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1 Eugenics Eu⋅gen⋅ics –noun (Used With A

1 Eugenics Eu⋅gen⋅ics –noun (Used With A

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Published by: LIBIN PALLUPPETTAYIL JOSE on Mar 08, 2010
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ics –noun (used with a singular verb)the study of or belief in the possibility of improving the qualities of the human species or a human population, esp. by such means as discouraging reproduction by persons having genetic defects or  presumed to have inheritable undesirable traits (negative eugenics) or encouraging reproduction by persons presumed to have inheritable desirable traits (positive eugenics).eu·gen·ics (yōō-jěn'ĭks)n. (used with a sing. verb)The study of hereditary improvement of the human race by controlled selective breeding.Word Origin & Historyeugenics1883, coined by Eng. scientist Francis Galton (1822-1911) on analogy of ethics, physics, etc. from Gk. eugenes "well-born, of good stock," from eu- "good"+ genos "birth" (seegenus)."The investigation of human eugenics, that is, of the conditions under which men of ahigh type are produced." [Galton, "Human Faculty," 1883]Medical DictionaryMain Entry: eu·gen·icsPronunciation: yu-'jen-iksFunction: noun plural but singular in construction: a science that deals with theimprovement (as by control of human mating) of hereditaryqualities of a race or breedMedical Dictionaryeugenics eu·gen·ics (y&oomacr;-jěn'ĭks)The study of hereditary improvement of the human race by controlled selective breeding.The word eugenicsderivesfrom theGreek word eu (good or well) and the suffix - genēs (born), and was coined bySir Francis Galtonin 1883, who defined it as "the studyof all agencies under human control which can improve or impair the racial quality of future generations".[23]Eugenics has, from the very beginning, meant many different things to many different people. Historically, the term has referred to everything from prenatal care for mothers toforced sterilization andeuthanasia.Much debate has taken place in the past, as it doestoday—as to what exactly counts as eugenics.[24]Some types of eugenics deal only with perceived beneficial and/or detrimental genetic traits. These are sometimes called“pseudo-eugenics’ by proponents of strict eugenics.The term eugenics is often used to refer to movements and social policies influentialduring the early twentieth century. In a historical and broader sense, eugenics can also bea study of "improving human genetic qualities." It is sometimes broadly applied todescribe any human action whose goal is to improve thegene pool. Some formsof infanticidein ancient societies, present-dayreprogenetics,preemptive abortions anddesigner babieshave been (sometimes controversially) referred to as eugenic.1
Because of itsnormativegoals and historical association withscientific racism, as well as the development of the science of genetics, the western scientific community has mostlydisassociated itself from the term "eugenics", although one can find advocates of what isnow known asliberal eugenics. Despite its ongoing criticism in the United States, severalregions globally practice different forms of eugenics.Eugenicists advocate specific policies that (if successful) they believe will lead to a perceived improvement of the human gene pool. Since defining what improvements aredesired or beneficial is perceived by many as aculturalchoice rather than a matter thatcan be determined objectively (e.g., by empirical, scientific inquiry), eugenics has often been deemed a pseudoscience.[25]The most disputed aspect of eugenics has been the definition of "improvement" of the human gene pool, such as what is a beneficialcharacteristic and what is a defect. This aspect of eugenics has historically been taintedwithscientific racism.Early eugenicists were mostly concerned with perceivedintelligencefactors that oftencorrelated strongly withsocial class. Many eugenicists took inspiration from theselective  breedingof animals (where purebredsare often strived for) as their analogy for improving human society. The mixing of races (or miscegenation) was usually considered assomething to be avoided in the name of racial purity. At the time this concept appeared tohave some scientific support, and it remained a contentious issue until the advanceddevelopment of geneticsled to a scientific consensus that the division of the humanspecies into unequal races is unjustifiable.Eugenics has also been concerned with the elimination of hereditary diseasessuchashemophiliaandHuntington's disease. However, there are several problems with labeling certain factors as genetic defects. In many cases there is no scientific consensuson what a genetic defect is. It is often argued that this is more a matter of social or individual choice. What appears to be a genetic defect in one context or environment maynot be so in another. This can be the case for genes with aheterozygote advantage, suchassickle cell anemiaor Tay-Sachs disease,which in their heterozygoteform may offer an advantage against, respectively,malariaandtuberculosis. Although some birth defects are uniformly lethal, disabled persons can succeed in life. Many of the conditions earlyeugenicists identified as inheritable ( pellagrais one such example) are currentlyconsidered to be at least partially, if not wholly, attributed to environmental conditions.Similar concerns have been raised when a prenatal diagnosisof acongenital disorder leads toabortion(see also preimplantation genetic diagnosis). Eugenic policies have been conceptually divided into two categories. Positive eugenics isaimed at encouraging reproduction among the genetically advantaged. Possibleapproaches include financial and political stimuli, targeted demographic analyses, in vitrofertilization, egg transplants, and cloning.[26]Negative eugenics is aimed at loweringfertility among the genetically disadvantaged. This includes abortions, sterilization, andother methods of family planning.[26]Both positive and negative eugenics can becoercive.Abortionby "fit" women was illegal in Nazi Germanyand in theSoviet UnionduringStalin's reign. During the 20th century, many countries enacted various eugenics policies and programs,including: genetic screening, birth control, promoting differential birth rates, marriage2

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