Why Women Kill

Topics: Sociology, Psychology, Behavior Pages: 5 (2128 words) Published: September 25, 2011
Rachel Anglum, 18, gave birth to a baby girl at the home where she lived with her parents. She allegedly delivered the baby alone and afterwards held her daughter in her arms for over an hour. It was later determined that she “hugged her newborn to death.” (Meyer 50) Neonaticide is the killing of a newborn baby less than a month old. Typically, the mothers are the killers and are very young and unwed. About 90% of neonaticide mothers are aged 25 or the pregnancy. (2-Neonaticide) Based on the Psychological Theory, crimes can result from a wide array of reasons most of which are: inappropriate learning or improper conditioning, a diseased mind, inappropriate, abnormal or dysfunctional mental processes within the personality, inappropriately conditioned behaviors. It is the personality that is the key motivational element in most people since it is the most common basis of drives and motives. (Schmallenger 89) With regard to the above captioned paragraph, it is thought the major reason for neonaticide mothers to commit this type of crime is because they are in denial of pregnancy. This type of denial is psychological and can be derived in a young woman with previous mental illness or no prior mental instability at all. The point is that a young woman in this particular “state of mind” is overwhelmed by fear of and shame of an unplanned pregnancy. It is their emotional immaturity and lack of resources that keeps these young women from understanding and coping with the repercussions of their pregnancies which is why most of them have the inability to show any remorse for killing their child. Furthermore, most of the young women cannot even recall being pregnant or even giving birth at all. (Meyer 53-54) Another psychological theory is based on the psychotic offender. Psychosis is a mental disorder. Psychotic people have been found to be out of touch with reality and also suffer from hallucinations and delusions. (Schmallenger 91) My example for this theory is the Andrea Yates case. Andrea Yates had a nervous breakdown, two suicide attempts, and two psychiatric hospitalizations in the summer of 1999 and then diagnosed with postpartum psychosis. According to her doctors, her treatment was successful and she was discharged in January 2000. On June 20, 2001 Andrea Yates drown all five of her innocent children in the bathtub. Despite the direct orders given by Dr. Mohammed Saeed advising to not leave Andrea alone with her children, Mr. Yates did just that. He left for work that morning and had scheduled for his mother to arrive an hour later. Within that one hour window, Andrea had drowned all five of her children. When you apply this particular theory, the reason why Andrea commits this crime is because she was in an abnormal psychotic state of mind and had a severe case of post-partum depression, she was not stable, and was inadvertently given an opportunity and a window of time by her husband. With her extensive past history of mental illness and the pressures and stress of additional children in the household; it was a perfect storm for Andrea’s extreme psychotic behavior to take over her mind and exacerbate the murderous rage that took place. After several trials and appeals of trials, Andrea was eventually found Not Guilty by reason of insanity and is currently in Kerrville, TX living in a low security state mental hospital. (4-Andrea Yates) I would have to agree that the psychological theories for both aforementioned cases provides enough evidence to indicate dysfunctional behavior and inappropriate and abnormal mental processes on Yates behalf was a major contributory factor in her case and for Rachel, inappropriate mental process mostly related to the offenders age and underdeveloped cognitive processes would be the major contributing factors that led to her committing neonaticide. (Schmallenger 89) A side note and personal opinion of mine is that no mother in their “right” mind could or would ever...
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