This article reviews a new study indicating women are actually more likely to read books in the true crime genre. The research discussed the possibility that women read these books, in part, for educational/preventive reasons, though there is concern of a cycle that develops: women are concerned about being victimized, so they read true crime books to learn how to avoid victimization, which in turn escalates concerns, etc. From the article:
The researchers found that what makes these books appealing to women are relevant in terms of preventing or surviving a crime. For example, by understanding why an individual decides to kill, a woman can learn the warning signs to watch for in a jealous lover or stranger. By learning escape tips women learn survival strategies they can use if actually kidnapped or held captive.
My understanding of the current state of book reading (at least in the United States) is that women read more fiction than men, while men read more non-fiction. It would seem interesting that women read more true crime books, which are non-fiction, though they tend to read more like fiction than most other non-fiction genres. Anyway, I thought this was an interesting finding.