Effects Of Dehumanization

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According to Maiese (2003), “We typically think that all people have some basic human rights that should not be violated. Innocent people should not be murdered, raped, or tortured.” the mere fact that someone is human is often enough for the average person to treat said human with some degree of empathy and respect. During periods of prolonged conflict between one person, group, nation, etc… each party involved will try to mentally distance themselves from the other. It is incredibly difficult to be cruel to someone or something that you see as equal to yourself, so during periods of prolonged conflict, each group will build an image of their enemy that is noticeably less human than their real-life counterpart. This effect is called dehumanization,…show more content…
Gertrude was a repeated divorcee that was the head of a poor family of seven with a history of being abused by lovers. She dropped out of school when she was only 16 years old in order to pursue a marriage between her and a man name John Baniszewski. John had a volatile temper, often beating his wife for annoying him. Gertrude endured this for 10 years, having 4 children who she gained custody of after her and John’s divorce. Gertrude immediately married a new man by the name of Edward Guthrie. This marriage was doomed to fail however, as after 3 months Edward divorced Gertrude, causing her to remarry her former husband and abuser John Baniszewski. She had two more children with John and then once again divorced him for a final time. Once again, gertrude wasted no time in finding someone new. In 1963, she met a man by the name of Dennis Lee Wright. After having one last child, Gertrude was abandoned by dennis and forced to support herself and her seven children. Years of the stress of failed marriages, supporting a large family, and dealing with financial problems led to an overall decline in Gertrude’s health, both mental and…show more content…
Sylvia and her sister lived with her mother who abandoned their father Lester and left with them. In 1965, Betty was arrested and sentenced to jail time for shoplifting. This left the girls homeless and forced to care for each other. Lester learned of Betty’s incarceration and came to town in order to collect his daughters when he was directed to the Baniszewski home where the girls were staying after being invited by their friend Paula. A deal was struck between Lester and the head of the house Gertrude. The deal was as follows: The Likens girls may live at the Baniszewski residence so long as Lester payed Gertrude $20 a week. Lester agreed to the deal and said something that he would later regret, that he wanted Gertrude to “straighten his daughters
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