Female Captive Synd… I mean, Stockholm Syndrome

On the subject of so-called Stockholm Syndrome – really, the correct term is female captive syndrome – conventional discourse has usually been coy about the captives’ sex as a relevant aspect. I once did a Net search for some terms like Stockholm Syndrome, gender breakdown, etc., and came up with nothing. It really is astonishing how much our broader culture is invested in denial about female nature. This has only started to change recently, and you have to go looking for it to find it.

Here are some links, with varying degrees of explicitness about the gendered nature of the phenomenon:

(1) On the original Stockholm Syndrome case, this link doesn’t mention the sex of the captives for the first couple of paragraphs, and never says anything about it, except mentioning, eventually, that one captive was named Kristin:

Olofsson… became friendly with one of the hostages, Kristin Ehnemark; they met occasionally and even their families became friends.

Another notorious case of Stockholm Syndrome is that of millionaire heiress Patty Hearst, who… was kidnapped from her apartment in Berkeley, California by a left-wing urban guerrilla group calling itself the Symbionese Liberation Army (SLA). On April 3 Hearst announced on an audiotape that she had joined the SLA under the pseudonym of ‘Tania’, and on April 15 she was photographed wielding an M1 carbine while robbing a bank in San Francisco.

Eventually the author does get around to saying,

… Most of human history has been played out in hunter-gatherer societies in which abductions, particularly of women and their dependent children, must have been a very common occurrence. Thus, it is possible to envisage that the capture-bonding psychological response exhibited by Kristin Ehnemark, Patty Hearst, and countless others is not just an ego defense, but also an adaptive trait that promotes survival in times of war and strife.

(2) An acknowledgement of the peculiarly female nature of Stockholm Syndrome in the academic literature. None of it is surprising to a red-pilled person – it’s just common-sense evolutionary game theory – but it’s nice to see the level of the discussion rising in academia:

Through the ages, women have suffered greatly because of wars. [Unlike defeated men, who are more likely to have been slaughtered.] Consequently, to protect themselves and their offspring, our female ancestors may have evolved survival strategies specific to problems posed by warfare, says Michelle Scalise Sugiyama of the University of Oregon…

Scalise Sugiyama believes that ancestral women may have developed certain strategies to increase their odds of survival and their ability to manage their reproduction in the face of warfare… The so-called Stockholm Syndrome, in which hostages bond with their captors, could have ancestral roots… as a way to help captives identify and ultimately integrate with enemy groups. This then motivates acceptance of the situation and reduces attempts to resist the captor — which may ultimately increase a woman’s chances of survival.

“Lethal raiding has recurrently imposed fitness costs on women. Female cognitive design bears reexamination in terms of the motivational and decision-making mechanisms that may have evolved in response to them,” says Scalise Sugiyama.

(3) This one has 15 examples of Stockholm Syndrome. Notably, only two of them involve male captives, and about one of those they say, “There is some debate as to whether Shawn Hornbeck suffered from Stockholm Syndrome, but we’ll lay out the facts and allow you to judge.” Warning: some of the examples are disgusting, e.g., involving incest. And a couple are misplaced, for example, it’s not really Stockholm Syndrome when the victim is abducted at a couple of days old and believes her captors to be her actual family. Still, some interesting examples.

(4) Rational Male: War Brides.

The Rational Male blogger, “Rollo Tomassi,” dances around the evo psych of the topic in a way that seems surprising, for a red-pilled man, when you first encounter it. You have to read between the lines. The reason for this, as I recall, is that his wife knows about his blog, and so he’s elliptical about some topics, for the sake of domestic tranquility. (To what extent that should be a consideration for a red-pilled dude is another post.)

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