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Polygence Scholar2022
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Noor Syed

Beaconhouse College Campus GulbergClass of 2021LAHORE, Punjab

Project Portfolio

Does fear explain the attraction of women towards male serial killers?

Started July 21, 2022

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Abstract or project description

My research aims to factor fear in the explanation of women's romantic attraction toward male serial killers while considering the case of a high-profile serial killer, Theodore Robert Bundy. Bundy gained an unfortunate amount of fame following the kidnapping, rape, and murder of 30 women. Much of this fame constitutes romantic gestures exhibited by the female population. The reality opened doors to scientific research, many of which based the public infatuation on personality traits, fantasy-oriented behaviors, and belief systems. None recognized fear associated with the serial killer responsible for the phenomenon. This literature review will look at fear as a contributor to romantic interest in individuals, much like Bundy, under four approaches: 1) the fear appeal generated from media coverage of the serial killer and the extended parallel process model influence (fear control) on the female audience, 2) the physiological arousal triggered in response to fear and love; using the similarity to introduce concepts of misattribution of arousal and excitation transfer theory, 3) the co-existence of fear and enjoyment in the explanation of recreational fear , and 4) the alternative biological explanation, supported by recent studies on the dual role of oxytocin (eliciting fear along with its previous known function as a love hormone). The approaches will extract support from grounded existing studies and reasoning by inserts of real-world examples from Bundy's case. The detailed conclusion of the review will follow, along with its possible implication in the field of research on attraction toward dangerous individuals, hybristophilia, while adding a new perspective.