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 ?
However, in 1954 a number of amendments were made to the offence of infanticide in a comprehensive overhaul of the Criminal Code .
She argues that only a small percentage of women fitted the stereotype of the infanticidal woman as young, unmarried, seduced and abandoned, driven to infanticide by shame and desperation.
Birenbaum says those who commit infanticide tend to be young, poor, socially isolated and without adequate social and economic supports to cope with childbirth or caring for a child.
Taking into account that female territorial behavior in voles would have evolved as a mechanism to deter infanticide by females (Wolff, 1985, 1993; Bujalska, 1991; Agrell et al.
and in the past generally committed infanticide due to fears of social
Although both predation and disease may modify maternal behavior and neonate mortality, some characteristics of raccoons provide opportunities for an infanticide strategy.
Infanticide is the purposeful death of an unborn fetus/ infant under five for reasons including: gender, and physical/mental handicap.
Overall objective: Eliminate female infanticide in India.
Though a sewing needle is more rarely seen in an intracranial FB, it may occur as atttempted infanticide or as a result of an accident especially in early childhood before the closure of fontanels.
Le presume auteur d'un infanticide, commis mardi dernier, au niveau du lotissement Lougar de Tizi Ouzou, a ete place jeudi en detention preventive pour [beaucoup moins que]infanticide volontaire avec premeditation[beaucoup plus grand que], par le parquet, a informe hier un communique de la surete de wilaya.
The main reason for female infanticide in India is the financial burden associated with raising a girl-child in the form of dowry