Eugenics, Eugenics And Selective Breeding

2034 WordsSep 8, 20149 Pages
Eugenics is defined as the science of improving a human population by controlled breeding to increase the occurrence of desirable heritable characteristics (Merriam-Webster). The extensive and shadowed history of authoritative and liberal eugenics practices dates back to 1883 when eugenecist Francis Galton began publicly advocating for the castration of the insane. Eugenics practices occurred around the world for more than a century and are still part of scientific progress and discussion today. From the T4 programs of Nazi Germany to the Human Genome Project and the mapping of the entire fetal genetic makeup, eugenics and selective breeding have played a major part in the history and social makeup of the world. Sterilization became the most common eugenics practice in American between the 1920’s and 1970’s. In 1907, Indiana passed the first sterilization law which enabled doctors to legally sterilize patients deemed unfit to reproduce without their permission. The law came about during an era when vaccinations, clean eating and workplace safety were all being supported. These public views helped the practice gain support in the name of generational health and wellbeing. In the Model Law of Sterilization published in 1914 by Harry Laughlin, any persons deemed feeble-minded, insane, criminalistic, epileptic, diseased, blind, deaf, deformed, promiscuous or dependent by the state were able to be sterilized by a physician without consent. Although sterilization wasn’t widely

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