Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Why kids kill

I wrote an article some time ago on why kids kill. The possible psychology behind why young people can become mass killers.

On FaceBook Lesley made the comment

Some very interesting points there Tony. The only thing, and I hope you don't mind me adding my 5 cents worth, with regard to teens acting like a small child having a temper tantrum when they kill. Temper tantrums are not planned. They seem very spontaneous and it would appear that the massacres that teens carry out are planned over a long time. I do agree about the uncontrolled anger all the same.


I take your point Lesley that temper tantrums of a two year old are not planned. And the psychology of a 2 year old and 20 year old are obviously different. The point I was trying to make was that in some way kids who kill like this, display some qualities of a temper tantrum and that of course is going to be different to a 2 year old temper tantrum

Child murder
Even in murderous acts there will still be a quality of childlike innocence.

In both the cases of Martin Bryant and the Adam Lanza they began with what seemed like premeditated and planned murders. Bryant killed those two people in their house he had a grudge against and Adam Lanza began with killing his mother.

Matricide! Now there is about four blog posts worth of material. Matricide is probably one of the most abnormal behaviors humans can display. For children mother is the most important person in the world by far. Mother is the key to a child’s psychological and physical survival (even if she abuses the child). I think it is safe to say that the offspring of any mother take this psychological position. Whether that be a human offspring or the offspring of a seagull.

The death of mother is the one thing a child fears most. Even when the child is in adulthood it seems safe to say that mother still occupies a unique and very special position in their core of their psyche. To kill mother is an act so against the very biological programming in us humans, one could argue. Hence the view that it is a very abnormal piece of human behaviour. It is so completely against nature and millions of years of evolution. 

Pregnant mother
For a child to kill a mother is completely antithetical to human evolution

Clearly the first killings were not of a temper tantrum style. It seems after the initial event then there was more of an indiscriminate temper tantrum display of anger. One could say both young men switched ego states in some way from the 20 year old planning style to a kind of 2 year old emotional state of mind in the expression of their anger. One can say that the will display a combination of 20year old and 2 year old behaviour mixed in together.


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