Document Type


Publication Date



This article presents a brief cross-cultural review of maternal filicide, focusing specifically on the varying circumstances that surround the mothers who commit this crime. My goal is not to provide a comprehensive map of contemporary maternal filicide, but rather, to illustrate the manner in which a society’s structure of motherhood and women’s status contributes to maternal filicide. Special attention will be paid to the unwritten norms that govern women and motherhood, as well as to the manner in which distinct societies understand, rationalize, and punish maternal filicide. The article begins with a review of the patterned nature of maternal filicide in the United States. I will then compare and contrast these patterns with those observed in three other countries, each with distinct socio-political realities that shape the mothering experience: India, Fiji, and Hungary.

Included in

Law Commons



To view the content in your browser, please download Adobe Reader or, alternately,
you may Download the file to your hard drive.

NOTE: The latest versions of Adobe Reader do not support viewing PDF files within Firefox on Mac OS and if you are using a modern (Intel) Mac, there is no official plugin for viewing PDF files within the browser window.