What Triggers Parents to Kill Their Children Essay

960 WordsNov 4, 20124 Pages
What Triggers Parents to Kill their Children? In recent year’s filicide, the murder of a child by his or her own parents has been a steadily increasing phenomenon. The U.S. Advisory Board on Child Abuse and Neglect estimated that 2,000 children, most of them under 4, die each year at the hands of parents or caretakers (U.S. News & World Report, 1995). In more recent studies, FBI Uniform Crime Reports indicate that 3.1% of the 90,869 homicides in the U.S. from 1995 through 2000 involved children being killed by their parents (Draper, 2001). Particularly in the wake of recent media coverage on Casey Anthony’s trial, the public called for vengeance when it was alleged that Casey was the culprit in the murder of her daughter Caylee. People tend to believe that any parent who kills a child –especially a mother- must be crazy and can’t be helped, but leading experts disagree (Draper, 2011). In this paper, I will explore various researchers’ findings on the motives why parents kill their children. According to Kunst (2002), little attempt has been made to develop and understand the psychodynamics of this crime. It is puzzling to know that collective efforts are not being made to prevent this horrific situation; as a result, young lives are being lost. For this reason, I chose to explore this topic, as it needs to be brought to light. “Overall, two of the most common categories of filicide motivation were retaliating and the unwanted child” (Wilczynski, A., 1995). Wilczynski reported that retaliation killings were due to anger towards another person, typically the person’s partner, and anger was displaced onto the child. Wilczynski found these killings were common among males who exemplified traits of possessiveness, sexual jealousy, and exertion of power within the martial relationship. In contrast, the female retaliators tended to be motivated by resentment at

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