A new study has found that women are more likely than men to pick up books tales of rape, murder and serial killers.
Many people might assume that men, being the more aggressive sex, would be most likely to find such gory topics interesting.
However, it's the fairer sex that finds such books appealing and what makes these books appealing to women are relevant in terms of preventing or surviving a crime.
For example, by understanding why an individual decides to kill, a woman can learn the warning signs to watch for in a jealous lover or stranger. By learning escape tips women learn survival strategies they can use if actually kidnapped or held captive.
It is possible that reading these books may actually increase the very fear that drives women toward them in the first place.
While writing in inaugural issue of Social Psychological and Personality Science by Sage, authors Amanda M. Vicary and R. Chris Fraley said a woman fears becoming the victim of a crime so she turns to true crime books in a possible effort to learn strategies and techniques to prevent becoming murdered.
However, with each true crime book she reads, this woman learns about another murderer and his victims, thereby increasing her awareness and fear of crime.
"It is not possible to state with certainty from these studies whether or not this vicious cycle occurs," they said.
"But we do know that women, compared to men, have a heightened fear of crime despite the fact that they are less likely to become a victim," they added.