Neonaticide - a psycho-criminogenic analysis


Master's Thesis, 2007

26 Pages, Grade: A


Excerpt

TABLE OF CONTENTS

ABSTRACT

1. INTRODUCTION

2. HISTORICAL BACKGROUND

3. PURPOSE OF THE STUDY

4. CONCEPTUAL CLARIFICATION

5. DIFFERENCE WITH INFANTICIDE
5.1 TYPES OF NEONATICIDE
5.1.1 NEONATICIDE BY FATHER

6. NEONATICIDE: A HORRIFIC DIMENSION OF DOMESTIC VIOLENCE

7. WHETHER NEONATICIDE IS A CRIME OR NOT

8. REASONS OF NOENATICIDE
8.1BIOLOGICAL AND SOCIOLOGICAL EXPLANATION
8.2 PSYCHOLOGICAL IMMATURITY
8.3 SOCIAL MALADJUSTMENT
8.4 ETHNICITY
8.5 MENTAL ILLNESS
8.6 POVERTY
8.7 RECKLESS SEXUAL ASSOCIATION
8.8 TENDER AGE

9. CONCERN OF CONVICTION: AN OVERHAUL
9.1 DIFFERENCE OF SOCIAL PERCEPTION
9.2 DIFFICULTY OF PROOF
9.3 LACK OF REALIZATION
9.4 STATISTICS OF NEONATICIDE
9.5 LEGISLATION
9.6 PROSECUTION

10. JUSTIFIABILITY OF NEONATICIDE

11. PSYCHOLOGICAL ANALYSIS

12. CRIMINOGENIC ANALYSIS

13. SOCIETAL RESPONSE

14. RECOMMENDATIONS

15. CONCLUDING REMARKS

16. BIBLIOGRAPHY

ABSTRACT

In the recent days neonaticide has been a crux issue around the globe. As this is closely concerned with the existence of human society, people have concentrated their attention on resolving or reasonably mitigating the occurrence o this abnormal phenomenon. Due to the psychological immaturity and other relevant grounds the commission of neonaticide is going unimpeded. Principally, this is a psycho-social phenomenon and has a close connection with biological, sociological, psychological and criminogenic aspects. It is logical to say that if the commission of neonaticide is on the continuous rise, human society is sure to face the trauma o it as this is sufficient to endanger the survival of humans in the planet. Thus, it has been the pivotal consideration for all the quarters to mitigate the problem and find a way out for their survival.

1. INTRODUCTION

With the surge of economic development and frequent rising of comfort, human life has become more complex. Varied problems of different dimensions are emerging in human society. These problems are contributing in turning human life more perplexing. The concept of neonaticide is closely connected with the psycho-social phenomenon in conjunction with criminogenic explanation. In practice, teenaged people are prone to this psycho-criminogenic disorder. The incident of becoming pregnant in early age sensitizes young mothers. Consequently, they expose denial to their premature pregnancy for the fear of being portrayed in the society with stigma. Hence, they conceal their children in house or work place or throw by the road side. Over the globe, this trend is gradually increasing. Particularly, in developed countries; due to fragile family bondage and upsurge of single parent families, this problem has occupied a dominant position. Methods of neonaticide include “suffocation, strangulation, head trauma, drowning, exposure, stabbing, burning, throwing to pigs, and burying alive’ (Resnick, 1970, p. 1416). In addition, in some cases women become subject to sexual exploitation. As a matter of natural course once these helpless women give birth to their children. By making an extensive study, the problem can be viewed as an inevitable social complexity. There is a divergence of outlook in regard to neonaticide. People of different area and of different culture consider it from their respective point of view. In England, it is considered as a crime. In America, some experts propound it as a killing amounting to murder. Of course, the reverse view, though not tenable, suggests that as newborn child is not a person, killing of such an entity is justified. A proponent of this view also suggests that by neonaticide, mothers are exempted from unnecessarily abusing their time for caring children.

2. HISTORICAL BACKGROUND

Neonaticide is not a new concept. Since the inception of human civilization, this is going onwards. It is as old, as the society itself. History has recorded this tragic trauma from “Mesopotamia, Greece, and Rome, Vikings, Irish Celts, Gaul, and Phoenicians. People justified this at the pretext of illegitimacy, societal preference for males, childhood disability, population control, eugenics, religious beliefs, and poverty”(Meyer Oberman, 2001). These days, the same thing is frequently happening in different manner and color. In mediaeval period, neonaticide was prevalent in England. Ancient China has also witnessed this uncivilized ritual.

3. PURPOSE OF THE STUDY

The purpose of the present study is to investigate into the causes why young mothers resort to neonaticide. The problem is closely linked with some socio-cultural as well as criminogenic aspects. As the trend is uprising, it is deemed as one of the pivotal concern with the existence and longevity of human society. In the present study, the researcher intends to focus on various grounds; such as social, cultural, psychological and criminogenic aspects of the problem. By the present study, it is also attempted to explore the probable means and steps to be taken in order to wipe out the problem. The Researcher likes to assert that this undertaking would adequately facilitate and promote in eradicating the present social impediments.

4. CONCEPTUAL CLARIFICATION

For the better understanding and proper evaluation, clarification of the term is essential. In ordinary meaning, neonaticide is the killing of a newborn child within 24 hours after its birth. Infanticide is the killing of the child within one year after its birth. Neonaticide is also known as post-natal or post- partum death.

5. DIFFERENCE WITH INFANTICIDE

Infanticide also refers to the killing of a child. The difference of it with neonaticide is concerned with the duration or time limit. The duration of killing a child within one year is considered as infanticide. On the other hand, the resemblance between the two is the killing of the children. In every society, it is the reality that mother would care her children by every possible means .The psychology of mother is as such that even at the cost of sacrificing her own life, she would protect her children .So, killing of children by mother is certainly an abnormal incident. In such circumstance, it is rightly presumed that the mother charged with such offence is psychologically disordered. In 1970 one statistics of child killing found that “mothers who kill their older children are frequently psychotic, depressed or suicidal, but mothers who kill their newborns are usually not” (Pinker, 1997). So, it is clear that killing an older child is the outcome of complete mental disorder. But, when young mothers resort to neonaticide; it does not advocate the same psychological explanation. Psychologically, they become completely unprepared and frustrated in becoming mother in young age. Consequently, young mothers take the way to be exempted from such unexpected occurrences throwing their children by the road side or anywhere else.

5.1 TYPES OF NEONATICIDE

Mainly, there are two types of neonaticide: “active neonaticide” is the killing of a newborn as a direct result of violence, often following extreme panic, and “passive neonaticide” is the result of negligence directly following the birth (Bonnet, 1993, p. 504). In brief, active neonaticide results from fear and passive neonaticide results from negligence. Speaking more clearly, passive as is used here indicates unintentional or undecided. That is to say, becoming undecided mothers psychologically press young mothers to do so. Hence, negligently or unintentionally they commit neonaticide.

Research findings suggest that there are two types of neonaticide mother.

The first group comprised young, often adolescent women who were immature, passive and likely very fearful of the illegitimate pregnancy and the accompanying disapproval or abandonment of loved ones. They often denied the pregnancy and seldom premeditated murder. The second group of mothers was older; more hardened and had strong instinctual drives and little ethical restraint. This group was more likely to premeditate the crime and make more effort to ensure the evidence was destroyed. (Dalley, 1997 & 2000)

5.1.1 NEONATICIDE BY FATHER

Generally, neonaticide are done by a single woman. These mothers are depicted as of immature psychology. Fathers are rarely found to be held with neonaticide. But, there is the exception which evidences the involvement of father in such deviation. The Psychological or any other explanation of such deviation has still not been found within human reach. Between the periods of 1751 to 1968 two cases have been reported that father has caused neonaticide. “On July 15, 1911 J.S., a mentally disturbed by heredity, caused the death of his newborn child. Another person did this by administering poison in the soup (Uniform Crime Reports, 1982-1987).”

6. NEONATICIDE: A HORRIFIC DIMENSION OF DOMESTIC VIOLENCE

Domestic violence means creating fearful situation in domestic life. As neonaticide is cruel in nature, it has been termed as domestic violence and rightly held that “[n]neonaticide, killing newborns by their own mothers, is one of extreme forms of domestic violence. Every year hundreds of mothers kill their own newborn children or let them die” (Sýkora, 2000, p.1). Undeniably, home is the most secured place for a child and parents are considered just like an umbrella. They protect children from adversaries of any kind. As giving protection to the children is the responsibility of parents, neonaticide by them is certainly an aggression. This is the flagrant violation of civic norms.

7. WHETHER NEONATICIDE IS A CRIME OR NOT

Social values and social norms are not all alike. They differ from country to country. These concepts arise from the particular social structure and aspiration of the people. Social value denotes a set of norms and principles applicable to meet the societal dealings with each other. Every society preserves some rights for the enjoyment of its people. At the same time, society has also instructed its people to perform some duties. Crime simply indicates the violation of someone’s right. The right is the privilege guaranteed by the society to individuals. If someone infringes the right of another individual, it is much logically presumed that the earlier person has committed crime against the latter. In its formal expression, crime means the act or omission forbidden by law. From this proposition, it is rightly realized that the definition of crime varies country to country. What is considered crime by the Indians may not be the same by the Europeans. The discussion over neonaticide reveals one of the significant issues telling that why the perpetrators charged with neonaticide are rarely convicted. In this connection, it is proper to say that as social values and social perception differ country to country, what one country view as crime, may not be sufficiently considered as the same by the other. Even though, neonaticide is sufficient to be regarded crime as it deprives the new born child from his natural right to live and jeopardize its entity by ceasing his/her existence.

8. REASONS OF NOENATICIDE

It is well-said that there are some inevitable components which drive mothers in attempting such offence. Of course, psychotic disorder or mental illness has some consideration over the topic. Research finding suggests that there are some resemblances among mothers who commit neonaticide in matters of age, marital status, family status, ethnicity and economic condition. From the present study, following reasons have been categorically found as catalyst of attempting neonaticide.

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Excerpt out of 26 pages

Details

Title
Neonaticide - a psycho-criminogenic analysis
Grade
A
Author
Year
2007
Pages
26
Catalog Number
V93710
ISBN (eBook)
9783638071635
ISBN (Book)
9783640109234
File size
508 KB
Language
English
Tags
Neonaticide
Quote paper
LL.M. Mahfuzar Rahman Chowdhury (Author), 2007, Neonaticide - a psycho-criminogenic analysis, Munich, GRIN Verlag, https://www.grin.com/document/93710

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