infanticide

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infanticide

(ĭnfăn`təsīd) [Lat.,=child murder], the putting to death of the newborn with the consent of the parent, family, or community. Infanticide often occurs among peoples whose food supply is insecure (e.g., the Chinese and the Eskimo). Female infanticide was common in some traditional patriarchal societies. In certain societies children who are deformed or are believed tainted by evil (e.g., twins) may be slain at birth. In Greece and ancient Rome a child was virtually its father's chattel—e.g., in Roman law, the Patria Potestas granted the father the right to dispose of his offspring as he saw fit. In Sparta the decision was made by a public official. Child sacrifice occurs in many traditional societies for religious reasons, but human sacrificial victims were generally appreciated members of society, unlike victims of infanticide, who were devalued. Christianity, like Islam and Judaism, condemns infanticide as murder, and in all countries the act is a crime. If infanticide served as a means of limiting family size, as many anthropologists believe, then the introduction of contraceptives, abortion, and other methods of population control may have rendered it obsolete.

infanticide

  1. the killing of infants soon after they are born. Several reasons have been identified for the practice of infanticide, especially in nonindustrial societies:
    1. a means of population control, particularly in times of trouble such as FAMINE or war;
    2. a means of eliminating children with undesirable or unacceptable characteristics, such as disabled or sick children. Plato proposed infanticide as an ideal, and the infanticide of ‘defective’ children was practised in Sparta;
    3. a means of eliminating children whose birth is considered TABOO, such as breech births and twins;
    4. a means of reinforcing patriarchal values and behaviour; in many nonindustrial societies it was the practice to kill, or allow to die, many more girls than boys.
  2. (in English law) the manslaughter of a child under the age of 12 months by the child's mother, according to the Infanticide Act of 1938.

Infanticide

Infertility (See BARRENNESS.)
Infidelity (See ADULTERY, CUCKOLDRY, FAITHLESSNESS.)
Astyanax
Hector’s infant son, thrown from the walls of Troy by the Greeks. [Gk. Myth.: Hamilton, 289]
Cronos
warned that a son would dethrone him, swallowed all his children at birth. [Gk. Myth.: Benét, 237]
Sorrel, Hetty
leaves her illegitimate infant to die. [Br. Lit.: Eliot Adam Bede]
References in periodicals archive ?
In this rodent, however, the T seems to regulate paternal behavior through estrogenic and androgenic pathways because estradiol and dihydrotestosterone inhibit infanticidal behavior and promote paternal behavior.
Rather than focusing on the act of infanticide and concluding that all infanticidal mothers are Medea-like monsters, "Monstruosa sororidad" encourages us to turn our attention to understanding what is happening culturally and psychologically with women who consider killing and do indeed murder their babies.
(27) In his book The Infanticidal Logic of Evolution and Culture, A.
The coati's high intra-specific variation in infanticidal behaviour makes for an excellent model system in which to empirically investigate infanticidal benefits and prevention mechanisms through long-term studies in which genetic relationships are known.
The details surrounding Rodgers's crime and arrest seemed poised to maximize a jeremiad rhetoric that infanticidal women, particularly servants, were prone to lies, disobedience, and concealment.
(22) The avowed anxiety of catachresis (the misapplication of a name) strikes a hollow note, for while Corneille dreads contamination by the Egyptian queen (recently depicted and named in La Mort de Pompee), (23) he will happily evoke the name of another of his characters, in this case an infanticidal witch.
Female brown bears with cubs moved less than females without cubs both before and after approaches, which agrees with earlier findings that females with cubs restrict their ranges, perhaps to avoid contact with infanticidal males (Dahle & Swenson 2003).
He quoted the scientist and critic of religion, Professor Richard Dawkins, describing God as "a petty, unjust, unforgiving control freak; a vindictive, bloodthirsty ethnic cleanser; a misogynistic, homophobic, racist, infanticidal, genocidal, filicidal, pestilential, megalomaniacal, sadomasochistic, capriciously malevolent bully".
The fundamental purpose of the ceremony was subliminally to acknowledge and deflect our infanticidal tendencies.
This new factor that appears when consciousness becomes differentiated is, on the one hand, the possibility of constructing and, on the other hand, the possibility, as in Dawkins's case, of misconstructin It is this misconstruction of "scientific anti-God-ideas" in the modern period exemplified by Dawkins's second chapter that we can put under the title "The Revolt of Man": The God of the Old Testament is arguably the most unpleasant character in all fiction: jealous and proud of it; a petty, unjust, unforgiving control-freak; a vindictive, bloodthirsty ethnic cleanser; a misogynistic, homophobic, racist, infanticidal, genocidal, filicidal, pestilential, megalomaniacal, sadomasochistic, capriciously malevolent bully.
Stevens concluded, "President Obama and other abortion advocates would like to maintain the myth of their moderation on abortion, talking much about 'reducing the need for abortion.' Yet they have no tolerance for moderate abortion policies like informing parents when their children seek an abortion, banning the essentially infanticidal partial-birth abortions, or protecting the civil rights of healthcare professionals who follow the Hippocratic Oath."
(9) Specifically, this Article explores the disparate social criticism and legal treatment of infanticidal mothers as compared with other caretakers who kill, and concludes that, in affording non-mothers "excuses" that are not permitted for mothers, both society and courts have disregarded traditional standards required for murder and manslaughter convictions, such as proof of intent and knowledge per that of the reasonable person.