What is a "bad boy" anyway?
We all know women go for bad boys. It’s as though getting a nice guy is not a win, but getting a bad boy to reveal his (hidden) nice side is an achievement. Proof of being better, prettier, sweeter, more deserving of being loved, than other girls.
Of course men also know this narrative, and play on it with various pick up strategies, including neg-hitting (what used to be called “treat em mean, keep em keen”). The idea that chicks dig an edgy loner has probably sold more motorcycle jackets than anything else.
Some extreme version of this bad-boy narrative leads women to pursue truly evil men, sending mash notes to prisoners.
In 2018, the Washington Post ran a piece about why women were writing to a killer (he murdered his wife and children). It seemed to be a mix of celebrity craze and psychological damage.