• Entry
  • Reader's guide
  • Entries A-Z
  • Subject index

Infanticide

  • By: Diana Lynn Barnes
  • In: Encyclopedia of Motherhood
  • Edited by: Andrea O'Reilly
  • Subject:Sociology of Gender, Parenting, Maternal Health

Although infanticide has often been used as a general term for child murder, it more specifically refers to the killing of a child before his or her first birthday. Filicide is the murder of a child by a parent. The term neonaticide is used to denote the murder of a newborn within 24 hours of birth. Infanticide is deeply rooted in the cultural fabric of the societies in which it occurs, and reflects a complex relationship between a particular culture's ideologies about motherhood and its attitudes about infanticide.

Infanticide in History

Historically, the practice of infanticide dates as far back as prehistoric societies, where infant sacrifice was routinely used as a means of maintaining a balance between population growth and scarcity of resources. Therefore, disabled or sickly ...

    • Loading...
    locked icon

    Sign in to access this content

    Get a 30 day FREE TRIAL

    • Watch videos from a variety of sources bringing classroom topics to life
    • Read modern, diverse business cases
    • Explore hundreds of books and reference titles