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Marital homicide in terms of gender differences



ID: <10.4000/champpenal.9535>·DOI: <10.4000/champpenal.9535>


In this research on social representations of conjugal murder, also referred to as “crime of passion” in the newspapers, female perpetrators are portrayed as killing less than men; female criminality is not considered as fitting gender models. Furthermore, men and women neither kill their partner in the same way nor for the same reasons. Female perpetrators may be “excused” if for example, they are seen as victims of fate, or protecting their children. On the contrary, they are portrayed as monsters if their motives are less « feminine» (greed, or mere rebellion towards their partner). In this article we will discuss the relevance of introducing in France the idea of legitimate self-defence in a bill when women victims of domestic violence kill their partner and are considered as victims of the “battered woman syndrome” (learned helplessness). But victimization is it not a brake against their empowerment?

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