A third explanation for female infanticide

  title={A third explanation for female infanticide},
  author={Katie Hawkes},
  journal={Human Ecology},
  • K. Hawkes
  • Published 1981
  • Sociology
  • Human Ecology
Two directly opposed explanations for the distribution of female infanticide across cultures have recently appeared. Divale and Harris propose to explain this practice as part of a system which reduces population growth. Dickemann says that the practice serves to increase reproductive success. I criticize each of these explanations and propose a third which depends on the technoecological and economic constraints given precedence by Harris and Divale, combined with the insights of sexual… 
Comment on K. Hawkes' “A third explanation for female infanticide”
Kristen Hawkes' critique of these early investigations of female-preferential infanticide is a welcome contribution, especially as it falls within the same general theoretical framework as those which she analyzes, namely a concern for the integration of underlying ecological and economic causes into demographic processes, through attention to human reproductive behavior.
Comment on “A third explanation for female infanticide”
From the theory that a culture is the cumulative result of the inclusive fitness-maximizing behaviors of all its past and present participants flows a vast array of interesting and testable hypotheses, which will tell us novel and interesting things about culture even when particular hypotheses fail empirical test.
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