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Endangered Children: Homicide and Other Crimes, Second Edition
Authors: Lita Linzer Schwartz, PhD and Natalie K. Isser, PhD
ISBN 13:
CRC Press/ Taylor & Francis Group
List Price: $79.95  Hard Cover  273 Pages
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  • Provides in-depth coverage of child abuse, neglect, and homicide
  • Explores sociobiological factors that contribute to crimes against children
  • Profiles notorious cases, including Susan Smith and Andrea Yates
  • Examines legal ramifications and defenses
  • Contains a new chapter on postpartum depression


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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