According to the FBI’s Hostage Barricade Database System, 73% of hostages display no sign of Stockholm syndrome (G. Dwayne Fuselier. 1999) My aim was to find out the root causes of the condition, to help myself and others to better understand this unique phenomenon established on the evidence discovered from my research.
The research uncovered numerous discoveries that affected the way I exhibited my research project outcome. The information I came by proposed that Stockholm syndrome is more common among females compared to males, as a result of a range of reasons; consequently I changed my outlook to the causes of Stockholm syndrome in females rather than focusing on both genders. The motives for this are conversed in my key findings below.
The preliminary research was associated with the background of Stockholm syndrome, as it is a fundamental factor in progressing to find the causes of the condition. I wanted to find out about the first recorded incident of Stockholm syndrome, and the environment the hostages lived in that made them react in the way they did. The article Love and Stockholm Syndrome: The Mystery of Loving an Abuser by Dr Joseph Carver gave me insight into the origin of the disorder. It shared of how two armed thieves arrived at a bank in Stockholm, Sweden and proceeded to rob the bank while holding four victims hostage (three women and one man). “The hostages were strapped with dynamite for the next 131 hours.” When they were finally rescued by police, the victims immediately started protecting their captors from the police. They were so attached to the thieves that they feared law enforcement personnel. Dr Carver goes on to state that “One woman later became engaged to one of the criminals and another developed a legal defence fund to aid in their criminal defence fees. Clearly, the hostages had “bonded” emotionally with their captors.” I found this quote implausible, as it’s ridiculous that the woman continued to support her captor despite his wrong doing. Yet, it is this quotation that altered my way of thinking and persuaded me to look into the causes of Stockholm syndrome in females. (Carver, J. 2001)
Following on from the bank theft incident, I thought it would be helpful to research into other cases of the syndrome. In particular, I looked into the cases of Jaycee Lee Dugard and Natascha Kampusch. Both these girls suffered from Stockholm syndrome, and while the cases were quite different, there were some trivial similarities between them. I specifically found Dugard’s case the most interesting, as she was held captive for eighteen years and beared two children with her captor. I found quotation one in appendix 1 unbelievable to read; it was beyond me how anyone would stay in a situation that Dugard was in. Intrigued to find out more, I started investigating the change in Dugard’s feelings towards Garrido and how her hope of escape altered throughout the hostage. One major source that helped me answer these questions...