Thursday, February 9, 2012

American Eugenics

So since we were able to view prominent examples of eugenics found throughout European history, I decided to look up examples of eugenics in the United States. What I found was shocking. American eugenics ranged from focus on eliminating occurrences of diseases such as epilepsy, to traits such as general weakness. One of America's most influential inventors, Alexander Graham Bell, even admitted that deaf people should not be allowed to marry in order to eliminate deafness (Remsberg). Humans were compared to animals in the sense that the "best" were "purebred." Eugenics is one of those practices which truly shows the extent of societal misconceptions regarding humanity, and I believe it to be an important focal point in scientific history and in the shaping of our ethical belief systems today. The link below also has an interesting slideshow depicting images of American eugenics, for those who are curious.


1 comment:

  1. Following up to what Elizabeth wrote, I find it unbelievable that America was a part of the eugenics craze and sterilized many of its citizens. As I read the article "Eugenics victims might get payment" by Anna Oakes, I discovered that in North Carolina that sterilizations occurred from 1929 to 1974. I cannot believe that the American government allowed sterilizations until that recent of a date. However, the article did say that the victims might be receiving up to $50,000 in repayment for what was done to them. I don't think money could ever fix what was done to these people, but it is better than just sweeping the past under the rug and forgetting about it. At least North Carolina might be admitting to their wrong-doings.