Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts



First Advisor

Kyla Bender-Baird

Second Advisor

Jennifer Johnson

Third Advisor

Margaret Stevenson


Serial killing is a widely popular topic that is understudied within sociology. To address this deficit, this paper explores the relationship between whiteness, masculinity, and social learning theory in reference to the crimes of serial killers. Two case studies and one counter-case study were chosen, with the subjects being two white, male serial killers John Wayne Gacy and Edmund Kemper, and one white, female serial killer, Aileen Wuornos, all of whom were active between 1960-1990. Through the application of “doing masculinity,” social learning theory, and white criminality, the analysis demonstrates the intersections of social position and impacts of social experiences within serial killing, specifically in how these facets are often seen reflected in their crimes.

Rights Statement

All rights reserved. This copy is provided to the Kenyon Community solely for individual academic use. For any other use, please contact the copyright holder for permission.