Anthropology and Infanticide

The article “Male Infanticide in Papau New Guinea? Get real” addresses the claims of male New Guinea children being killed by parents in order to cut off soldiers, in turn ending a tribal dispute. The article addresses historical tendencies by the native people, acknowledging the fact cannibalism was a reality in the past but asserting that the modern would not do these acts for the reasons stated.

Placing blame on family members and killing them in efforts to end the dispute is a not how the people think, professor Paige West writes. They instead would blame the tribe they are disputing with, rather than killing their offspring.

Anthropological thought allows us to gain insight on the thought process of the New Guineans as well as their history as a people. We are able to learn how they make meaning of infanticide and their thoughts regarding long-standing disputes. A deconstruction project would reveal the intentions of the people and the fact that female infanticide is much more common than male infanticide in this culture.

Thinking anthropologically allows us to explore the history of the people and the way the have conducted themselves in the past. Deconstructing the scene to address how the New Guineans make meaning of killing their own children allows us to discern how events happened and why.

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