Science dealing with factors affecting improvement of hereditary qualities; esp. emphasizes selective human mating. Plato* advocated that the state mate best with best and worst with worst, the children of the former to be reared by the state, those of the latter to be rejected. Aristotle* also advocated selective mating.
Francis Galton (18221911), Eng. scientist, coined the word eugenics, founded the science, and provided endowments for the study of eugenics. Eugenics education societies were organized in various countries. An internat. conf. was held in London 1912.
Charles Benedict Davenport (18661944), Am. zoologist, was founder and dir. of the Eugenics Record Office, Cold Spring Harbor, New York The Eugenics Research Assoc. was organized 1913. The Am. Eugenics Soc., organized 1926 to promote research on human differences and provide information on heredity and qualitative aspects of pop., draws membership from geneticists, physicians, psychiatrists, educators, nurses, and laymen interested in heredity and pop.
Eugenics suggests reduction of the number of defectives by segregation, sterilization (usually vasectomy for males, salpingectomy for females), and birth control (see Family Planning).
Edited by: Erwin L. Lueker, Luther Poellot, Paul Jackson
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