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Male infanticide, a form of sex-selective infanticide, is the systematic killing of boys at or soon after childbirth. This practice is much less common than female infanticide due to the fact that many cultures which practiced (or currently practice) infanticide placed a higher value on male children than females. It normally occurs when a society values female children to the point that producing a male is considered dishonorable or shameful.[How to reference and link to summary or text]
Especially in ancient history, male infanticide was used after the conquest of a neighboring state or kingdom by a large empire to reduce the number of potential soldiers that could be involved in a future revolution. The Ancient Egyptians and Ancient Romans used enforced male infanticide as a method of controlling their subject peoples. See Herod and Moses.
It was also said to occur in some fictional cultures, most notably the Amazons.
- Scott E. Killing the female? Archaeological narratives of infanticide. In: Gender and the Archaeology of Death (Arnold B, Wicker NL, eds) (AltaMira; 2001) (ISBN 075910137X)
- Kanazawa S. (2006) Where do cultures come from? Cross-Cultural Research 40: 152–176
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