The blogger who writes The Yaqqoth Grimoire posted about B2 The Keep on the Borderlands and so-called Gygaxian Naturalism. That's the term for Gary Gygax's details in adventures and monster books alike for the number of women and kids in a tribe, what monsters eat, how monster X gets to the surface to hunt, etc. Like real critters, hence naturalism. Although it doesn't extend to toilets, oddly - I had to put in latrines in B2 because my PCs reasonably wondered where that all gets done. Anyway.
As you can see from the post above, his players handled the women and kids with Molotov cocktails and the justification that the monsters are, well, monsters. He took out the women and kids from that point on. That's a fair solution, but what if you don't take them out? If you get rid of them, you get rid of an interesting moral, ethical, and tactical dilemma.
Whacking the women and kids. Yeah, just makes you squirm, right? Bring the genocide aspect of dungeon crawling right up. "Clearing the dungeon" and "Defeating a chaotic outpost" really are just euphemisms for genocide. The only good orc is a dead orc. But there you are, faced with females of the goblinoid species you just fought in brutal combat. Young, too. Let them live and more orcs come, and orcs are bad guys in this simplistic world and they're damn well going to raid farms, take slaves, and eat kids. Later they'll armor up and have swords and whatnot, but these guys are at your mercy.
What do you do?
It's a tough call. Do you whack the women and kids, or spare them? Is killing Chaotic orcs okay when they are adults, but not when they are kids?
Do you show mercy and potentially open up the chance for surrenders and parlay and so on, or kill them all and ensure a fight to the death?
Do you spare them and suffer the consequences later, or do you molotov the women and kids because you know they'll knife you if you turn your back?
My players are doing B2 right now, and their solution has been to kill anything that fought them, but spare anything that didn't. Female hobgoblins and gnolls fought them and died hard. Some female hobgoblins didn't fight, and got spared (not even robbed, just ignored).
So non-combatants of any age or sex get spared . . . and they feel it's what let them negotiate with some of the goblinoids. They are purely profit oriented, so avoiding fights saves them money and resources and potential injury, while massacre gets them nothing extra. They rescued a berserker barbarian and let him join them, and he gleefully murdered three gnoll kids he discovered. Hey, gnolls captured him and tormented him and then were going to eat him, he's got no sympathy. But Vryce, the party's tactical leader, told him not to with the explanation that sparing hobgoblin kids is what made it possible to negotiate a non-aggression pact with the hobgoblins and potentially get them as allies if they need them later. Plus it meant expending zero resources rooting out diehards who know even kids don't get spared by these home invaders.
My players did joke that "in a week, they'll be adults and fight us." Maybe they are right, and they're just asking for more trouble later. But the solution felt right - the adult goblinoids who raid, pillage, and kill get killed. The young are spared the blade and if they survive and come for revenge, well, the blade is waiting for them.
Get rid of the females and young. This fits well with that mythic underworld bit that AFAIK Philotomy articulated best (and heck, maybe first, I don't know). Orc kids? Are there orc kids in Mordor? Were there weeping mother boogie men? If you don't have mamma demons and mamma slimes, why have mamma gnolls? Without women and kids, they are truly monsters. Motherless spawn of evil. No tactical wonder about prisoners and women and kids - Evil, evil, evil. Even Nazi prison guards have moms, but in this method orcs don't. They may spawn from pure evil, be tortured into form from humans and elves or dwarves (irreversibly, of course, so killing them is mercy), made in some hideous fashion like golems, or summoned from beyond. Kill, kill, kill! Your ethical problem is killing them fast enough, your moral problem is their existence, and your tactical problem is not getting killed back in the process.
I know from that summary it sounds like the first method is the "good" method, but I'm not really favoring one over the other. That moral/ethical/tactical quandary is interesting but it can derail play, potentially takes some joy out of the game sessions (It's all fun until you have to kill goblin kids, or not), and misses out on the underworld bit. Which seems mroe fun - the dilemma of females and young (and any other non-combatants - do you kill autistic orc or the feeble old gnoll?) or the horror-shivers of "orcs used to be elves until they were tortured into that form . . ." or "I can become that." You know, the zombie-as-contagion or ghoul-as-punishment-for-cannibalism approach.
I went with the former because I wanted to run B2 out of the box. But it had opportunity costs in mythical coolness.
Pick your poison.