This website uses cookies to ensure you have the best experience. Learn more

Eugenics Movement Essay

4165 words - 17 pages

PAGE Bell PAGE \* MERGEFORMAT 14
Ashley BellStop # 536Mr HeplerU.S. History II: 1877 - Present1 November 2010Eugenics Movement in AmericaEugenics is a class of genetics and a social movement that is centered on improving the genetic make-up of the human population by getting rid of undesirable genes carried by individuals. Eugenics is a word of Greek origin that is made up of the words 'Eu' and 'Genics'; which means good and generation or origin respectively. Therefore, the word literally means 'Good Generation or Origin'. Eugenics is largely based upon Darwin's theory that seeks to explain the evolution of civilization by using the hypothesis of "man's descent from animal"; in the case of humans it was a gradual evolution from 'apes'. The theory is based on the premise that all things living and non-living have a common ancestor and that all life is related in one way or another.The origin is from a 'simplistic ancestor'; however, with the passage of time subsequent mutations modified the genetic composition and gave rise to different species and eventually, the world took its form as we know it today. The theory further presumed that the survival of various species that emerged as results of the mutations were the result of simple adaptive mechanism to the ever-changing environment.The stronger species survived by passing on the desirable traits on to their progeny; however, the species that couldn't adapt and their genetic code were not desirable enough soon perished and became extinct (Gross, et al 1983, Pp 450-458). This is known as a process of 'Natural selection' that is stronger species are favored by nature and thus, are the ones who survive in the end. Therefore, the main foundation of the eugenics movement was to eliminate those, who were deemed as undesirable segments of the human population and thereby, promote reproduction amongst races that were believed to possess a very desirable genetic composition.Darwin further pointed out that all attributes and traits of an individual are inherited and Darwin's non-theistic explanation for the origin of ethics in The Descent of Man (1871): "He pointed out that other animals live in societies and cooperate, and the social instinct producing this cooperative behavior is heritable. In humans the social instincts have developed further than in most other species, and, harnessed together with expanded human cognitive abilities, produced what we call morality. The mechanism producing the increase in social instincts was, according to Darwin, natural selection through the struggle for existence. Those groups with more cooperative and self-sacrificing individuals would out-compete those groups with more selfish individuals" (p. 22).Even though, Darwin himself was sceptical of his theory and has stated that if an organism was discovered that clearly showed no sign of evolution, such an organism would be called 'Irreducibly complex system'.The discovery would thereby nullify the whole theory and...

Find Another Essay On Eugenics movement

Eugenics Essay

1034 words - 4 pages The roots of eugenics can be traced back to Britain in the early 1880’s when Sir Francis Galton generated the term from the Greek word for “well-born”. He defined eugenics as the science of improving stock, whether human or animal. According to the American Eugenics Movement, today’s study of eugenics has many similarities to studies done in the early 20th century. Back then, “Eugenics was, quite literally, an effort to breed better human

Social Darwinism: History of the Study of Eugenics

791 words - 4 pages superior to others; and that one inherits their relatives’ mental and psychological traits. Eugenics has many negative effects on society. Through the theory of Social Darwinism, the use of sterilization and genetic engineering, eugenics has become one of the biggest debates in China and is slowly spreading to the United States. Eugenics originated in the late 19th century during the Social Darwinism movement. It was proposed by Francis Galton

Eugenics in America

786 words - 3 pages American mindset. The rapidly changing economy and demographics of America brought hysteria of a siege of American values by “lesser”, “non-western” cultures. In response, the Eugenics movement arose in the latter nineteenth century to combat ethnic groups deemed “degenerate” or “inferior.” Popularized in the early twentieth, it manifested itself throughout American culture from textbooks to advertisements for household goods

The Misapplication of Eugenics

1249 words - 5 pages The concept of eugenics has to do with the belief or practice of improving the genetic quality of the human race (“Eugenics” 2010). The concept was first introduced by Francis Galton, a researcher who wished to apply Darwin’s theory of evolution to the human race. Much like many endeavors that start off with good intentions, the results of applying this concept in real life were gross crimes against humanity. The eugenics movement in the

The Rise and Fall of the Eugnics Movement

3927 words - 16 pages revolution during the late 19th century through the Second World War. This essay will explore the topic of eugenics which has disappeared from today’s science textbooks. This includes a thorough history of the origin of eugenics, the people behind its movement, as well as its application in society. Sir Francis Galton Sir Francis Galton first coined the term ‘eugenics’ in 1883. Under his definition, eugenics was the “study of agencies

Population Control and Womens Rights

2414 words - 10 pages restrictions on the reproductive rights of women around the world. A controversial issue, population control has been both promoted and criticized within the women's movement. It can be understood both as a way to empower women by providing them with more control over their bodies, and as a form of violence which systematically robs women of reproductive rights. A good example of population control that violently impacts women is eugenics

Brief Notes on Eugenics

1328 words - 5 pages people would have smaller families, while degenerate families would have larger families. They also believed that public welfare might also allow less fit people to produce.Explain how medicine placed its stamp on the eugenics movement i.e. the racial hygiene movement and compulsory sterilization.Some physicians were convinced that social failure was a medical problem. When hospitals failed to treat the psychotic, retarded, and the poor, eugenicists

The Downfall of Eugenics

1229 words - 5 pages Eugenics Movement. Eugenics Archive. Web. 08 June 2011. . Hitler, Adolf. Mein Kampf: Zwei Bände in Einem Band. Vol. 1. Bottom of the Hill, 1938. Print. Proctor, Robert. Racial Hygiene: Medicine under the Nazis. Cambridge, MA: Harvard UP, 1988. Print. Sanger, Alexander. "Eugenics, Race, and Margaret Sanger Revisited: Reproductive Freedom for All?" Hypatia: A Journal of Feminist Philosophy 22.2 (2007): 210-17. Print.

Eugenics

1820 words - 8 pages crude term like begets like (Grekul 2008). This term was the foundation of what shaped the Eugenics movement into a dark and horrific period (McLaren 1990). Introduction The fight for the right to life is not the cause of a special few, but the cause of every man, woman and child who care not only about his or her own family, but the whole family of man (Dr. Mildred Jefferson). In sequence, through the history of consensual and non-consensual

Eugenics: Man Vs God

1125 words - 5 pages were an everyday occurrence and an astonishing 60,000 American's were forcibly sterilized, some as young as 10 years old, after their state deemed them mentally, or socially, handicapped. The modern day eugenics movement all started with Francis Galton who, in 1869, proposed that procreation between the upper class men and the wealthy women could lead to a superior race. This led to the American Eugenics Society being founded in 1926, a society

Eugenics: A Reasonable Proposal

2196 words - 9 pages following the Free Love movement of the 60s and during the tumultuous 70s as Viet Nam concluded and the Drug Wars began. Both eras had superimposed conflicting cultural values socially: The 60s equal rights debates had rejected eugenics on the aforementioned assumption it is linked to Fascism, and in the 70s a materialistic consumer culture began that gained momentum in the 80s, despite the Recession, which established the basis for 90s pop culture

Similar Essays

The Eugenics Movement Essay

1759 words - 7 pages In the 1920s, a company in New York started a movement known as “The Eugenics Movement.” The idea of eugenics was eventually picked up by Germany, China, Peru, India and Bangladesh. The movement is still in effect till this day; however, it is not as prevalent as it once was. The beginning of the Eugenics Movement all started at Cold Spring Harbor, New York. The United States coined the term Eugenics from Great Britain in the early 1900s. In

The Eugenics Movement For Criminality Essay

626 words - 3 pages The eugenics movement started in the early 1900s and was adopted by doctors and the general public during the 1920s. The movement aimed to create a better society through the monitoring of genetic traits through selective heredity. Over time, eugenics took on two different views. Supporters of positive eugenics believed in promoting childbearing by a class who was “genetically superior.” On the contrary, proponents of negative eugenics tried to

International Eugenics Essay

1406 words - 6 pages end of the nineteenth century with the introduction of the study of eugenics. The purpose of this study is to examine the historiography of the eugenics movement as it occurred globally, providing a comparative survey of programs, legislation and ideologies in multiple nation settings. In order to provide a global comparative study of international eugenic programs and ideologies, several disciplines will be followed, focusing on four major terms

International Eugenics Essay

1843 words - 7 pages end of the nineteenth century with the introduction of the study of eugenics. The purpose of this study is to examine the historiography of the eugenics movement as it occurred globally, providing a comparative survey of programs, legislation and ideologies in multiple nation settings. In order to provide a global comparative study of international eugenic programs and ideologies, several disciplines will be followed, focusing on four major terms