9 Things You Should Know About Eugenics

Joe Carter | July 25, 2017

Recent news about inmates in a Tennessee county jail being offered reduced jail time if they voluntarily agree to have a vasectomy or birth control implant, has raised concerns about eugenics, an anti-human movement that has haunted America for more than a century. Here are nine things you should know about the eugenics and the movement it inspired:

1. Eugenics is a term that originated in the 18th century to refer to a set of beliefs and practices that has existed throughout human history: an attempt to improve the human race by limiting or excluding what type of hereditary traits can be passed on through procreation. Eugenics typically falls into two categories: “positive” eugenics, which attempts to promote the proliferation of “good stock” by encouraging breeding of people with preferred traits, and “negative” eugenics, which discourages “defective stock” by attempting to limit the breeding of people who possesses negative heritable traits.

2. The term eugenics was first coined Francis Galton, a British geographer and statistician who popularized the notion that humanity could be improved by encouraging the “most fit” to reproduce more often and discouraging the least fit members of society from procreating at all. In 1869 Galton wrote a…

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