This website uses cookies to ensure you have the best experience. Learn more

Infanticide Essay

1675 words - 7 pages

In the Merriam Webster dictionary, infanticide is a term described as the act of killing an infant. Other sources describe it as the act of killing one’s own child, or killing of a child less than 12 months old. Female infanticide is more common than the killing of male offspring. More often than not, it is the mother who does the killing.
Infanticide has been recorded as far back as the ancient world, where they would abandon the infant by leaving it die to die of hunger, thirst, animal attack, or hypothermia. In some cultures they would drown the infants, and some used infants as sacrifices. Carthagians would sacrifice their infants to gods. Charred remains have been found in Charthagian archeological sites. Approximately 20,000 urns were found with the charred remains of infants. Interestingly, in ancient Egypt it was forbidden to kill infants. There are no records of infanticide in ancient Egyptian households.
Ancient Greeks did not believe in sacrifice for either a child or an adult, however, they practiced exposure of newborns. This meant that if someone wanted to get rid of an infant, they would leave it to be “rescued by the gods” or a passerby. Inevitably, the child would die from exposure to the elements, get eaten by an animal, or starve to death.
Infanticide has increased at a greater rate in the more modern times. Some of the factors that have historically affected the infanticide rate are human sacrifice, population control, poverty, devaluation of females, birth defects, and illegitimacy.
There are various religious views and stances on the subject of infanticide. The Jews were against taking of any human life, and forbade the act of killing an infant. However, there were several instances in the Bible of Hebrews sacrificing their children to heathen gods. The Torah clearly and explicitly prohibits infanticide because each and every life is considered a gift from God. Infanticide was rare and not socially accepted by the Jews.
Some early Christians practiced infanticide by exposing unwanted female infants. Church fathers warned against this because they believed that children that were exposed were more likely to be victims of incest and/or become prostitutes. In turn, they warned against having sex with prostitutes because they believed that it may result in a father having sex with one of his own children. However for Christians, as with the Jews, it was considered a criminal act.
Female infanticide has been accepted for centuries in many countries, and is more prominent in India and China than in any other countries around the world. It is illegal in India, however it is reported by Unicef that up to 50 million girls and women are “missing” in India as a result of systemic sex discrimination.
Infanticide occurs mostly in the poor, rural populations of India. Males are considered to be a source of income, and daughters are believed to cause economic burdens because of the high cost of...

Find Another Essay On Infanticide

Infanticide and Filicide in Ancient Greek Culture

1142 words - 5 pages In current world culture, filicide and infanticide are seen as horrific and shocking crimes. In Greek culture, filicide was perceived quite differently. When reading through texts such as The Sayings of Spartan Women, Medea, Life of Lycurgus, and Spartan Society, the difference becomes apparent. Each text hints to the time period’s view of infanticide and filicide, and together, they show us a general view under which filicide fell – that is, if

Infanticide as an Evolutionary Behavior in Non-Human Primates

1842 words - 8 pages Infanticide (the killing of infants of the same species but of no relation) can be observed across the animal kingdom from lions to birds, but primates have been observed to practice this phenomenon more than any other order. It has been observed in several species ranging from chimps to macaques, but it appears that a large proportion of infanticides have one thing in common; they are followed by a mating of the aggressor with the widowed

The True Cost of Female Infanticide: An In Depth Investigation of Female Infanticide in China and India

2464 words - 10 pages When a child is born, especially in Modern Western cultures, parents along with friends and family are usually ecstatic with the news of a new family member. In these cultures, a parent’s biggest wish for their child is usually that they come out strong and healthy. This reality that many grow up with is, unfortunately, not a universal phenomenon. Infanticide, which is defined by the BBC Ethics Panel as “the unlawful killing of very

Analysis of Warren's Book, On the Moral and Legal Status of Abortion, Questions of Life and Death

869 words - 3 pages person (fetus) has over the actual person (mother). This leads to another objection against Warren, the supposed permissibility of infanticide. If the mother has the right to abort a fetus, and a fetus is no more of a person than an infant, then according to Warren the mother has a right to terminate the life of the infant as much as she does that of a fetus during pregnancy. This is a significant claim, as it would render her entire argument

Social Policy and Global Inequality

1031 words - 5 pages . Female feticide violates this law making the act universally wrong. The women feel oppressed as they are forced to make decisions against their will. Men form the ultimate authority in the society and this makes the women feel inferior. Developed societies value the roles that women play in their societies. Moral societies also do not violate the right to life. Abortion is also quite controversial but differs from infanticide in that it does not

Why Abortion Should Stay Legal

845 words - 4 pages infanticide. Finally, involuntary birth can ruin a woman’s life an is a violation of her human rights. Abortion is a safety hazard if if it is not legally available. When women feel it is absolutely necessary, they will choose to have abortions, in secret, without medical care, in dangerous circumstances. “In the two decades before abortion was legal in the U.S., it's been estimated that nearly a million women per year sought out illegal abortions

Skewed Sex Ratio in India: Stopping Female Foeticide

2257 words - 9 pages gender of the infant. What I wish to mainly examine is the failure of implementation of the PNDT Act. Along with it, I critically wish to analyze why despite awareness being created against such crime there hasn't been much substantial reduction achieved in this matter. I plan to structure the paper as such where initially I shall be dealing with what is female infanticide and foeticide. What thin line distinguishes the two and what has kept this

Social Constructionism

1081 words - 4 pages Social Constructionism: It’s EVERYWHERE! Diverse studies indicate that newborn female infanticide rates in the Inuit population can range anywhere from 15% to 80% (Schrire 162). They kill their babies. Specifically, they will dispose of infant girls or sick and weakly infants. While this practice might go against every moral belief you have, it is widely accepted amongst Inuit society as a normal practice. Mind you, the Inuit do not commit

Hunting and Gathering vs. Agriculture

735 words - 3 pages , production, starvation, infanticide, health and disease, and differences in wealth. From the work loads, it shows that in the barren environment of the Kalahari dessert, the present day Bushmen need only 12 to 19 hours per week to obtaining a diet rich in protein and a high nutritional standard, while their farmer neighbors, the Hadza nomads of Tanzania, need 14 hours per week and get less protein. It also takes more additional hours of food

Beholding the Unspeakable

746 words - 3 pages between the reader and the setting, Morrison depicts the infanticide of Sethe’s daughter through schoolteacher’s eyes. Sethe’s act of defense gives rise to a controversial question; was it right or was it wrong? Schoolteacher, Sethe’s master, was chosen to view Sethe’s act of murder to emphasize schoolteacher’s animalistic view of slaves. From the moment schoolteacher replaced Garner as the head of Sweet Home, the relationship between the slaves

Islamic Faith and Culture

1242 words - 5 pages commodity, they still are just property. It is this misinterpretation between the teachings of Muhammad that may have led to men thinking that it was right for them to mistreat women and oppress them. In the times before the writing of the Qur'an Arabs practiced female infanticide, the killing of female newborns by smothering them to death or by burying them while still alive. Families practiced infanticide because a female was less helpful

Similar Essays

Infanticide Essay

4896 words - 20 pages Killing your baby. What could be more depraved? Every year hundreds of women and men commit infanticide-they kill their newborns or let them die. Most infanticides remain undiscovered but every now and then a janitor follows a trail of blood to a tiny body in a trash bin. (Pinker, New York Times) Infanticide, the deliberate killing of infants, was once an economic necessity and exists even today. Many incidents of infanticide indicate that the

Female Infanticide Essay

1698 words - 7 pages Female Infanticide Female infanticide is the intentional killing of unborn or newborn female infants and fetuses through the use of sex-selective abortions. It it is most commonly practiced in third world countries and many Asian countries such as China and India. Many impoverished families in many rural areas in Asian countries often terminate a pregnancy or kill a newborn girl in an effort to save the girl form a life of poverty. If this

Infanticide: Cross Cultural Analysis Of The Causes Of Infanticide

2359 words - 9 pages Infanticide is not unique to humans. It is practiced by many mammals including some primates. The main difference between human and animal infanticide is that infanticide in humans is performed by the parent(s) of the child while in the case of animals it is usually a male suitor (Caldwell and Caldwell, 2005, p. 208). In pre-modern societies infanticide was done instead of abortions as it allowed for sexual selection, it was much more effective

Soapbox Speech: China's Female Infanticide

618 words - 2 pages , this happens everyday over China, without question or protest. Something must be done! This issue is too inhumane to overlook. We can't just sit back and let the innocent die!The practice of discrimination against girl babies is called, 'Female Infanticide' and has existed in China way back before the foundations of the People's Republic in 1949. However, the patriarchal views, that man are more superior to women in their society has been around