Infanticide, neonaticide and gender

Book chapter

Milne, E. and Brennan, K. 2017. Infanticide, neonaticide and gender. in: Encyclopedia of Women and Crime Wiley.
Chapter titleInfanticide, neonaticide and gender
AuthorsMilne, E. and Brennan, K.

Children are most likely to be killed by their parents. Infants aged under one are at particular risk of becoming victims of homicide. Men rarely commit neonaticide, but are more likely to kill older children and often within the context of fatal child abuse. Women's motivations for killing are often within the context of mental illness or altruistic reasons. Women are less likely to be convicted of murder than men and receive noncustodial sentences more readily than fathers who kill their children. It is often argued that women who kill their infants are pathologized, and perceived to be either mad or bad, ignoring the socioeconomic reasons for their acts of filicide. Legal treatment of women who kill infants can be inconsistent and, in some instances, unsympathetic, particularly in jurisdictions that do not have specific infanticide legislation that allows for leniency, such as the United States of America.

Sustainable Development Goals16 Peace, justice and strong institutions
Middlesex University ThemeHealth & Wellbeing
Book titleEncyclopedia of Women and Crime
Publication dates
Print23 Aug 2019
Publication process dates
Deposited16 Feb 2018
AcceptedOct 2017
Output statusPublished
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)
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