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"Kona som hafwer mördat barn" - Barnamord i Sverige under 1600- och 1700-talet

Bertilsson, Victoria LU (2017) LAGF03 20171
Department of Law
Faculty of Law
Abstract (Swedish)
Barnamord är ett brott som genom historien väckt mycket uppmärksamhet och som gör det än idag, vilket har synts i hur brottet reglerats i lag. Denna uppsats syftar till att förklara varför regleringen av barnamord såg ut som den gjorde under 1600- och 1700-talet och hur regleringen påverkade dåtidens kvinnor.

Barnamord reglerades inte som ett specifikt brott förrän under 1600-talet. Regleringen kom som en reaktion på det ökade antal fall där kvinnor mördade sina oäkta barn för att slippa kyrkans skamstraff. Brottet straffades med döden och genom de fyra barnamordsplakat som kom till mellan 1655 och 1684 infördes en presumtion mot kvinnan i motsats till tidens gällande rättegångsprinciper. Utformningen valdes för att straffet skulle bli... (More)
Barnamord är ett brott som genom historien väckt mycket uppmärksamhet och som gör det än idag, vilket har synts i hur brottet reglerats i lag. Denna uppsats syftar till att förklara varför regleringen av barnamord såg ut som den gjorde under 1600- och 1700-talet och hur regleringen påverkade dåtidens kvinnor.

Barnamord reglerades inte som ett specifikt brott förrän under 1600-talet. Regleringen kom som en reaktion på det ökade antal fall där kvinnor mördade sina oäkta barn för att slippa kyrkans skamstraff. Brottet straffades med döden och genom de fyra barnamordsplakat som kom till mellan 1655 och 1684 infördes en presumtion mot kvinnan i motsats till tidens gällande rättegångsprinciper. Utformningen valdes för att straffet skulle bli tillräckligt avskräckande och det skulle bli möjligt att döma kvinnor mot sitt nekande. Genom presumtionen kunde kvinnor dömas till döden på indicier så som att hon blivit gravid efter en utomäktenskaplig förbindelse, hade dolt sin graviditet, fött i ensamhet och gömt barnet. Kravet på offentlighet och jakten på att avslöja gravida kvinnor innebar en kränkning av kvinnors integritet och små möjligheter till privatliv.

Genom 1778 års barnamordsplakat infördes regler genomsyrade av förståelse för kvinnans svåra situation. Plakatet ledde till rätt till anonymitet för kvinnan och möjlighet att föda på annan ort, samtidigt som det förbjöd klander av ogifta mödrar. Plakatet kan dock kritiseras för att det endast gynnade de kvinnor som hade ekonomiska möjligheter att åka till annan ort och att det ledde till att männen sällan pekades ut och tog ansvar för sina oäkta barn. Att det efter plakatets införande föddes fler oäkta barn men att antalet barnamord minskade tyder dock på att kvinnans situation blev bättre, även om det kanske bara var genom påverkan i form av ökad acceptans av oäkta barn. (Less)
Abstract
In history as well as today, infanticide is a crime that has received a lot of attention which can be seen in the way the crime has been regulated in law. This essay’s purpose is to explain why the regulation of infanticide looked the way it did during the 17th and 18th centuries and how the regulation affected the women of the time.

Infanticide was not regulated as a specific crime until the 17th century. The regulation was created as a reaction to the increasing number of cases where women killed their illegitimate children to avoid the public humiliation of the punishment of the church. The crime was punished by death and through four Infanticide Acts between 1655 and 1684 a presumption against women was introduced, contrary to the... (More)
In history as well as today, infanticide is a crime that has received a lot of attention which can be seen in the way the crime has been regulated in law. This essay’s purpose is to explain why the regulation of infanticide looked the way it did during the 17th and 18th centuries and how the regulation affected the women of the time.

Infanticide was not regulated as a specific crime until the 17th century. The regulation was created as a reaction to the increasing number of cases where women killed their illegitimate children to avoid the public humiliation of the punishment of the church. The crime was punished by death and through four Infanticide Acts between 1655 and 1684 a presumption against women was introduced, contrary to the procedural principles of the time. This was done to make the punishment deterrent enough and so women could be convicted despite their denial. Through the presumption, women could be convicted to death on circumstantial evidence such as her having been pregnant with an illegitimate child, having hidden the pregnancy, given birth in private and hidden the child. The need of insight in the women’s life and the hunt to expose pregnant women resulted in a violation of their integrity and small chances for privacy.

The new rules introduced in the Infanticide Act of 1778 was permeated with understanding for the women’s difficult situation. The new rules gave women the right to anonymity, the possibility to give birth in a different city and banned reproach of unmarried mothers. The rules can be criticized for only favouring women with the economic possibilities to travel to another city and leading to the fathers rarely being identified and having to take responsibility. After the rules were introduced, more illegitimate children were born but the number of infanticides decreased. This suggests that the situation for women was improved, even if only by an increased acceptance of illegitimate children. (Less)
Please use this url to cite or link to this publication:
author
Bertilsson, Victoria LU
supervisor
organization
course
LAGF03 20171
year
type
M2 - Bachelor Degree
subject
keywords
Rättshistoria, Barnamord, Kvinnohistoria
language
Swedish
id
8907977
date added to LUP
2017-06-29 10:44:34
date last changed
2017-06-29 10:44:34
@misc{8907977,
  abstract     = {In history as well as today, infanticide is a crime that has received a lot of attention which can be seen in the way the crime has been regulated in law. This essay’s purpose is to explain why the regulation of infanticide looked the way it did during the 17th and 18th centuries and how the regulation affected the women of the time.

Infanticide was not regulated as a specific crime until the 17th century. The regulation was created as a reaction to the increasing number of cases where women killed their illegitimate children to avoid the public humiliation of the punishment of the church. The crime was punished by death and through four Infanticide Acts between 1655 and 1684 a presumption against women was introduced, contrary to the procedural principles of the time. This was done to make the punishment deterrent enough and so women could be convicted despite their denial. Through the presumption, women could be convicted to death on circumstantial evidence such as her having been pregnant with an illegitimate child, having hidden the pregnancy, given birth in private and hidden the child. The need of insight in the women’s life and the hunt to expose pregnant women resulted in a violation of their integrity and small chances for privacy.

The new rules introduced in the Infanticide Act of 1778 was permeated with understanding for the women’s difficult situation. The new rules gave women the right to anonymity, the possibility to give birth in a different city and banned reproach of unmarried mothers. The rules can be criticized for only favouring women with the economic possibilities to travel to another city and leading to the fathers rarely being identified and having to take responsibility. After the rules were introduced, more illegitimate children were born but the number of infanticides decreased. This suggests that the situation for women was improved, even if only by an increased acceptance of illegitimate children.},
  author       = {Bertilsson, Victoria},
  keyword      = {Rättshistoria,Barnamord,Kvinnohistoria},
  language     = {swe},
  note         = {Student Paper},
  title        = {"Kona som hafwer mördat barn" - Barnamord i Sverige under 1600- och 1700-talet},
  year         = {2017},
}