1 eugenics eu⋅gen⋅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 & History eugenics 1883, 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" (see genus). "The investigation of human eugenics, that is, of the conditions under which men of a high type are produced." [Galton, "Human Faculty," 1883] Medical Dictionary Main Entry: eu·gen·ics Pronunciation: yu-'jen-iks Function: noun plural but singular in construction : a science that deals with theimprovement (as by control of human mating) of hereditary qualities of a race or breed Medical Dictionary eugenics eu·gen·ics (y&oomacr;-jěn'ĭks) The study of hereditary improvement of the human race by controlled selective breeding. The word eugenics derives from the Greek word eu (good or well) and the suffix genēs (born), and was coined by Sir Francis Galton in 1883, who defined it as "the study of 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 to forced sterilization and euthanasia. Much debate has taken place in the past, as it does today—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 influential during the early twentieth century. In a historical and broader sense, eugenics can also be a study of "improving human genetic qualities." It is sometimes broadly applied to describe any human action whose goal is to improve the gene pool. Some forms of infanticide in ancient societies, present-day reprogenetics, preemptive abortions anddesigner babies have been (sometimes controversially) referred to as eugenic.

2 Because of its normative goals and historical association with scientific racism, as well as the development of the science of genetics, the western scientific community has mostly disassociated itself from the term "eugenics", although one can find advocates of what is now known as liberal eugenics. Despite its ongoing criticism in the United States, several regions 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 are desired or beneficial is perceived by many as a cultural choice rather than a matter that can 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 beneficial characteristic and what is a defect. This aspect of eugenics has historically been tainted with scientific racism. Early eugenicists were mostly concerned with perceived intelligence factors that often correlated strongly with social class. Many eugenicists took inspiration from the selective breeding of animals (where purebredsare often strived for) as their analogy for improving human society. The mixing of races (or miscegenation) was usually considered as something to be avoided in the name of racial purity. At the time this concept appeared to have some scientific support, and it remained a contentious issue until the advanced development of genetics led to a scientific consensus that the division of the human species into unequal races is unjustifiable. Eugenics has also been concerned with the elimination of hereditary diseases such as hemophilia and Huntington's disease. However, there are several problems with labeling certain factors as genetic defects. In many cases there is no scientific consensus on 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 may not be so in another. This can be the case for genes with a heterozygote advantage, such as sickle cell anemia or Tay-Sachs disease, which in their heterozygote form may offer an advantage against, respectively, malaria and tuberculosis. Although some birth defects are uniformly lethal, disabled persons can succeed in life. Many of the conditions early eugenicists identified as inheritable (pellagra is one such example) are currently considered to be at least partially, if not wholly, attributed to environmental conditions. Similar concerns have been raised when a prenatal diagnosis of a congenital disorder leads to abortion(see also preimplantation genetic diagnosis). Eugenic policies have been conceptually divided into two categories. Positive eugenics is aimed at encouraging reproduction among the genetically advantaged. Possible approaches include financial and political stimuli, targeted demographic analyses, in vitro fertilization, egg transplants, and cloning.[26] Negative eugenics is aimed at lowering fertility among the genetically disadvantaged. This includes abortions, sterilization, and other methods of family planning.[26] Both positive and negative eugenics can be coercive. Abortion by "fit" women was illegal in Nazi Germany and in the Soviet Union during Stalin's reign. During the 20th century, many countries enacted various eugenics policies and programs, including: genetic screening, birth control, promoting differential birth rates, marriage

3 restrictions, segregation (both racial segregation as well as segregation of the mentally ill from the rest of the population), compulsory sterilization, forced abortions or forced pregnancies and genocide. Most of these policies were later regarded as coercive and/or restrictive, and now few jurisdictions implement policies that are explicitly labeled as eugenic or unequivocally eugenic in substance. However, some private organizations assist people in genetic counseling, and reprogenetics may be considered as a form of non-state-enforced liberal eugenics. [edit]Implementing eugenics There are three main ways by which the methods of eugenics can be applied.[citation needed] One is mandatory eugenics or authoritarian eugenics, in which the government mandates a eugenics program. Policies and/or legislation is often seen as being coercive and restrictive. Another is promotional voluntary eugenics, in which eugenics is voluntarily practiced and promoted to the general population, but not officially mandated. This is a form of non-state enforced eugenics, using a liberal or democratic approach, which can mostly be seen in the 1900s.[27] The third is private eugenics, which is practiced voluntarily by individuals and groups, but not promoted to the general population. [edit]Leading Eugenicists Charles Davenport, a scientist from the United States stands out as history's leading eugenicist. He took eugenics from a scientific idea to a worldwide movement implemented in many countries.[28]. Davenport obtained funding to establish the Biological Experiment Station at Cold Spring Harbor in 1904[29] and the Eugenics Records Office in 1910, which provided the scientific basis for later Eugenic policies. [30] He became the first President of the International Federation of Eugenics Organizations (IFEO) in 1925, an organization he was instrumental in building.[31]. In 1932 Davenport welcomed Ernst Rüdin, a prominent Swiss eugenicist and race scientist, as his successor in the position of President of the IFEO.[32] Rüdin worked closely with Alfred Ploetz, his brother-in-law and co-founder with him of the German Society for the Racial Hygiene.[33] Other prominent figures in the Eugenics included Harry Laughlin (United States), Irving Fischer (United States), Eugen Fischer (Germany),Madison Grant (United States) and Lucien Howe (United States)[34].

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