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Essays in Eugenics by Francis Galton
In the United States in the late 1930s, in light of the growing upset about the association between eugenics and racism, reformers tried to shift the eugenics movements to a more moderate stance, and many mainstream eugenics groups moved away from hard-line positions. By the late 1940s, the increasing public awareness of Nazi atrocities pushed public opinion even more against eugenics, and the word started to lose its respectability. Eugenics laws were reframed by being called hygiene or public health laws. Many of the reform eugenicists joined other scientists working in the nascent field of genetics, and some were founding members of the American Society of Human Genetics when it was formed in 1948. Although the growing antieugenics sentiment slowly turned eugenics from a dominant scientific field into a discredited memory, scientists who had worked on heredity as eugenicists embedded their study of hereditary diseases and mental and moral traits within Mendelian genetics.
Eugenics organizations and political movements were started in Germany in 1904, Britain in 1907, and the United States in 1910. At the height of the era of eugenics, there were more than 30 national movements in such countries as Japan, Brazil, and others throughout Europe. In some countries coercive measures were rejected; in others policies were more limited, but in each country the adoption of national eugenics programs and popular movements represented an attempt to modernize and adopt scientific methods for advancing the health and well-being of the populace as a whole. Even the most notorious case of eugenics, the Nazi Germany eugenics program, was associated with discussion of the “greater good.” It becomes easy to forget that the Nazi obsession with a healthy nation led not only to genocide but also to national campaigns for healthy eating and the elimination of criminal behavior.
Essays In Eugenics by Francis Galton
Nevertheless, eugenics was greatly embraced and was behind a scientific and social revolution during the late 19th century through the Second World War....
While "today, the preoccupation with immigrant fertility is couched in concerns over expenditures rather than in classic eugenicist worries over the depletion of the national gene pool" (54), that supposed strain on the national economy presented by immigration is still located in immigrant's reproduction, although it is less frequently explicitly the "whiteness" of the nation that is threatened....
Free eugenics Essays and Papers - 123helpme
Eugenics is the idea that human mental, moral, temperamental and physiological traits are passed down through generations, and that society should attempt to foster the reproduction of those with favorable traits and discourage or eliminate those with less than favorable traits.
The word eugenics (from the Greek for “well bred”) was coined by Francis Galton in 1883. It represented his participation in a broad cultural movement focused on breeding and heredity throughout the educated middle class of England and the United States. Galton was inspired to work on evolution and heredity by considering the writings of his cousin Charles Darwin and the economist Thomas Malthus, who both had been key contributors to the popular interest in population-level studies in biology during the 19th century. Darwin’s theory of evolution stressed the importance of variation within populations, whereas Malthus’s work focused on the dangers of overpopulation. From a synthesis of their works, Galton proposed a new science that would study variation and its effect in human populations. Though classification systems based on race and other factors existed, Galton’s work advanced and popularized the idea of differing hereditable traits and their potential dangers.
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The control of reproduction by the state has a long history in practice and in theory, appearing in key political works since Plato’s Republic, wherein the ruler decided which citizens would have how many children, and this history was often cited at the height of popular acceptance of eugenics. Public health, social welfare programs, and even state hospital systems were only beginning to be developed at the middle of the 19th century, and among the social and technological upheavals at the end of the 19th century was an increasingly strong movement to maintain public health through governmental controls. As a result, there was widespread support in the United States for policies that were seen as progressive. In this context, an effort to promote the future health and quality of the population by encouraging the increase of good traits while working to limit the replication of bad traits seemed acceptable.
Free eugenics movement Essays and Papers - 123helpme
Gregory Stock’s essay, The Enhanced and Un-Enhanced, presents otherwise by supporting the position of maximalist eugenics, allowing individuals the full extent in the selection of genes....
Free eugenics movement papers, essays, and research papers.
The complex relationship many public figures had with eugenics stems in part from the usefulness of using it as a justification because of its widespread support. Birth control advocate Margaret Sanger publicly supported a rational version of negative eugenics but may have done so only for the credibility she gained as a result. She and other advocates for access to birth control were taken much more seriously by policy makers because they connected the issue with the more popular eugenics movement. In this light, Sanger’s suggestion that the upper classes were able to get birth control despite the laws and that there was a need to change the laws to slow the breeding of the poor, who were unable to attain birth control, may be seen as a political as opposed to ideological choice.
Eugenics - Essay - 87,000+ Free Term Papers and Essays
In the early 1970s, around the time the last of the eugenics laws were enacted and only a few years after the latest forced sterilizations in the United States, references in popular press, media, and news sources that suggested that genetic causes of mental and moral defects were at an all time low. In the last 30 years, there has been a steady increase in popular awareness of and interest in genetics and a dramatic resurgence of reference to genetic causes of traits. Between 1975 and 1985, there was 200-fold increase in public references suggesting a genetic cause for crime, mental capacity or intelligence, alcoholism, and other moral and mental traits that had been central concerns under eugenics. This level of interest increased fourfold by the early 1990s and has not decreased. These issues are magnified today in areas where population growth adds to economic and social pressures. Where the use of technology for sex selection and choice of appropriate qualities of one’s off spring becomes more active, it leads to controversy. In India and China, the perceived need to extend control to practices and technologies of heredity has garnered accusations of a new eugenics in media coverage.
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