Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
Show Summary Details

Scandinavian Journal of Forensic Science

The Journal of Danish Society of Forensic Medicine

2 Issues per year

Open Access
Online
ISSN
2353-0707
See all formats and pricing

A current absence of neonaticide in Norway

Vibeke Ottesen
  • Centre for Evolutionary and Ecological Synthesis (CEES), Department of Biology, University of Oslo, Blindern, Oslo, Norway
Published Online: 2012-12-30 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.2478/v10278-012-0005-2

ABSTRACT

The present study is the first attempt to explore the rate, characteristics and legal reactions to neonaticide in Norway during the years 1990 – 2009. Potential incidents of neonaticide were identified through the national homicide index held by the National Criminal Investigation Service and the national police registers for all recorded crime in Norway held by the National Police Computing and Material Services. The study uncovers that no clear incident of neonaticide has been recorded in the respective registers during the study’s time period. There was however recorded one case of a discarded stillborn and one case of an abandoned neonate that died through exposure. The paper discusses whether the study’s findings are congruent with an evolutionary psychological understanding of filicide and current knowledge of risk factors and rates for neonaticide.

Keywords: Evolutionary psychology; Filicide; Neonaticide

  • Resnick, PJ. Murder of the newborn: A psychiatric review of neonaticide. Amer J Psychiat 2005; 126: 58 – 64.

  • Crittenden, PM. & Craig, SE. Developmental trends in the nature of child homicide. Journal of Interpersonal Violence 1990; 5: 202 – 216. [Crossref]

  • Lewis, CF. & Bunce, SC. Filicidal mothers and the impact of psychosis on maternal filicide. J Am Acad Psychiatry Law 2003; 31: 459 – 70. [PubMed]

  • Lehti, M., Kääriänen, J. & Kivivuori, J. The declining number of child homicides in Finland, 1960 – 2009. Homicide Studies 2012; 16: 3 – 22.

  • Barkow, JH., Cosmides, L. & Tooby, J. (1992) The Adapted Mind: Evolutionary Psychology and the Generation of Culture. New York: Oxford University Press.

  • Buss, DM. (2011) Evolutionary Psychology: The New Science of the Mind (4th Edition). Prentice Hall.

  • Buss, DM. & Duntley, J. The evolution of intimate partner violence. Aggression and Violent Behavior 2011; 16: 411 – 419. [Crossref]

  • Campbell, A. Staying alive. Behavioral & Brain Sciences 1999; 22.

  • Daly, M. & Wilson, M. Crime and conflict: Homicide in evolutionary psychological perspective. Crime & Justice 1997; 22: 51 – 100.

  • Duntley, JD. & Shackelford, TK. Toward an evolutionary forensic psychology. Social Biology, 2006; 51: 161 – 165.

  • Duntley, JD. & Shackelford, T.K. (2008) Evolutionary Forensic Psychology: Darwinian Foundations of Crime and Law. New York: Oxford University Press.

  • Kanazawa, S. Theft. In JD. Duntley & TK. Shackelford (2008), Evolutionary Forensic Psychology: Darwinian Foundations of Crime and Law. New York: Oxford University Press.

  • Kanazawa, S. & Still, MC. Why men commit crimes (and why they desist). Sociological Theory, 2000; 18: 434 – 447. [Crossref]

  • Mealey, L. (1995) The sociobiology of sociopathy: An integrated evolutionary model. Behavioral & Brain Sciences 1995; 18: 523 – 599.

  • Alder, C. & Polk, K. (2001) Child victims of homicide. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

  • Buss, DM. (2005) The murderer next door. New York: Penguin Press.

  • Daly, M. & Wilson, M. Evolutionary social psychology and family homicide. Science, 1988a; 242: 519 – 524.

  • Daly, M. & Wilson, M. (1988b) Homicide. New York: Aldine De Gruyter.

  • Daly, M. & Wilson, M. Some differential attributes of lethal assaults on small children by stepfathers versus genetic fathers. Ethology and Sociobiology, 1994; 15: 207 – 217. [Crossref]

  • Harris, GT., Hilton, NZ., Rice, ME. & Eke, AW. Children killed by genetic parents versus stepparents. Evolution & Human Behavior 2007; 28: 85 – 95. [Crossref]

  • Michalski, RL., Russel, DP., Shackelford, TK. & Weekes-Shackelford, VA. Siblicide and genetic relatedness in Chicago, 1870 – 1930. Homicide Studies, 2007; 11 (3): 231 – 237.

  • Schwartz, LL. & Isser, NK. (2007) Child Homicide: Parents who kill. Boca Raton: Taylor & Francis Group.

  • Shackleford, TK., Weekes-Shackelford, VA. & Beasley, SL. Filicide-suicide in Chicago, 1, 870 – 1930. Journal of Interpersonal Violence, 2008; 23: 589 – 599.

  • Stone, MH., Steinmeyer, E., Dreher, J. & Krischer, M. Infanticide in female forensic Patients: The view from the evolutionary standpoint. Journal of Psychiatric Practice 2005;11: 35 – 45. [PubMed] [Crossref]

  • Weekes-Shackelford, VA. & Shackelford, TK. Methods of Filicide: Stepparents and Genetic parents kill differently. Violence and Victims 2004; 19: 75 – 81.

  • Wilson, M., Daniele, A. & Daly, M. Familicide: The killing of spouse and children. Aggressive Behavior, 1995; 21: 275 – 291. [Crossref]

  • Ciani, ASC. & Fontanesi, L. Mothers who kill their offspring. Child Abuse & Neglect 2012; 36, 519 – 527. [Crossref]

  • Alexander, RD. (1979) Darwinism and Human Affairs. Seattle, WA: University of Washington Press.

  • Daly, M. & Wilson, M. Discriminant parental solicitude: A biological perspective. Journal of Marriage and the Family, 1980 May; 42 (2): 277 – 288.

  • Hamilton, WD. The genetic evolution of social behavior. Journal of Theoretical Biology 1964; 7: 1 – 52. [Crossref]

  • Hrdy, S,B. (1999) Mother Nature. New York: Ballantine Books.

  • Hrdy, S.B. (2009) Mothers and Others. Cambridge, MA: The Belknap Press of Harvard University Press.

  • Trivers, .L. Parental investment and sexual selection. In B. Campbell (1972) Sexual Selection and the Descent of Man 1871 – 1971. Chicago, IL: Aldine.

  • Sear, R. & Mace, R. Who keeps children alive? A review of the effects of kin on child survival. Evolution and Human Behavior, 2008; 29: 1 – 18. [Crossref]

  • Winking, J., Gurven, M. & Kaplan, H. The impact of parents and self-selection on child survival among the Tsimane of Bolivia. Current Anthropology 2011; 52: 277 – 284. [Crossref]

  • Adinkrah, M. Maternal infanticides in Fiji. Child Abuse & Neglect 2000; 24: 1543 – 1555. [Crossref] [PubMed]

  • Adinkrah, M. Men who kill their own children: paternal filicide incidents in contemporary Fiji. Child Abuse & Neglect 2003; 27: 557 – 568. [Crossref] [PubMed]

  • d’Orban, PT. Women who kill their children. The British Journal of Psychiatry 1979; 134: 560 – 571. [Crossref]

  • Jason, J., Gilliand, JC & Tyler, CW. Homicide as the cause of paediatric mortality in the United States. Pediatrics 1983; 72: 191 – 197. [PubMed]

  • Kauppi, A., Kumpulainen, K., Karkola, K., Vanamo, T. & Merikanto, J. Maternal and paternal filicides: A retrospective review of filicides in Finland. J Am Acad Psychiatry Law 2010; 38: 229 – 38. [PubMed]

  • Marks, MN. & Kumar, R. Infanticide in England & Wales. Med Sci Law 1993; 4: 329 – 39.

  • Marks, MN. & Kumar, R. Infanticide in Scotland. Med Sci Law 1996; 36: 299 – 305. [PubMed]

  • Oberman, M. Mothers who kill: coming to terms with modern American infanticide. American Criminal Review 1996; 34: 1 – 110.

  • Overpeck, MD., Brenner, RA., Trumble, AC., Trifiletti, LB. & Berendes, HW. Risk factors for infant homicide in the United States. The New England Journal of Medicine 1998; 339: 1211 – 1216.

  • Saunders, E. Neonaticide following “secret” pregnancies: Seven case reports. Public Health Reports 1989; 104: 368 – 372.

  • Taguchi, H. Maternal filicide in Japan: analyses of 96 cases and future directions for prevention. Seishin Shinkeigaku Zasshi 2007; 109: 110 – 27. [PubMed]

  • Tursz, A. & Cook, JM A population-based surevey of neonaticides using judicial data. Arch Dis Child Fetal Neonatal Ed 2011; 96: 259 – 263. [Crossref]

  • Gheorghe, A., Banner, J., Hansen, SH., Stolborg, U. & Lynnerup, N. Abandonment of newborn infants: a Danish forensic medical survey 1997 – 2008. Forensic Sci Med Pathol 2011; 7, 317 – 321.

  • Wilcynski, A. (1997a) Child Homicide. Bell and Bain Ltd.: Glasgow.

  • Herman-Giddens, ME., Smith, JB, Mittal, M., Carlson; M. & Butts, JD. Newborns killed or left to die by a parent: A population based study. JAMA 2003; 289: 1425 – 1429. [Crossref]

  • Mendlowicz, MV, Jean-Lois G, Gekker M, & Rapaport, MH. Neonaticide in the city of Rio de Janeiro: forensic and psychological perspectives. J Forensic Sci 1999; 44: 741 -5.

  • Spinelli, MG. A systematic investigation of 16 cases of neonaticide. Am J Psychiatry 2001; 158: 811 – 813. [PubMed] [Crossref]

  • Vellu, N., Cook, JM. & Tursz, A. Analysis of the relationship between neonaticide and denial of pregnancy using data from judicial files. Child Abuse & Neglect, 2012; http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.chiabu.2012.05.003 [Crossref]

  • Miller. LJ. Psychotic denial of pregnancy: Phenomenology and clinical management. Hospital and Community Psychiatry 1990; 41: 1233 – 1237. [PubMed]

  • Nau, M., Bender, E. & Strett, J. Psychotic denial of pregnancy: Legal and treatment considerations for clinicians. J Am Acad Psychiatry Law, 2011; 39: 31 – 9. [PubMed]

  • Mendlowicz, MV., Rapaport, MH., Fontenelle, L., Jean-Louis, G. & De Moraes, TM. Amnesia and neonaticide. Am J Psychiatry, 2002; 159: 498. [Crossref] [PubMed]

  • Resnick, PJ. & Hatters-Friedman, S. Book review: Infanticide: Psychosocial and legal perspectives on mothers who kill. Psychiatric Services 2003; 54: 1172.

  • Spinelli, MG. Dr. Spinelli replies. Am J Psychiatry, 2002; 159: 499. [Crossref]

  • Friedman, SH., Heneghan, A. & Rosenthal, M. Characteristics of women who deny or conceal pregnancy. Psychosomatics 2007; 48: 117 – 122. [PubMed] [Crossref]

  • Wessel, J. & Buscher, U. Denial of pregnancy: population based study. British Medical Journal 2002; 324: 458. [Crossref]

  • Del Giudice, M. The evolutionary biology of cryptic pregnancy: A re-appraisal of the “denied pregnancy” phenomenon. Medical Hypotheses, 2006; 68: 250 – 258.

  • Brezinka, C., Hunter, O., Biebl, W. Kinzl, J. Denial of Pregnancy: Obstetrical aspects. J Psychosom Obstet Gynecol, 1994; 15: 1 – 8. [Crossref]

  • Mendlowicz, MV., Fontenelle, L. & De Moraes, TM. Motives for neonaticide. JAMA 2003; 290: 462 – 3. [Crossref] [PubMed]

  • Drescher-Burke, K., Krall, J. & Penick, A. Discarded infants and neonaticide: A review of the literature 2004. Berkeley, CA: National Abandoned Infants Assistance Resource Center, University of California at Berkeley.

  • Mackay, R.D. The consequences of killing very young children. Criminal Law Review, 1993: 21 – 30.

  • Wilcynski, A. Mad or bad? Child killers, gender and the courts. British Journal of Criminology 1997; 37: 419 - 436. [67] [Crossref]

  • Läkartidningen, 2007; 104: 776 – 781.

  • Grünfeldt, B. & Steen, J. Fatal barnemishandling – barnedrap i Norge. Tidsskr Nor Lægeforen 1984; 104: 289 – 292.

  • Somander, LK. & Rammer, LM. Intra- and extrafamilial child homicide in Sweden, 1971 – 1980. Child Abuse Negl 1991; 15: 45 – 55.

  • Rying, M. Dödligt våld i kriminalstatistikken, BRÅ rapport 2003:4.

  • http://www.aftenbladet.no/nyheter/lokalt/stavanger/--Teppet-rundt-barnettyder- pa-mye-omsorg-2013444.html

  • Skjeldestad, FE. Prevensjonsbruken i Norge i 2005. Tidsskr Nor Lægeforen 2007; 21, 2803 – 5.

  • Eskild, A., Nesheim, B., Busund, B., Vatten., L. & Vangen, S. Childbearing or induced abortion: the impact of education and ethnic background. Population study of Norwegian and Pakistani women in Oslo, Norway. Acta Obstetricia et Gynecologica 2007: 86: 298 – 303.

About the article


Published Online: 2012-12-30


Citation Information: Scandinavian Journal of Forensic Science, ISSN (Print) 1503-9552, DOI: https://doi.org/10.2478/v10278-012-0005-2. Export Citation

This content is open access.

Citing Articles

Here you can find all Crossref-listed publications in which this article is cited. If you would like to receive automatic email messages as soon as this article is cited in other publications, simply activate the “Citation Alert” on the top of this page.

[1]
Noora Ellonen, Juha Kääriäinen, Martti Lehti, and Mikko Aaltonen
Journal of Scandinavian Studies in Criminology and Crime Prevention, 2015, Page 1

Comments (0)

Please log in or register to comment.
Log in