Causes of intimate partner homicide: Gender differences in empathy, psychopathy, and perceived social support

Lengerli-Topçu A., Görğülü T., Erden H. G.

DUSUNEN ADAM, vol.35, no.4, pp.207-216, 2022 (ESCI) identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 35 Issue: 4
  • Publication Date: 2022
  • Doi Number: 10.14744/dajpns.2022.00195
  • Journal Name: DUSUNEN ADAM
  • Journal Indexes: Emerging Sources Citation Index (ESCI), Scopus, Academic Search Premier, CINAHL, EMBASE, Psycinfo, TR DİZİN (ULAKBİM)
  • Page Numbers: pp.207-216
  • Anadolu University Affiliated: Yes


Objective: Intimate partner homicide (IPH) and attempted murder behaviors have increased in recent years. In addition, the causes of partner murder are affected by gender dynamics. This study aims to determine whether individuals who committed murder and attempted murder toward their partners differ in terms of empathy, psychopathy, and perceived social support and to determine the predictive variables of IPH toward their partners.Method: This study was carried out with a total of 123 participants (73 women and 50 men) from 10 different prisons. Demographic Information Form, Empathic Tendency Scale, Levenson Self-Report Psychopathy Scale, and Multidimensional Scale of Perceived Social Support were used.Results: A value of 82.19% of women and 60.97% of men were charged with killing their partners. Of these, 24% of women and 7% of men killed their partners by planning. The psychopathy scores of men (56.92 +/- 8.45) were found to be higher than women (52.73 +/- 8.98). The results of the logistic regression analysis indicate that the behaviors of women to kill and attempt to kill their partners are best predicted by physical violence from their partner, feelings of jealousy toward their partner, and perceived weak social support from a significant other and family. It was found that the best predictive variable for IPH in men was physical violence against their partners during their relationships.Conclusion: It has been evaluated that having insufficient social support and experiencing physical violence from their partners are associated with IPH among women. This result suggests that women use violence against their partners to protect themselves from violence. On the other hand, the physically violent behaviors of men toward their partners during their relationship are an important variable for IPH.