In all human cultures, some infants are either murdered or neglected in a manner almost certain to induce premature death (Dickeman, 1975). As a systematic practice, however, infanticide seems to be more perva­ sive and intense among those cultures that have not yet urbanized and industrialized. Not all premodern or “primitive” cultures practice institutionalized infanticide, but among those that do, the anthropologi­ cal evidence seems to indicate that female babies are more likely to be eliminated than male babies (Harris, 1975). Technically, of course, infanticide refers only to the deliberate elimination of human infants under 1 year of age, but here are considered a set of related phenomena extending well beyond infancy, since the specific forces that lead adults to devalue female newborns are diverse and do not necessarily cease to operate once the first year of life has passed.