Sir Francis Galton Coined the term in 1883, from Greek well born Cousin of Charles Darwin Concluded that traits like intelligence were inherited
Positive Eugenics Humans should be bred to improve the species Encourage most fit to reproduce Better Babies Contests Fitter Family Contests
Negative Eugenics Discourage or prevent the less fit from reproducing Compulsory sterilization laws Marriage restrictions, less desirable races not allowed to marry more desirable races Immigration restrictions Birth control
Negative Eugenics Havelock Ellis, a socialist in the early 20th century said: The superficially sympathetic man flings a coin to a beggar; the more deeply sympathetic man builds an almshouse for him, so he need no longer beg; the most radically sympathetic of all is the man who arranges that the beggar shall not be born.
Immigration 1900-1920: 600,000 - 1,250,000 immigrants per year Larger numbers of southern and eastern Europeans Immigration Restriction Act of 1924 limited immigration to 165,000/year, and S and E European groups to 9% of that
Sterilization Laws First law in 1907, Indiana Last procedure carried out in 1981 Most commonly targeted: the mentally retarded (feebleminded) and the mentally ill Also targeted under many state laws: deaf, blind, epileptics, physically disabled, and even orphans, homeless, and homosexuals Some criminals were sterilized in prisons as well. Over 65,000 individuals were sterilized in 33 states in the US.
Buck vs. Bell (1927) Test case: Carrie Buck Supreme Court: "Carrie Buck is the probable potential parent of socially inadequate offspring, likewise afflicted, that she may be sexually sterilized without detriment to her general health and that her welfare and that of society will be promoted by her sterilization"
It is better for all the world, if instead of waiting to execute degenerate offspring for crime, or to let them starve for their imbecility, society can prevent those who are manifestly unfit from continuing their kind. The principle that sustains compulsory vaccination is broad enough to cover cutting the Fallopian tubes.
Discussion Questions Should immigration into the US be limited? Should a person ever be prevented from becoming a parent? If so, what might be some acceptable reasons?
Sources Image Archive on the American Eugenics Movement http://www.eugenicsarchive.org/eugenics http://www.eugenicsarchive.org/eugenics http://www.highwire.org.uk/teach_res/genetics/pages/res/lesson 4.pdfhttp://www.highwire.org.uk/teach_res/genetics/pages/res/lesson 4.pdf