The Downfall of Eugenics Essay

The Downfall of Eugenics Essay

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In the twentieth-century politics has played a vital role in the way disease is perceived by the average person. Every aspect of disease became a political concern with eugenics publically taking on a major role in public policy. Giving credit to eugenics, many Americans began to worry more about their personal genetic traits as well as the traits that they may pass on to their children. Later society became interested with eugenics on a more community-oriented basis. “The downfall of Eugenics came when reformers began to use it as a program of social control, promoting government intervention and coercion in human reproduction.”
Masturbation was once seen as degenerative disease that led to widespread application of the eugenic principles. Masturbation (known then as Onanism) was even introduced to medical students in the early 20th century as a possible cause of degeneracy. “Social, religious, and cultural fears and taboos, portrayed as medical “opinion,” said that masturbation was bad for the human body and psyche, not to mention sinful.” Doctors began to develop many methods of sterilization during this time and these methods were used to stop these degenerates from reproducing. Henry Clay Sharp did his experimentation in an Indiana prison-sterilizing people he termed as “chronic masturbators.” Sharp truly believed that he was making the world a better place and he wanted to take it to the next level.
The next step was to take his sterilization crusade to the Indiana State legislature to increase the scope of his practice to legally force upon other degenerates sterilization. Up until this time, Sharp had been operating without the law on his side. Sharp, in 1902, wrote, “I therefore suggest that you endeavor to s...


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...ieth century, Governments used eugenics as a tool with which they promoted propaganda and personal bias as scientific fact. Eugenics began innocently promoting healthier living by breeding wanted genetic traits together, but it quickly took a downfall promoting social control over the population.



Works Cited

Carlson, Elof. "Social Origins of Eugenics." Image Archive on the American Eugenics Movement. Eugenics Archive. Web. 08 June 2011. .
Hitler, Adolf. Mein Kampf: Zwei Bände in Einem Band. Vol. 1. Bottom of the Hill, 1938. Print.
Proctor, Robert. Racial Hygiene: Medicine under the Nazis. Cambridge, MA: Harvard UP, 1988. Print.
Sanger, Alexander. "Eugenics, Race, and Margaret Sanger Revisited: Reproductive Freedom for All?" Hypatia: A Journal of Feminist Philosophy 22.2 (2007): 210-17. Print.

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