Eugenics is the science of using artificial selection to improve genetic features of the population. It is thought that improvement of the human race can be seen through sterilization of people who exhibit undesirable traits and selective breeding. Often called Social Darwinism, the concept was widely accepted during the time of World War I. It quickly became a taboo after World War II when Nazi Germany used it as an excuse for genocide. The thought of improving the human race by manipulating who is allowed to breed can either be appalling or compelling. There are a few appealing aspects to the act of eugenics. If eugenics were applied, the world could potentially see a decrease in disease, a rise in intelligence, and heightened physical aesthetic in humans. But, ethically it crosses many boundaries that have prevented this idea from going into world-wide effect in the past.
Little did they know, they were slowly leading to the downfall of our nation. The word “Eugenics” was coined by Francis Galton. The term comes from the greek roots that mean “good” and“origin”. In other words, the word means “good birth”, which refers to
The four major principles that doctors would look for are insanity, feeble-minded, epilepsy, poverty, alcoholism and certain forms of criminality. They believed that all of these were hereditary, and they used Darwin’s theory of revolution to support that this would help and that these are hereditary. Although, most if not all the requirements they had so the person would be forced to be sterilized were environmental and not hereditary but they did not have enough technology nor information to prove if it was or
Eugenics or “good breeding” is meant to improve the human race through the gene pool using various methods. Similar to designer babies, the process could be used for good, but like Colin Tudge points out, “…although guns and bombs can be used as agents of peace, [humans] should not be overly surprised when in practice they are used to make war” (Tudge 282). Eugenics can be performed simply by regulating who and who cannot mate. It can also be done by sterilization, a procedure that permanently blocks pregnancy in a woman, which was a reality for many. The most famous account was performed by Germany, specifically the Nazis, during WWII, when 400,000 women were sterilized (Tudge 284).
It is impressive that this idea originated from a period of time where there was little knowledge about genes. In conclusion, the idea of eugenics develops during the progressive era and it affect many people during this period of time. This idea of eugenics was where more progress occurs in science. Well not all about the idea of eugenics is bad is has some good points like it can reduce number of babies born with some mental illness or some with really bad illness.
Eugenics was a racist pseudoscience the aimed at clearing out all human beings that we regarded as unfit leaving behind only a selected that were conformed to a Nordic stereotype. Sterilization and segregation policies and marriage restrictions were enacted enshrining elements of philosophy. California was among the top five states to adopt such laws by early 1910. This attributed to a substantial number of marriages being barred and thousands of Americans being sterilized. On average about half of coercive sterilizations were done in California before the eruption of World War II in the 1940s.
When learning about some of the laws and policies enacted throughout history, it is important to understand the historical, social, and political context in which it was created. This does not mean that these contexts justify or alleviate blame from those who enacted these laws or policies, rather, examining the origin of these laws through an interdisciplinary approach can help to understand why these laws may have been created. Adam Cohen’s Imbeciles, discusses the United States eugenics movement and the sterilization of Carrie Buck. Using concepts from Kitty Calavita’s Invitation to Law and Society, Carrie Buck ’s sterilization will be analyzed from the lens of law and society scholarship.
“Eugenics and Compulsory Sterilization Laws: Providing Redress for the Victims of a Shameful Era in United States History,” is an article by, Michael Silver, that addresses the issue of eugenics and involuntary sterilization laws. He specifically looked at the sterilization laws that were practiced in the 20th Century in the United States. Silver brings forth the argument that sterilization laws violate the constitutional rights of Americans of procreation and childrearing. Throughout the article, Silver explains the history of how the laws were created, practiced, and how they affected those that were involuntarily sterilized. As the article progresses, Silver gave examples of how individual states and the United States, collectively as a
Furthermore, men were the majority of sterilization victims and then intension shifted dramatically to women. The unfit mother and well-fit dependency affected many people. Plan Parenthood has led to the eugenics movement with eugenics mania occurring. The unfit motherhood was the real problem in the society. In the 1960’s, black power groups formed and race genocide occurred.
Historical Progression of Disability/Sexuality Rights Early in our history, the societal notion of eugenics in reference to disability, a theory that lends to the belief that persons with disabilities will only give birth to babies with disabilities, spawned the practice of involuntary sterilization (Harader, Fullwood, & Hawthorne, 2009). The aim of the eugenics movement in the United States during the first half of the twentieth century was to prevent the degeneration of the white race (Stubblefield, 2007). Forcibly, many individuals with disabilities were sterilized in residences of institutions. American eugenics refers inter alia to compulsory sterilization laws adopted by over 30 states that led to more than 60,000 sterilizations of disabled
Director of the Department of Health, Education, and Welfare’s (HEW) Population Affairs Office, Carl Shultz, estimated that the government funded 100,000 to 200,000 sterilizations in America, paralleling the 250,000 sterilizations that took place under the Nazi Regime (Davis, 129). In the 1960’s and 1970’s, the nation experienced a population scare after Professor Ehrlich proposed his theory of a “population bomb”, which stated that an increase in population would lead to food insecurity due to the environment’s inability to support such a large amount of people. (Put cite) The threat of overpopulation pushed the nation to increase birth control in the name of the public good. However, common fixed beliefs, called hegemonic ideologies, of hyperfertility
The recorded setting of the Eugenics framework began in North Carolina in 1929 and continued till 1973. The Eugenics Board of North Carolina affirmed more than 8,000 sanitizations. The aggregate number of setbacks that were really sanitized is said to have been more than 7,600 (Winston-Salem, "Starting a Shameful Era"). Of this number, females accounted to approx. 85% of those cleaned (State Library, "Insights," p. 1).
It is important to realize that Sanger’s campaign for a women’s to choose birth control was at a time when women where not thought of as equals and contraception was considered to be obscene at the time. In fact, she provokes a hostile reaction among Christian leaders that considered her concepts for birth control to be offensive and evil to society. Her advocacy work drew controversy from political followers that criticized her association with science to be immoral for seeking to improve or change the human population. She was often criticized and associated which eugenics, the branch of science that believed in improving the human species through selective mating. However her goal was to allow women to have control over how many children