By Mark Largent
Most heavily linked to the Nazis and global conflict II atrocities, eugenics is typically defined as a government-orchestrated breeding application, different occasions as a pseudo-science, and infrequently because the first step resulting in genocide. much less often it really is famous as a flow having hyperlinks to the USA. yet eugenics does have a heritage during this kingdom, and Mark A. Largent tells that tale via exploring one in all its most annoying facets, the obligatory sterilization of greater than 64,000 americans. The ebook starts off within the mid-nineteenth century, whilst American doctors started advocating the sterilization of voters they deemed degenerate. via the flip of the 20 th century, physicians, biologists, and social scientists championed the reason, and lawmakers in two-thirds of the U.S. enacted legislation that required the sterilization of varied criminals, psychological healthiness sufferers, epileptics, and syphilitics.
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Extra info for Breeding Contempt: The History of Coerced Sterilization in the United States
For example, the JAMA published a critical evaluation of efforts at the State Hospital for the Insane in Norristown, Pennsylvania, to solve women’s mental problems with oöphorectomies. qxd 22 6/20/07 9:59 AM Page 22 breeding contempt Dr. Joseph Price and Dr. Alice Bennett, with the consent of the hospital’s trustees, reported that they had, on October 29, 1892, removed the ovaries of four women and had “marked for operation” ﬁfty other wards. ”36 Very few individual physicians spoke out against the use of sexual surgeries to solve complex psychological, sexual, and social problems in the nineteenth century.
The cost of these defectives and their offspring, he claimed, had more than doubled between 1890 and 1908, as hereditary defects had rapidly increased in number. ”68 When medical doctors used the term heredity in the nineteenth century and in the ﬁrst several years of the twentieth century, they understood it to mean something fundamentally different than biologists did. Heredity for medical doctors included both the biological inheritance that we receive from our parents as well as the environment in which we develop.
A Plea for the Unborn), in which he described in great detail efforts by American lawmakers to limit the reproduction of degenerates through the passage of marriage laws and their efforts to pass compulsory sterilization laws. ”84 New Allies Emerge After the turn of the twentieth century, just as Sharp and other American medical advocates of compulsory sterilization were increasing their efforts to sterilize their patients and enact laws requiring it, members of a number of other professions took up the subject.
Breeding Contempt: The History of Coerced Sterilization in the United States by Mark Largent