Why do women join cults?

Don Hogan Charles/New York Times Co./Getty Images

Are women likelier to join cults? Cristen and Caroline investigate how destructive cults like the Manson Family work and why women join them and then debunk stereotypes about women in cults.

Episode Sources:

"Why Do People Join Cults?" Adrian Furnham. Psychology Today. Feb. 24, 2014. http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/sideways-view/201402/why-do-people-join-cults

"Why are women more likely to join religious cults?" Jemima Thackray. The Telegraph. Jan. 9, 2014. http://www.telegraph.co.uk/women/womens-life/10560334/Why-are-women-more-likely-to-join-religious-cults.html

"The Psychology of the Cult Experience." Glenn Collins. The New York Times. March 15, 1982. http://www.nytimes.com/1982/03/15/style/the-psychology-of-the-cult-experience.html

"The Manson Family Women, 40 Years Later." Tracie Egan Morrissey. Jezebel. Aug. 10, 2009. http://jezebel.com/5334444/the-manson-family-women-40-years-later

"Female Cult Leaders Who Kill." Joni E. Johnston. Psychology Today. May 7, 2012. http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/the-human-equation/201205/female-cult-leaders-who-kill-0

"Spiritual Responsibility: Protect Yourself Against Mind Control." Steven Hassan and Richard E. Kelly. Executive Excellence Publishing. November 2013.

Academic Insights:

"Gender Attributes That Affect Women's Attraction to and Involvement in Cults." Shelly Rosen. Cultic Studies Journal. 1997. http://www.icsahome.com/articles/gender-attributes-that-affect-womens-attraction-csj-14-1

"Cults: A Natural Disaster--Looking at Cult Involvement Through a Trauma Lens." Shelly Rosen. International Journal of Cultic Studies. 2014. http://connection.ebscohost.com/c/articles/95781121/cults-natural-disaster-looking-cult-involvement-through-trauma-lens

"Women, Elderly, and Children in Religious Cults." Marcia Rudin. Cultic Studies Journal. 1984. http://www.icsahome.com/articles/women-elderly--children-in-religious-cults-m-rudin-csj-1-1-1984

"Dominance and Submission: The Psychosexual Exploitation of Women in Cults." Cultic Studies Journal. 1997. http://www.wearechangehuerfano.us/sexcults.pdf

Topics in this Podcast: history, women's health, sexual abuse, women, culture, stereotypes, gender differences