Sociology Index

Honor killings and honor crimes

Norms, Conduct norms, Social or Cultural Taboo, Gender and Women

Honor killings and honor crimes occur in many counties among all ethnic groups and social classes irrespective of religion. Honor killing is the murder of a family member or social group by group members who believe that the victim has brought dishonor or shame to the family or group.

In a male dominated society honor killings and honor crimes are commited particularly against women and are rarely reported. In India for example, honor killings and honor crimes are not only common, but are unfortunately commited with support from other women. Men are targetted victims of honor killings if they have an inappropriate relationship with a woman or marry outside their caste or religion.

According to a study by the General Directorate of National Security, 1,091 honor crimes were committed in Turkey between 2000 and 2005. According to the government figures released in February 2011, the murders of women in Turkey have increased fourteen-fold in seven years from 66 in 2002 to 953 in the first seven months of 2009.

Honor killings and honor crimes are bound to increase because women in patriarchal cultures will gain more and more economic independence from their families and go against their male-dominated culture.