Social Question

POLICE's avatar

Are parents killing their children & or themselves along with them, more than ever before?

Asked by POLICE (564 points ) December 17th, 2009

It seems family members are becoming victims of murder, or murder/suicide more now a day. Or has it always been about the same, we just hear more about them now?

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22 Answers

Pandora's avatar

I really don’t know but I think instant media brings these things to light more where as in the past it may have been kept quiet.

SeventhSense's avatar

You would need some data either way to back up your hypothesis.

grumpyfish's avatar

I don’t have the statistics, however, whenever looking at the things reported in the media, always remember the Summer of the Shark: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Summer_of_the_Shark

Jewel's avatar

I don’t think so. I believe it simply the media reporting it more often as they look for sensationalism to sell their stuff.

Ghost_in_the_system's avatar

I realy don’t think it is happening more often than it is getting more media attention

SeventhSense's avatar

I’m not saying that it’s not possible but there needs to be at least some statistical evidence and even better would be a variety of different test models to compare the different eras.

jamielynn2328's avatar

This happened in my neighborhood and it didn’t even get much attention. It was very strange. One child did not die, and the media did report on her recovery process once or twice, but it seemed like since the man who killed his family was dead and gone, then so was the story.

Unfortunately you are more likely to be harmed by someone you know. That’s the sad truth.

Blondesjon's avatar

If you are talking about morbidly obese parents raising morbidly obese children, yes.

puckbunny's avatar

@Blondesjon Rude for one. But thats your opinion and I won’t go there on that. But I think that it is possible that parents are killing themselves and their children more now than ever before because of the economy. I can see parents being afraid of how they will provide for their children when they have just lost a job due to cut backs and are on the verge of loosing their house to forclosures. So in their eyes it is better to just end life instead of trying to survive out there in a world with little hope.

sevenfourteen's avatar

or maybe the news just wants to talk about it all of the sudden where as in the past it would have been hush hush like a town secret.. like @SeventhSense says you need actual data to know..

SeventhSense's avatar

@puckbunny
You call him rude for pointing out a cold fact of life albeit it plucky and then go on to defend a parent’s right to kill their children due to economic hardship?
whatchutalkinboutwillis?

puckbunny's avatar

@SeventhSense I was not defended a parent’s right to kill their children. One no one has the right to kill another human being. It is against the law for one. I was simply stating that it is possible that due to economic hardship parents may be more likely to kill their children.

Second, why does everyone think that every parent has to be this skinny little thing? And besides that why would it be okay for a morbidly obese parents raising morbidly obese children to kill them?????

SeventhSense's avatar

@puckbunny
Yes like I thought your implication revealed an unfounded premise. The logic is faulty. Sure it’s probable that a parent may kill their children under any circumstances but to claim that it’s likely likely implies that there is a high probability. Please do tell what facts you have to support that thesis other than conjecture.

And @Blondesjon reference to obese parents had nothing to do with their capacity for infanticide but a pattern of neglect which would lead to an early death due to obesity.

Blondesjon's avatar

@SeventhSense . . . thank you. i could have said it better but am much too lazy tonight. i owe you a solid.

Response moderated
SeventhSense's avatar

@Blondesjon

Your welcome but of course I disagree with your vain imagination. That is the most terse and accurate support of the argument possible. The prosecution rests your honor

tinyfaery's avatar

Sensationalism in what passes for news these days, and the media loves to harp on these stories.

I’m not sure we can really know. How long have they been keeping statistics for these crimes?

YARNLADY's avatar

Whitout some statistical studies, we cannot be sure, but my opinion is that the acts are no more numerous than they ever were, but the reporting of them has been improved.

grumpyfish's avatar

I found some nice data on the DOJ. “Completed violence” (which is different than “assault”) to Child (e.g., offender was Parent):
1996: 44,890
1997: 33,540
1998: 16,610
1999: 29,370
2000: 33,860
2001: 56,120
2002: 37,680
2003: 23,240
2004: 39,550
2005: 19,350
2006: 25,770

Someone would need to find out the populations involved to work out a per-capital, but it looks like it tends to increase when the economy sucks, and decrease when the economy is better (1998, 2005, both being “peak” years in the business cycle), but that’s shooting from the hip.

SeventhSense's avatar

@grumpyfish
And 2001 was an extremely stressful time for the entire nation.
So as per completed violence (definition?) evidence we can say that in the past ten years there does not appear to be an increase. And if we use start and endpoints of 1996 and 2006 it appears that there were 43% more incidents in 1996 than 2006.

MRSHINYSHOES's avatar

It appears that way. I think the downturn in the economy has a lot to do with it, but I think it also has something to do with the steady and gradual breakdown of morals in society, a breakdown of commitment and faith, and a breakdown of support from community and other social institutions. We have become a much more senseless, uncaring, and aloof society. It’s every man for himself. If you suffer from depression or have lost your job, it is difficult to find empathy and resources to help you with your problems. Without the social network and community support, many people feel as though they have no where to turn, so they decide to end it all for themselves and their children. It is a sad and tragic state, one that needs to be addressed. I am a pessimist——tragedy will continue to plague our news headlines until people come together and help one another. :(

SeventhSense's avatar

@MRSHINYSHOES
Well so far the limited data we have here doesn’t back it up. It seems that way, is not the same as it is that way. Every political and religious group loves to create firestorms out of these exact types of faulty inferences and before we know it we are forming conclusions without merit. Surely there are many different factors creating enormous stress in society. Even from the limited data above:
1996: 44,890
1997: 33,540

2005: 19,350
2006: 25,770

There has not been shown any answer yet to justify this particular hypothesis as being valid.

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