Endangered Children : Homicide and Other Crimes, Second Edition book cover
2nd Edition

Endangered Children
Homicide and Other Crimes, Second Edition

ISBN 9781439876268
Published December 13, 2011 by Routledge
287 Pages 12 B/W Illustrations

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Book Description

From infancy onward, children are in danger from many sources, including parental and sibling abuse, drug abuse and mental illness in the home, parental neglect, and poverty. Removing an at-risk child from a troubled environment brings on a host of new concerns and is not always a panacea. Endangered Children: Homicide, and Other Crimes, Second Edition focuses on the myriad threats facing children and provides insight into possible solutions.

Beginning with a history of child abuse, the book explores this phenomenon as presented in literature and in other cultural references. It then provides sociobiological and cross-cultural perspectives on neonaticide. It examines motives for abuse and explores how shame and denial of pregnancy can lead to the killing of an infant within moments of its birth.

The book examines legal ramifications to neonaticide in the U.S. and abroad, including psychological and psychiatric defenses. Additional chapters focus on shaken baby syndrome and Munchausen Syndrome by Proxy, and the book includes a new chapter on postpartum depression. The authors include profiles of several notorious cases, including Susan Smith and Andrea Yates. They also discuss issues related to abortion and euthanasia, and conclude by suggesting preventive measures to child abuse and therapeutic rehabilitation.

Exploring a social tragedy from psychological, sociological, and criminological perspectives, the authors attempt to answer the many questions that arise from these crimes against our most vulnerable, offering readers a thought-provoking resource that is sure to encourage further research and inquiry.

Table of Contents

Children: An Endangered Species Throughout History
Gender and Child Homicide
The Literary Legacy
Legacies of Ancient Cultures
Fairy Tales
Child Homicide in Literature and Operas
A Historical Note
Neonaticide in Theory and in History: Who Are the Perpetrators?
Sociobiological Perspectives
Cross-Cultural Perspectives
A Brief Look at Asian Cultures
Cultural Causes in the West
A Historical Perspective
Penalties of the Past

Motives for Abuse
Why Murder?
Psychological Explanations
The Role of Shame
Denial of Pregnancy
Psychological/Psychiatric Diagnoses
Reaction and Revenge
Neonaticide and Its Alternatives
Options in Pregnancy
Carrying the Pregnancy to Term
A Comment on "Illegitimacy"
Placement for Adoption
Neonaticide and the Law
Legal Ramifications
Variations in Charges and Sentencing
Should Neonaticide Be Punished? If So, How?
Anglo-American Laws and Sentencing
American Law
What About the Fathers?
In Transition: From One Form of Child Abuse to Another
Neonaticide Syndrome
Shaken Baby Syndrome/Shaking Impact Syndrome
Sudden Infant Death Syndrome
Munchausen Syndrome by Proxy
Gaining Evidence
Postpartum Depression Disorders
Differentiating the Disorders
Case Examples
The Andrea Yates Case
Other Cases
What Can Be Done
Early Diagnosis
Edinburgh Postnatal Depression Scale
Legal Controversies
Infanticide, Filicide, and Other Abuses
What Kind of Parent … ?
Other Motives
Faith Healing
Cultural Differences
Paternal Homicide
Child Abuse
Legal Ramifications
The Survivors
If These Are the Causes …
The Law and Crimes Against Children
The Insanity Defense
Postpartum Depression Versus Postpartum Psychosis
Alternative Defenses
In Defense of the Defendant
Variations in Penalties
An Interesting Question
Are the Laws Antifemale?
Looking Back and Ahead
Choice and Reproduction Arguments
The Abortion Controversy
Religious Views
Language and Imagery
In the Courts
Does Fetus = Person?
Euthanasia and Infanticide
To Treat or Not to Treat
Conjoined Twins
Legislative and Judicial Responses
Eugenics, Mercy Killing, and Euthanasia
The Parental Positions
Child Abuse: Preventive Measures
Prevention of Neonaticide
Sex Education
Pregnancy Prevention
Secondary Prevention
Preventing Infanticide and Filicide
Other Alternatives
Preventive Legislation
Summarizing the Alternatives
Concluding Thoughts and Recommendations
The DeShaney Case
Provide Information
Therapeutic Rehabilitation
The Role of Therapeutic Jurisprudence

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Lita Linzer Schwartz, Ph.D., is a graduate of Vassar College, Temple University, and Bryn Mawr College, and is Distinguished Professor Emerita of The Pennsylvania State University’s Abington College (née Ogontz Campus). She also holds a diplomate in forensic psychology from the American Board of Professional Psychology. She has received three awards from Penn State: Outstanding Teacher from the College of Education Alumni (1981–1982), Christian R. and Mary F. Lindback Award for Distinguished Teaching from the University (1982), and Career Achievement award from the College of Education (1992). Dr. Schwartz is a Fellow of the American Psychological Association and the American Academy of Forensic Psychologists as well as a member of the International Council of Psychologists and the Association of Family and Conciliation Courts. In addition to teaching, she is actively involved in a number of writing projects on topics as varied as adoptive and surrogate parenting, cults and sects, media violence and its impact, gifted children, and female artists and photographers.

Natalie Isser, Ph.D., is a graduate of the University of Pennsylvania, and is Professor Emerita of The Pennsylvania State University’s Abington College. She is a member of the American Historical Association, The Western Society for the Study of French History, and the Delaware Valley Association of Modern European Historians. In addition to the books and articles coauthored with Dr. Schwartz, she has written on French anti-Semitism, human rights, and French public opinion and diplomacy during the Second Empire. She teaches part time and has continued research on a variety of topics such as American melodrama, movies, and history; and the social and cultural roots of American populism.

Featured Author Profiles

Author - Natalie  Isser

Natalie Isser

Professor Emerita History, Penn State Univ Abington College
Abington, Pa, USA

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"… well-researched and brilliantly written … discuss therapeutic rehabilitation and therapeutic jurisprudence, an interdisciplinary approach that concentrates on applying laws in a manner that will enhance the psychological well-being of those to whom they are applied. They call for judges, lawyers, social workers, psychologists, and others to work together to develop strategies to protect children."
—Colonel Kuljeet Singh, CPP., in Security Management Magazine

"The book is attractive, well written and has a great deal of documentation."
—Anchor Point

"The book... is well organized and the sections are easily located in the Table of Contents... the issues are presented logically and supported with a good review of the research literature... authors have uncovered relevant findings to support their arguments."
—Journal of the Canadian Society of Forensic Science, Vol. 34, No. 3

"The book presents both sides of the issues and is well-illustrated with cases."
—Elizabeth S. Bishop, Ph.D.