and hegemonic structures are to name a few.
By engaging oneself with such content, they build emotional resilience towards such distressing news that are quite common in society.
Now it is essential to know that the majority of the viewership of true crime content is consisting of women. The reason why women are the majority of viewers sheds light upon the intriguing facets of psychological motivations also challenging stereotypes and raising questions about the statistics of this very particular viewership. Some of the reasons are:
Women display a high degree of empathy with the true crime content because they empathize with the victims also sympathize with the victim’s loved ones. Also, form a sense of solidarity with the victim and have a strong desire for justice.
True crime content displays the horrors of the unknown and through that women who often lead sheltered lives offered by their caregivers confront their fears in a safe and controlled environment. They develop tactics of survival along with resilience and ignite a desire for justice within themselves. Moreover, empower themselves with strategies for personal security.
3. Focusing On Problem-Solving:
The attraction towards true crime content may stem from the tendency to engage in analytical thinking and problem-solving narratives of the true crime content. Women often excel in aligning the crumbs thus further developing their cognitive engagement with the content.
4. Challenging Stereotypes:
Women engaging with true crime content actively and passively challenge stereotypes and gender norms. Women delving into the deeper and darker aspects of the human psyche and taking interest in criminal motivations are a small rebellion against the established patriarchal notions of femininity. Thus, displaying their complex web of interests.
5. Identifying With The Overall Situation:
There exists no point in denying that women are often the vulnerable group because of the hegemonic patriarchal structure of the society. This leads them quite vulnerable and susceptible to the incidents of the crime itself. Women identify themselves with the victim and the true crime content sheds light upon the suffering of women in a culture where their safety has become a topic of debate in the societal institutions rather than a matter of absolute autonomy of self.
6. Displaying Societal Issues:
Women have a keen awareness of the ongoing debates in society as they are the ones being affected the most by them. True crime content stretches itself further to show the other aspects of problems apart from the criminal activity, including showcasing the workings of the legal system, media coverage regarding the case also raising awareness about the ethics being involved in particular institutions that are involved.
Along with the above pointers, there exists a prominent relationship between women’s mental health and their engagement with true crime content. Some are:
1. Building Emotional Connection:
Engaging with true crime narratives leads to an outlet for expressions of emotions they experience when they are constantly in an environment of danger where they form solidarity with the victims who suffered.
2. Fear Management:
True crime content allows women to confront their fears and manage their anxieties in real life.
3. Awareness About Self-Defense:
Women through true crime content are armed with knowledge and tools to protect themselves as well as recognize patterns in suspicious behaviors around them. This boosts their self-esteem and personal security and equips them with the tougher sides of life.
4. Cognitive Distraction:
True crime content is mentally stimulating and diverts attention from stress and anxiety also provides relief from the suppressed emotions often in women because of the stereotypical lens of femininity where strong emotions showcased by a woman is unladylike.
5. Community Support:
True crime content being discussed on various platforms provides women to engage with a common issue where they obtain diverse viewpoints of a linear narrative.