Save

Routine Infanticide by Married Couples? An Assessment of Baptismal Records from Seventeenth Century Parma

In: Journal of Early Modern History
Author: Laura Hynes1
View More View Less
  • 1 , Halifax, Canada
Download Citation Get Permissions

Access options

Get access to the full article by using one of the access options below.

Institutional Login

Log in with Open Athens, Shibboleth, or your institutional credentials

Login via Institution

Purchase

Buy instant access (PDF download and unlimited online access):

€29.95$34.95

Abstract

This study uses baptismal records from the Italian city of Parma from 1609 to 1637 to chart the sex ratio of male and female infants at baptism. This article measures the Parman sex ratio against the natural sex ratio at birth for live-born infants, as determined by Praven Visaria, and offers preliminary findings that indicate that married couples used infanticide as a means of controlling family size and sex in seventeenth-century Parma. The 28 years studied encompass both relatively strong economic and agricultural years as well as a variety of crises. By selecting a period with both good and bad economic years it is possible to see if parents behaved differently as their household conditions varied. Further, dividing the approximately 30,000 baptisms by rural and urban jurisdictions and familial socio-economic status makes visible parental recourse to infanticide through unnatural ratios of males and females within different segments of society.

Content Metrics

All Time Past Year Past 30 Days
Abstract Views 368 74 7
Full Text Views 156 3 0
PDF Views & Downloads 47 3 0