Margaret Sanger's Speech On Eugenics

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Margaret Sanger was a birth rights advocate and in her later years, supported eugenics. Eugenics is the belief that all of the good human qualities can be the main characteristics instead of all the bad qualities in the human population. In the speech, Sanger believes that people with mental illnesses should have limited children or no children at all which proves that she supported negative eugenics and sterilization. In the 1910s, Sanger became an advocate for birth control. As the years went on, Margaret Sanger became associated with the term of birth control and even later, eugenics. In the 1920s, she gave a speech entitled “The Morality of Birth Control”. In the speech, she addressed why birth control should be legal and why women deserve …show more content…

During this era, many people thought that negative or bad characteristics were hereditary. There were many studies and tests done that proved this and lead the public to continue believing this. These tests were given to all individuals in school to determine which class the student would be in. The students who did not pass were sent to the special education rooms while the rest were placed into ordinary classrooms (Haller 96). People believed that people with mental illnesses, or feeblemind as they referred to them, has to do with the descendants of Deborah Kallikak. Kallikak’s great-great-great grandfather was Martin Kallikak. When the American Revolution began, Martin immediately joined the militia to help fight. While he was in the militia, he met with a girl who was considered feeble-minded at the tavern he visited often. He had a son with her and his illegitimate son bore his name. As this boy grew up, he came to be known as Old Horror. This line was followed through the ages and many of the family members were found to be feebleminded, normal, or unknown mentality. However, Martin Kallikak went on to marry a Quaker girl and much of this family turned out normal (Haller 106). To the people of this era, this was total and undeniable proof of mental illnesses and bad characteristics to be passed down from generation to

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