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Hyphrophilia: the attraction for dangerous people

Hyphrophilia: the attraction for dangerous people

January 29, 2023

For many centuries, we tend to think that the human being is characterized as a rational animal. However, in practice there are many aspects of our behavior that reveal that this is not the case. Hyphrophilia, which is a tendency to feel attracted to dangerous people or prone to harm others, is one of them.

And is that when it comes to sharing a relationship based on intimacy and trust with someone, it seems very clear that the more dangerous the chosen partner, the greater the chances that the thing goes wrong. In many cases, in fact, there may be cases of psychological and physical abuse.

So, what explains the existence of hyphrophilia? In what way is it given? Let's see it


  • Related article: "The 11 types of violence (and the different kinds of aggression)"

The characteristics of hyphrophilia

Hyphrophilia, a term coined by psychologist John Money, is the tendency to be attracted to individuals who have been shown to be prone to harm others. As an example, criminals, murderers and criminals in general can be considered a romantic or sexual goal precisely because of their condition, for being outside the law .

Thus, hyphrophilia can be considered a type of paraphilia, since its existence can endanger the physical and mental integrity of people. In fact, the propensity to commit acts of domestic violence is significantly higher in the case of criminals and criminals, which means that the risk is high.


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Examples of criminals and murderers with fans

According to John Money, this phenomenon can occur in practically any personality profile, but in practice it occurs more frequently in heterosexual women. This corresponds to many of the most mediatic cases of hyphrophilia, which have to do with murderers and highly dangerous criminals who, despite not being able to conceal their guilt in cases in which there were fatalities, They had several admirers interested in them in a romantic sense.

Some examples of hyphrophilia are found in the authentic "fan" phenomena that appeared during the judicial processing or the imprisonment of murderers and criminals.

1. Charles Manson

Charles Manson, known for being involved in various murders and organizing a cult, He had several lovers despite his actions and his quirky personality .


2. Ted Bundy

Another similar case was that of Ted Bundy, serial killer and responsible for the deaths of dozens of people he got to marry an admirer after he was convicted and received a multitude of love letters in prison. Sent by different women.

  • Related article: "Ted Bundy: biography of a serial killer"

3. Josef Fritzl

The one known as Monster of Amstetten He has been receiving love letters during his imprisonment , despite being condemned to imprison his daughter for 24 years, marry her and have several sons and daughters with her.

What are your causes? Why is it more in women?

There is no definitive explanation that allows us to understand why there is hyphrophilia. Even though from an evolutionary perspective it can be considered that there are people with genes that lead them to look for a strong, powerful and with the ability to subdue others by force , this explanation leaves too many loose ends. It has also been proposed that violent people tend to present a combination of three personality traits that is considered attractive: the Dark Triad.

On the contrary, it is possible to understand hyphrophilia as the behavioral perspective understands paraphilias in general. The fact of having gone through the learning of certain contingencies (association between stimuli and actions) can make some people get used to conceiving dangerousness as a desirable personal trait. For example, because of the absence of a strong figure and authority during youth, something that is perceived as a lost opportunity to organize one's life well.

However, when explaining why hyphrophilia occurs more in women, it can not be overlooked in terms of patriarchy , a system of authority and power in whose top are always men. It is hypothesized that because of patriarchy masculine characteristics are seen as extremely desirable, and violence and the subjection of the rest consistently expresses this kind of values.

Thus, hyphrophilia can be one of the consequences of what happens when the logic of patriarchy is learned "too well" and are carried to the ultimate consequences: if the woman must be submissive and accept the authority of the man with whom she forms a couple, it is better that this has the ability to eliminate potential enemies, or to cancel them.

  • Related article: "Patriarchy: 7 keys to understanding cultural machismo"

Is there a treatment?

There is no specific treatment for hyphrophilia, among other things because today does not appear in diagnostic manuals as mental disorder . In addition, it is not a paraphilia that is based on a very specific erotic element, such as heels or gloves. What produces attraction is something more abstract, and therefore difficult to control in a clinical context.


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