Researchers agree that one of the most important aspects of psychopathy is lack of empathy. Literature relating to psychopathy and its central components focuses on boys and men, while overlooking girls and women. This issue is partially due to the measurement tools and beliefs about sex-based expression. Previous studies focus primarily on empathy as it relates to antisocial behavior and abuse but is deficient in gender differences and antecedents. This study seeks to fill these voids by examining factors that may distinctly affect male and female empathy levels. The current study used data from the 6th wave of the National Youth Survey to examine empathy levels of 1,452 youths ranging in age from 17 – 24 years. Findings reveal that several variables have a significant impact on empathy levels. Furthermore, analysis shows that the severity of the impact differs depending upon respondent gender. This sheds light on the contrast between male and female empathy levels and invites further investigation into the factors which play a role in the development and expression of empathy, and the mechanisms by which psychological disorders arise and manifest across gender.
Keywords: Callous-unemotional traits; Empathy; Psychopathy; Youth; Victimization.
Vol 2, Issue 1, April 2021