Pub. date: 2007 | Online Pub. Date: September 25, 2007 | DOI: 10.4135/9781412952637 | Print ISBN: 9780761923879 | Online ISBN: 9781412952637| Publisher:Sage Publications, Inc.About this encyclopedia
Valerie M. Hudson
Female infanticide refers to the passive or active killing of female offspring. Active killing might refer to, for example, smothering, drowning, or poisoning a female infant after birth. Passive killing might refer to the refusal to offer food to a female infant or the failure to seek health care for a female infant in need. Researchers usually consider selective female fetus abortion together with female infanticide because they represent the same desire to eliminate female offspring, actual or potential. Some scholars also include preconception sex selection in favor of males as a related phenomenon. Female infanticide is straightforward evidence of son preference, which is the generalized preference for male offspring to female offspring. People have practiced female infanticide historically in most every civilization, including ancient Greece, Rome, Europe, America, Polynesia, Australia, and the Middle East. However, in the twenty-first century, only China, Taiwan, Korea, India, Bangladesh, Nepal, Pakistan, and a ...