Analysis of the main characteristics of infanticide in the United States from 1999 to 2013

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Infanticide is the killing of a child under 1 year of age. The term includes neonaticide, which is the killing of a baby under 1 day old. Both phenomena appeared since the prehistoric era and have been practiced across the globe. Over time, societies’ evolution has led to the criminalization of infanticide and neonaticide. However, infanticide and neonaticide are still committed, but are statistically underreported. In the United States infanticide and neonaticide are still legally controversial and no penal code has specifically addressed these crimes. In this study the causes of infanticide were divided into biological and non-biological causes as a means of describing more clearly the most common reasons that lead to infanticide. Neonaticide causes are related to denial of pregnancy and their subtypes. This study analyzes some main characteristics regarding neonaticide and infanticide: sex, race, relationship between the victim and the offender, and weapon used. Total number of murder cases and total infanticide cases are correlated to determine how one affects the other. The analysis was performed utilizing data from 1999 through 2013. The data for this study was obtained from the Uniform Crime Report (UCR). The results of this study will show which children are at greater risk to become victim of neonaticide or infanticide, who are the common offenders, and by what method the offender will kill the infant.

Infanticide, Neonaticide, Postpartum depression, Denial of pregnancy