I’m a pretty normal guy — at least I like to think so — with one wife, four daughters and one female dog, so I was startled by this headline: “Study says women are attracted to psychopaths.”

The implications were terrifying. My first thought was “Is my wife attracted to me because I’m a psychopath?” My second thought was “Can I use these skills for the betterment of humanity?”

This kind of story can drive women, not to mention men, absolutely crazy. Guys want to be attractive to women, but if you have to be a psychopath to succeed, celibacy is better. Most of us don’t even know what a psychopath is. (You don’t have to be Ted Bundy to qualify.) I asked several people to define “psychopath.” One said, “a person who can read your mind and hack your email account.” Another said, “A looney tune.” And yet another said, “A nut job.” Those, of course, are clinical terms normally associated with professionals like Sigmund Freud.

If I were a woman, I’d be incensed to think some nitwit was suggesting I was drawn to psychopaths. However, this wasn’t an article written by an angry guy who lost his girlfriend to an inmate in a prison romance. This story was based on scientific research. As you know, I often question the validity of scientific research, especially when it’s paid for with tax dollars that I could have spent more wisely on a lawn tractor or Popeyes chicken sandwiches.

The good news is they were Canadian tax dollars, and it was a Canadian study of Canadian men and women conducted by Brock University and published in the journal “Evolutionary Psychological Science.”

Kristopher Brazil, one of the authors, said that based on his interviews, women were attracted to men who were manipulators, deceivers, bullies and risk-takers.

It saddens me to admit that in my early years, I lost a few girlfriends to bad boys, and if truth be told, I lost a few girlfriends because I was a bad boy, or more accurately, a goofball — that’s another clinical term.

I also dated a few bad girls, but let me say unequivocally that my wife was not one of them. (I’m required by marital law to say that.)

This much is certain. When bad boys and bad girls get together, you have a Bonnie and Clyde relationship, which isn’t good for society.

And when a guy like me, who was a member in good standing of the high school debate team, meets a bad girl, it has all the ingredients of a tumultuous romance or a Hollywood sitcom.

As a skilled debater, I spent my time researching the pros and cons of issues like government-subsided research projects and collective bargaining between unions and big business. While my efforts could have helped the UAW and General Motors during their recent contract negotiations, they did absolutely nothing to advance my love life:

Me: “Hi, Crystal. You don’t know me, but would you like to go out this weekend?”

Crystal: “Well, maybe. Whaddya wanna do? Let’s go drag racing or get our noses pierced!”

Me: (Exceptionally long pause followed by perspiration, several nervous gulps and disorientation.) “Ahhh, are you interested in collective bargaining?”


For most of my life, I’ve operated under the delusion, which I probably got from the faculty adviser of the debate club, that girls are looking for a “nice guy,” who can discuss ad infinitum the pros and cons of a meaningful relationship.

While Brock University has yet to research this topic, I came to the conclusion long ago that nice guys finish last. As Mr. Nice Guy, my success with dating was worse than the New York Jets’ season record, which is 1-7. As I recall, I had 0 wins and 8 losses. One girl turned me down twice. Well, maybe three times.

At least my wife dated me, which means that maybe nice guys don’t finish last. When I asked her, she grumbled, “You’re no nice guy ... you’re a nut!”

Maybe I’m a psychopath after all.

Joe Pisani can be reached at joefpisani@yahoo.com.