By Paul A. Lombardo
In 1907, Indiana handed the world's first involuntary sterilization legislation in line with the idea of eugenics. In time, greater than 30 states and a dozen overseas international locations go well with. even if the Indiana statute was once later declared unconstitutional, different legislation proscribing immigration and regulating marriage on "eugenic" grounds have been nonetheless in impact within the U.S. as overdue because the Nineteen Seventies. A Century of Eugenics in the USA assesses the background of eugenics within the usa and its prestige within the age of the Human Genome venture. The essays discover the early help of obligatory sterilization via medical professionals and legislators; the implementation of eugenic schemes in Indiana, Georgia, California, Minnesota, North Carolina, and Alabama; the criminal and social demanding situations to sterilization; and the clients for a eugenics move basing its claims on sleek genetic technological know-how.
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In 1907, Indiana handed the world's first involuntary sterilization legislations in response to the speculation of eugenics. In time, greater than 30 states and a dozen overseas nations go well with. even though the Indiana statute was once later declared unconstitutional, different legislation limiting immigration and regulating marriage on "eugenic" grounds have been nonetheless in impact within the U.
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Extra info for A Century of Eugenics in America: From the Indiana Experiment to the Human Genome Era
18 Indiana sterilization boosters took note. 19 Even with this planning, Read’s bill did not have an easy time in the state legislature. It was first sent to the Committee on Medicine, Health, and Vital Statistics. When opposition formed, Read withdrew it and had it sent to his Committee on Benevolent and Scientific Institutions instead. 21 Governor J. Frank Hanly’s signature made the bill the world’s first eugenic sterilization law. All these legislative machinations provided eugenic reform with a democratic veneer, although the law passed with virtually no public input and relatively little public discussion.
Sterilization, for these men and many other Americans, was as broadly consonant with the political tenor of their times as it is intensely dissonant with today’s political tone. Forgetting this unnecessarily scapegoats these men and misses the real point of investigating their lives: not to place blame T h e H o o s i e r C o n n e c t i o nâ•… · â•… 23 and calumny, but instead to understand why solutions that today appear obviously flawed held such immense appeal in the past. Yet, although one should acknowledge the ways in which McCulloch, Jordan, and Sharp were merely “men of their times,” one must admit that they shared a false view of the relationship between society and heredity.
He argued that the prison’s inflated death rate was largely preventable by simple, relatively inexpensive reforms. He asked for sanitary privies to be installed in the cells, the construction of an adequate kitchen, and the provision of a balanced diet. 14 T h e H o o s i e r C o n n e c t i o nâ•… · â•… 19 In addition to practical reform in the prison, Sharp remained interested in the theoretic foundations of mental hygiene. His first scientific publication focused on hysteria—a theory that attributed emotional breakdowns in women to female anatomy.
A Century of Eugenics in America: From the Indiana Experiment to the Human Genome Era by Paul A. Lombardo