I’ve often thought, in a very general sense, we glorify men (fathers, soldiers, even serial killers) and whorify women (by hypersexualizing women and girls). That probably stems from gender roles that expect men to be strong and agressive and women to be pretty and sexy – but the media, to me, really exagerates these roles. In particular, they can treat violent men with fanfare, whether it’s the “nice guy” that kills his wife and kids (the most common serial killing) or the serial killer that tortures and kills unrelated women (but is not treated as gender-based violence). Here’s an interesting article in Salon about why women fall for serial killers – they are, afterall, treated like heroes in the media, often with super hero names like Green River Killer – argh! – or BTK (he named himself, actually) – or the Eastside killer.
Here’s a thesis about serial killers portrayed in the NY Times:
Read the piece in Salon here.