Have you ever had a stalker?

June 10, 2008 at 11:28 am (question, random)

Or had someone act in a stalkerish way?

My sister has had a few stalkers. Or at least, a few people who have behaved in a fairly stalkerish way. She thinks this is normal. I, on the other hand, think this sort of thing is pretty unusual – she is one of two people that I knew who have had stalkers. She thinks that maybe the people I know do have stalkers and they just haven’t told me. So, now I’m asking… has anyone had a stalker?

This exercise will either prove my point or it will bring out entertaining stories that people are hiding away.

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2 Comments

  1. Mike said,

    First, both genders can be stalkers and targets of stalkers. But for the sake of simplicity, I’ll focus on the most common case: women being stalked by men. Most of what I write below should generalize to other cases with adjustments in constant factors / parameters.

    In my observation, this sort of thing seems to follow an exponential distribution: a few women are stalker magnets and the rest are not. Also, the creepiness of a stalker tends to follow an exponential distribution: most stalkers are harmless and at worst awkward, but a few are straight-up creepy, weird and (thankfully) even fewer are dangerous.

    Thus it follows, that most women (with zero, one or two stalkers) might never encounter a “stalker” creepy enough to set off alarms. It also follows that stalker-magnets will much more likely come across “creepy” stalkers but having more exposure will be able to contextualize them better.

    Lastly, most women I know who are stalker magnets tend to have several common characteristics: reasonably pretty (n.b. it’s not necessary to be gorgeous), either excessively friendly (sending signals that are being misinterpreted by the stalkers) or excessively unfriendly (shy or even off-putting, but again creating room for misinterpretation by the stalker), they also tend to be in technical disciplines, but this is probably a sampling bias sort of thing (around more men, thus more likely to be stalked), and for better or worse, there’s usually something “quirky” about them.

    In short: you’re both right, just at different ends of the distribution.

  2. babblingblueberry said,

    If stalking and being stalked have exponential distributions, then that’s not normal and I’m right.

    Ha ha! I crack myself up!

    How about some amusing stories behind this general analysis? A little case study?

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