From HandWiki
Short description: Aim to improve perceived human genetic quality
A 1930s exhibit by the Eugenics Society. Two of the signs read "Healthy and Unhealthy Families" and "Heredity as the Basis of Efficiency".

Eugenics (/jˈɛnɪks/ yoo-JEN-iks; from grc εύ̃ (eû) 'good, well', and -γενής (genḗs) 'come into being, growing')[1] is a set of beliefs and practices that aim to improve the genetic quality of a human population.[2][3][4] Historically, eugenicists have attempted to alter human gene pools by excluding people and groups judged to be inferior or promoting those judged to be superior.[5] In recent years, the term has seen a revival in bioethical discussions on the usage of new technologies such as CRISPR and genetic screening, with heated debate around whether these technologies should be considered eugenics or not.[6]

The concept predates the term; Plato suggested applying the principles of selective breeding to humans around 400 BCE. Early advocates of eugenics in the 19th century regarded it as a way of improving groups of people. In contemporary usage, the term eugenics is closely associated with scientific racism. Modern bioethicists who advocate new eugenics characterize it as a way of enhancing individual traits, regardless of group membership.

While eugenic principles have been practiced as early as Ancient Greece , the contemporary history of eugenics began in the late 19th century, when a popular eugenics movement emerged in the United Kingdom,[7] and then spread to many countries, including the United States, Canada, Australia,[8] and most European countries (e.g. , Sweden and Germany). In this period, people from across the political spectrum espoused eugenic ideas. Consequently, many countries adopted eugenic policies, intended to improve the quality of their populations' genetic stock. Such programs included both positive measures, such as encouraging individuals deemed particularly "fit" to reproduce, and negative measures, such as marriage prohibitions and forced sterilization of people deemed unfit for reproduction. Those deemed "unfit to reproduce" often included people with mental or physical disabilities, people who scored in the low ranges on different IQ tests, criminals and "deviants", and members of disfavored minority groups.

The eugenics movement became associated with Nazi Germany and the Holocaust when the defense of many of the defendants at the Nuremberg trials of 1945 to 1946 attempted to justify their human-rights abuses by claiming there was little difference between the Nazi eugenics programs and the US eugenics programs.[9] In the decades following World War II, with more emphasis on human rights, many countries began to abandon eugenics policies, although some Western countries (the United States, Canada, and Sweden among them) continued to carry out forced sterilizations. Since the 1980s and 1990s, with new assisted reproductive technology procedures available, such as gestational surrogacy (available since 1985), preimplantation genetic diagnosis (available since 1989), and cytoplasmic transfer (first performed in 1996), concern has grown about the possible revival of a more potent form of eugenics after decades of promoting human rights.

A criticism of eugenics policies is that, regardless of whether negative or positive policies are used, they are susceptible to abuse because the genetic selection criteria are determined by whichever group has political power at the time.[10] Furthermore, many criticize negative eugenics in particular as a violation of basic human rights, seen since 1968's Proclamation of Tehran,[11] as including the right to reproduce. Another criticism is that eugenics policies eventually lead to a loss of genetic diversity, thereby resulting in inbreeding depression due to a loss of genetic variation.[12] Yet another criticism of contemporary eugenics policies is that they propose to permanently and artificially disrupt millions of years of human evolution, and that attempting to create genetic lines "clean" of "disorders" can have far-reaching ancillary downstream effects in the genetic ecology, including negative effects on immunity and on species resilience.[13] Eugenics is commonly seen in popular media, as highlighted by series like Resident Evil.[14]


Main page: Biology:History of eugenics

Origin and development

Francis Galton, an early eugenicist, coined the term itself.[15][need quotation to verify][16]
Logo from the Second International Eugenics Conference, 1921, depicting eugenics as a tree which unites a variety of different fields[17]
G. K. Chesterton, an opponent of eugenics, photographed by Ernest Herbert Mills in 1909

Types of eugenic practices have existed for millennia. Some indigenous peoples of Brazil are known to have practiced infanticide against children born with physical abnormalities since precolonial times.[18] In Ancient Greece , the philosopher Plato suggested selective mating to produce a "guardian" class.[19] In Sparta, every Spartan child was inspected by the council of elders, the Gerousia, who determined whether or not the child was fit to live.[20]

The geographer Strabo (c. 64 BCE - c. 24 CE) states that the Samnites would take ten virgin women and ten young men who were considered to be the best representation of their sex and mate them.[21] Following this, the best women would be given to the best male, then the second-best women to the second-best male. It is possible[original research?] that the "best" men and women were chosen based on athletic capabilities. This would continue until all 20 people had been assigned to one another. Any selected male dishonoring himself,[clarification needed] would be separated from his partner.

In the early years of the Roman Republic, a Roman father was obliged by law to immediately kill any "dreadfully deformed" child.[22] According to Tacitus (c. 56 - c. 120), a Roman of the Imperial Period, the Germanic tribes of his day killed any member of their community they deemed cowardly, unwarlike or "stained with abominable vices", usually by drowning them in swamps.[23][24] Modern historians, however, see Tacitus' ethnographic writing as unreliable in such details.[25][26]

The idea of a modern project for improving the human population through selective breeding was originally developed by Francis Galton (1822-1911), and was initially inspired by Darwinism and its theory of natural selection.[27][need quotation to verify] Galton had read his half-cousin Charles Darwin's theory of evolution, which sought to explain the development of plant and animal species, and desired to apply it to humans. Based on his biographical studies, Galton believed that desirable human qualities were hereditary traits, although Darwin strongly disagreed with this elaboration of his theory.[28] In 1883, one year after Darwin's death, Galton gave his research a name: eugenics.[29] With the introduction of genetics, eugenics became associated with genetic determinism, the belief that human character is entirely or in the majority caused by genes, unaffected by education or living conditions. Many of the early geneticists were not Darwinians, and evolution theory was not needed for eugenics policies based on genetic determinism.[27] Throughout its recent history, eugenics has remained controversial.[30]

Eugenics became an academic discipline at many colleges and universities and received funding from many sources.[31] Organizations were formed to win public support for and to sway opinion towards responsible eugenic values in parenthood, including the British Eugenics Education Society of 1907 and the American Eugenics Society of 1921. Both sought support from leading clergymen and modified their message to meet religious ideals.[32] In 1909, the Anglican clergymen William Inge and James Peile both wrote for the Eugenics Education Society. Inge was an invited speaker at the 1921 International Eugenics Conference, which was also endorsed by the Roman Catholic Archbishop of New York Patrick Joseph Hayes.[32] The book The Passing of the Great Race (Or, The Racial Basis of European History) by American eugenicist, lawyer, and amateur anthropologist Madison Grant was published in 1916. Although subsequently influential, the book was largely ignored when it first appeared, and it went through several revisions and editions. Nevertheless, the book was used by people who advocated restricted immigration as justification for what became known as "scientific racism".[33]

Three International Eugenics Conferences presented a global venue for eugenicists, with meetings in 1912 in London, and in 1921 and 1932 in New York City. Eugenic policies in the United States were first implemented by state-level legislators in the early 1900s.[34] Eugenic policies also took root in France, Germany, and Great Britain.[35] Later, in the 1920s and 1930s, the eugenic policy of sterilizing certain mental patients was implemented in other countries including Belgium,[36] Brazil,[37] Canada,[38] Japan and Sweden. Frederick Osborn's 1937 journal article "Development of a Eugenic Philosophy" framed eugenics as a social philosophy—a philosophy with implications for social order.[39] That definition is not universally accepted. Osborn advocated for higher rates of sexual reproduction among people with desired traits ("positive eugenics") or reduced rates of sexual reproduction or sterilization of people with less-desired or undesired traits ("negative eugenics").

In addition to being practiced in a number of countries, eugenics was internationally organized through the International Federation of Eugenics Organizations.[40] Its scientific aspects were carried on through research bodies such as the Kaiser Wilhelm Institute of Anthropology, Human Heredity, and Eugenics,[41] the Cold Spring Harbor Carnegie Institution for Experimental Evolution,[42] and the Eugenics Record Office.[43] Politically, the movement advocated measures such as sterilization laws.[44] In its moral dimension, eugenics rejected the doctrine that all human beings are born equal and redefined moral worth purely in terms of genetic fitness.[45] Its racist elements included pursuit of a pure "Nordic race" or "Aryan" genetic pool and the eventual elimination of "unfit" races.[46][47] Many leading British politicians subscribed to the theories of eugenics. Winston Churchill supported the British Eugenics Society and was an honorary vice president for the organization. Churchill believed that eugenics could solve "race deterioration" and reduce crime and poverty.[48][49][50]

Early critics of the philosophy of eugenics included the American sociologist Lester Frank Ward,[51] the English writer G. K. Chesterton, the German-American anthropologist Franz Boas, who argued that advocates of eugenics greatly over-estimate the influence of biology,[52] and Scottish tuberculosis pioneer and author Halliday Sutherland. Ward's 1913 article "Eugenics, Euthenics, and Eudemics", Chesterton's 1917 book Eugenics and Other Evils, and Boas' 1916 article "Eugenics" (published in The Scientific Monthly) were all harshly critical of the rapidly growing movement. Sutherland identified eugenicists as a major obstacle to the eradication and cure of tuberculosis in his 1917 address "Consumption: Its Cause and Cure",[53] and criticism of eugenicists and Neo-Malthusians in his 1921 book Birth Control led to a writ for libel from the eugenicist Marie Stopes. Several biologists were also antagonistic to the eugenics movement, including Lancelot Hogben.[54] Other biologists such as J. B. S. Haldane and R. A. Fisher expressed skepticism in the belief that sterilization of "defectives" would lead to the disappearance of undesirable genetic traits.[55]

Among institutions, the Catholic Church was an opponent of state-enforced sterilizations, but accepted isolating people with hereditary diseases so as not to let them reproduce.[56] Attempts by the Eugenics Education Society to persuade the British government to legalize voluntary sterilization were opposed by Catholics and by the Labour Party.[57] The American Eugenics Society initially gained some Catholic supporters, but Catholic support declined following the 1930 papal encyclical Casti connubii.[32] In this, Pope Pius XI explicitly condemned sterilization laws: "Public magistrates have no direct power over the bodies of their subjects; therefore, where no crime has taken place and there is no cause present for grave punishment, they can never directly harm, or tamper with the integrity of the body, either for the reasons of eugenics or for any other reason."[58]

As a social movement, eugenics reached its greatest popularity in the early decades of the 20th century, when it was practiced around the world and promoted by governments, institutions, and influential individuals (such as the playwright G. B. Shaw). Many countries enacted[59] various eugenics policies, including: genetic screenings, birth control, promoting differential birth rates, marriage restrictions, segregation (both racial segregation and sequestering the mentally ill), compulsory sterilization, forced abortions or forced pregnancies, ultimately culminating in genocide. By 2014, gene selection (rather than "people selection") was made possible through advances in genome editing,[60] leading to what is sometimes called new eugenics, also known as "neo-eugenics", "consumer eugenics", or "liberal eugenics"; which focuses on individual freedom and allegedly pull away from racism, sexism, heterosexism or a focus on intelligence.[61]

Eugenics in the United States

Anti-miscegenation laws in the United States made it a crime for individuals to wed someone categorized as belonging to a different race.[62] These laws were part of a broader policy of racial segregation in the United States to minimize contact between people of different ethnicities. Race laws and practices in the United States were explicitly used as models by the Nazi regime when it developed the Nuremberg Laws, stripping Jewish citizens of their citizenship.[63]

Nazism and the decline of eugenics

Schloss Hartheim, a former center for Nazi Germany's Aktion T4 campaign
A Lebensborn birth house in Nazi Germany. Created with the intention of raising the birth rate of "Aryan" children from the extramarital relations of "racially pure and healthy" parents.

The scientific reputation of eugenics started to decline in the 1930s, a time when Ernst Rüdin used eugenics as a justification for the racial policies of Nazi Germany. Adolf Hitler had praised and incorporated eugenic ideas in Mein Kampf in 1925 and emulated eugenic legislation for the sterilization of "defectives" that had been pioneered in the United States once he took power.[64] Some common early 20th century eugenics methods involved identifying and classifying individuals and their families, including the poor, mentally ill, blind, deaf, developmentally disabled, promiscuous women, homosexuals, and racial groups (such as the Roma and Jews in Nazi Germany) as "degenerate" or "unfit", and therefore led to segregation, institutionalization, sterilization, and even mass murder.[10] The Nazi policy of identifying German citizens deemed mentally or physically unfit and then systematically killing them with poison gas, referred to as the Aktion T4 campaign, is understood by historians to have paved the way for the Holocaust.[65][66][67]

By the end of World War II, many eugenics laws were abandoned, having become associated with Nazi Germany.[10] H. G. Wells, who had called for "the sterilization of failures" in 1904,[68] stated in his 1940 book The Rights of Man: Or What Are We Fighting For? that among the human rights, which he believed should be available to all people, was "a prohibition on mutilation, sterilization, torture, and any bodily punishment".[69] After World War II, the practice of "imposing measures intended to prevent births within [a national, ethnical, racial or religious] group" fell within the definition of the new international crime of genocide, set out in the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide.[70] The Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union also proclaims "the prohibition of eugenic practices, in particular those aiming at selection of persons".[71] In spite of the decline in discriminatory eugenics laws, some government mandated sterilizations continued into the 21st century. During the ten years President Alberto Fujimori led Peru from 1990 to 2000, 2,000 persons were allegedly involuntarily sterilized.[72] China maintained its one-child policy until 2015 as well as a suite of other eugenics-based legislation to reduce population size and manage fertility rates of different populations.[73][74][75]

Compulsory sterilization

Main page: Social:Compulsory sterilization

While there is ostensibly less support for eugenics today, forced sterilization remains a problem around the world.[76][77] It has been used against Indigenous women in Canada as recently as 2019.[78] Until 2014, the Netherlands required sterilization of transgender people as a prerequisite for legal recognition of their genders.[79] A similar law persists in Japan and was upheld in 2019 as constitutional.[80] In the United States, most people affected by forced sterilization are under guardianship,[81] though procedures were also performed on inmates in the California prison system.[82] According to a report from The National Women's Law Center, 31 states and D.C. have laws allowing forced sterilization, and in most other states it is not clear whether it is legal or not.[83] Seventeen states allow the sterilization of children under the age of 18, and some do not even require a legal guardian to make that decision.[84]

Modern eugenics

Developments in genetic, genomic, and reproductive technologies at the beginning of the 21st century have raised numerous questions regarding the ethical status of eugenics, effectively creating a resurgence of interest in the subject. Some, such as UC Berkeley sociologist Troy Duster, have argued that modern genetics is a back door to eugenics.[85] This view was shared by then-White House Assistant Director for Forensic Sciences, Tania Simoncelli, who stated in a 2003 publication by the Population and Development Program at Hampshire College that advances in pre-implantation genetic diagnosis (PGD) are moving society to a "new era of eugenics", and that, unlike the Nazi eugenics, modern eugenics is consumer driven and market based, "where children are increasingly regarded as made-to-order consumer products".[86]

In a 2006 newspaper article, Richard Dawkins said that discussion regarding eugenics was inhibited by the shadow of Nazi misuse, to the extent that some scientists would not admit that breeding humans for certain abilities is at all possible. He believes that it is not physically different from breeding domestic animals for traits such as speed or herding skill. Dawkins felt that enough time had elapsed to at least ask just what the ethical differences were between breeding for ability versus training athletes or forcing children to take music lessons, though he could think of persuasive reasons to draw the distinction.[87]

Lee Kuan Yew, the founding father of Singapore, promoted eugenics as late as 1983.[88] A proponent of nature over nurture, he stated that "intelligence is 80% nature and 20% nurture", and attributed the successes of his children to genetics.[89] In his speeches, Lee urged highly educated women to have more children, claiming that "social delinquents" would dominate unless their fertility rate increased.[89] In 1984, Singapore began providing financial incentives to highly educated women to encourage them to have more children. In 1985, incentives were significantly reduced after public uproar.[90][91]

In October 2015, the United Nations' International Bioethics Committee wrote that the ethical problems of human genetic engineering should not be confused with the ethical problems of the 20th century eugenics movements. However, it is still problematic because it challenges the idea of human equality and opens up new forms of discrimination and stigmatization for those who do not want, or cannot afford, the technology.[92]

The National Human Genome Research Institute says that eugenics is "inaccurate", "scientifically erroneous and immoral".[93]

Transhumanism is often associated with eugenics, although most transhumanists holding similar views nonetheless distance themselves from the term "eugenics" (preferring "germinal choice" or "reprogenetics") to avoid having their position confused with the discredited theories and practices of early-20th-century eugenic movements.[94]

Prenatal screening has been called by some a contemporary form of eugenics because it may lead to abortions of fetuses with undesirable traits.[95]

A system was proposed by California State Senator Nancy Skinner to compensate victims of the well-documented examples of prison sterilizations resulting from California's eugenics programs, but this did not pass by the bill's 2018 deadline in the Legislature.[96]

Meanings and types

Karl Pearson in 1912

The term eugenics and its modern field of study were first formulated by Francis Galton in 1883,[97] drawing on the recent work of his half-cousin Charles Darwin.[98][99] Galton published his observations and conclusions in his book Inquiries into Human Faculty and Its Development.

The origins of the concept began with certain interpretations of Mendelian inheritance and the theories of August Weismann.[100] The word eugenics is derived from the Greek word eu ("good" or "well") and the suffix -genēs ("born"); Galton intended it to replace the word "stirpiculture", which he had used previously but which had come to be mocked due to its perceived sexual overtones.[101] Galton defined eugenics as "the study of all agencies under human control which can improve or impair the racial quality of future generations".[102]

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. Historically, this aspect of eugenics was tainted with scientific racism and pseudoscience.[2][103][104]

Historically, the idea of eugenics has been used to argue for a broad array of practices ranging from prenatal care for mothers deemed genetically desirable to the forced sterilization and murder of those deemed unfit.[5] To population geneticists, the term has included the avoidance of inbreeding without altering allele frequencies; for example, J. B. S. Haldane wrote that "the motor bus, by breaking up inbred village communities, was a powerful eugenic agent."[105] Debate as to what exactly counts as eugenics continues today.[106]

Edwin Black, journalist, historian, and author of War Against the Weak, argues that eugenics is often deemed a pseudoscience because what is defined as a genetic improvement of a desired trait is a cultural choice rather than a matter that can be determined through objective scientific inquiry.[2] Black states the following about the pseudoscientific past of eugenics: "As American eugenic pseudoscience thoroughly infused the scientific journals of the first three decades of the twentieth century, Nazi-era eugenics placed its unmistakable stamp on the medical literature of the twenties, thirties and forties." [107] Black says that eugenics was the pseudoscience aimed at "improving" the human race, used by Adolf Hitler to "try to legitimize his anti- Semitism by medicalizing it, and wrapping it in the more palatable pseudoscientific facade of eugenics."[108]

Early eugenicists were mostly concerned with factors of perceived intelligence that often correlated strongly with social class. These included Karl Pearson and Walter Weldon, who worked on this at the University College London.[28] In his lecture "Darwinism, Medical Progress and Eugenics", Pearson claimed that everything concerning eugenics fell into the field of medicine.[109]

Eugenic policies have been conceptually divided into two categories.[5] Positive eugenics is aimed at encouraging reproduction among the genetically advantaged; for example, the reproduction of the intelligent, the healthy, and the successful. Possible approaches include financial and political stimuli, targeted demographic analyses, in vitro fertilization, egg transplants, and cloning.[110] Negative eugenics aimed to eliminate, through sterilization or segregation, those deemed physically, mentally, or morally "undesirable". This includes abortions, sterilization, and other methods of family planning.[110] Both positive and negative eugenics can be coercive; in Nazi Germany, for example, abortion was illegal for women deemed by the state to be fit.[111]

Controversy over scientific and moral legitimacy

Arguments for scientific validity

The heterozygote test is used for the early detection of recessive hereditary diseases, allowing for couples to determine if they are at risk of passing genetic defects to a future child.[112] The goal of the test is to estimate the likelihood of passing the hereditary disease to future descendants.[112]

There are examples of eugenic acts that managed to lower the prevalence of recessive diseases, although not influencing the prevalence of heterozygote carriers of those diseases. The elevated prevalence of certain genetically transmitted diseases among the Ashkenazi Jewish population (Tay–Sachs, cystic fibrosis, Canavan's disease, and Gaucher's disease), has been decreased in current populations by the application of genetic screening.[113]

Objections to scientific validity

The first major challenge to conventional eugenics based on genetic inheritance was made in 1915 by Thomas Hunt Morgan. He demonstrated the event of genetic mutation occurring outside of inheritance involving the discovery of the hatching of a fruit fly (Drosophila melanogaster) with white eyes from a family with red eyes,[114] demonstrating that major genetic changes occurred outside of inheritance.[114] Additionally, Morgan criticized the view that certain traits, such as intelligence and criminality, were hereditary because these traits were subjective.[115] Despite Morgan's public rejection of eugenics, much of his genetic research was adopted by proponents of eugenics.[116][117]

Pleiotropy occurs when one gene influences multiple, seemingly unrelated phenotypic traits, an example being phenylketonuria, which is a human disease that affects multiple systems but is caused by one gene defect.[118] Andrzej Pękalski, from the University of Wroclaw, argues that eugenics can cause harmful loss of genetic diversity if a eugenics program selects a pleiotropic gene that could possibly be associated with a positive trait. Pekalski uses the example of a coercive government eugenics program that prohibits people with myopia from breeding but has the unintended consequence of also selecting against high intelligence since the two go together.[119] Further, a culturally-accepted "improvement" of the gene pool may result in extinction, due to increased vulnerability to disease, reduced ability to adapt to environmental change, and other factors that may not be anticipated in advance. This has been evidenced in numerous instances, in isolated island populations. A long-term, species-wide eugenics plan might lead to such a scenario because the elimination of traits deemed undesirable would reduce genetic diversity by definition.[12]

While the science of genetics has increasingly provided means by which certain characteristics and conditions can be identified and understood, given the complexity of human genetics, culture, and psychology, at this point there is no agreed objective means of determining which traits might be ultimately desirable or undesirable. Some conditions such as sickle-cell disease and cystic fibrosis respectively confer immunity to malaria and resistance to cholera when a single copy of the recessive allele is contained within the genotype of the individual, so eliminating these genes is undesirable in places where such diseases are common.[13]

Ethical controversies

Societal and political consequences of eugenics call for a place in the discussion on the ethics behind the eugenics movement.[120] Many of the ethical concerns regarding eugenics arise from its controversial past, prompting a discussion on what place, if any, it should have in the future. Advances in science have changed eugenics. In the past, eugenics had more to do with sterilization and enforced reproduction laws.[121] Now, in the age of a progressively mapped genome, embryos can be tested for susceptibility to disease, gender, and genetic defects, and alternative methods of reproduction such as in vitro fertilization are becoming more common.[122] Therefore, eugenics is no longer ex post facto regulation of the living but instead preemptive action on the unborn.[123]

With this change, however, there are ethical concerns which some groups feel warrant more attention before this practice is commonly rolled out. Sterilized individuals, for example, could volunteer for the procedure, albeit under incentive or duress, or at least voice their opinion. The unborn fetus on which these new eugenic procedures are performed cannot speak out, as the fetus lacks the voice to consent or to express their opinion.[124] Philosophers disagree about the proper framework for reasoning about such actions, which change the very identity and existence of future persons.[125]


In the decades after World War II, the term "eugenics" had taken on a negative connotation and as a result, the use of it became increasingly unpopular within the scientific community. Many organizations and journals that had their origins in the eugenics movement began to distance themselves from the philosophy which spawned it, as when Eugenics Quarterly was renamed Social Biology in 1969.

Edwin Black has described potential "eugenics wars" as the worst-case outcome of eugenics. In his view, this scenario would mean the return of coercive state-sponsored genetic discrimination and human rights violations such as the compulsory sterilization of persons with genetic defects, the killing of the institutionalized and, specifically, the segregation and genocide of races which are considered inferior.[10] Law professors George Annas and Lori Andrews have argued that the use of these technologies could lead to such human-posthuman caste warfare.[126][127]

Environmental ethicist Bill McKibben argued against germinal choice technology and other advanced biotechnological strategies for human enhancement. He writes that it would be morally wrong for humans to tamper with fundamental aspects of themselves (or their children) in an attempt to overcome universal human limitations, such as vulnerability to aging, maximum life span and biological constraints on physical and cognitive ability. Attempts to "improve" themselves through such manipulation would remove limitations that provide a necessary context for the experience of meaningful human choice. He claims that human lives would no longer seem meaningful in a world where such limitations could be overcome with technology. Even the goal of using germinal choice technology for clearly therapeutic purposes should be relinquished, he argues, since it would inevitably produce temptations to tamper with such things as cognitive capacities. He argues that it is possible for societies to benefit from renouncing particular technologies, using Ming China, Tokugawa Japan and the contemporary Amish as examples.[128]

Amanda Caleb, Professor of Medical Humanities at Geisinger Commonwealth School of Medicine, says "Eugenic laws and policies are now understood as part of a specious devotion to a pseudoscience that actively dehumanizes to support political agendas and not true science or medicine."[129]


Some, for example Nathaniel C. Comfort from Johns Hopkins University, claim that the change from state-led reproductive-genetic decision-making to individual choice has moderated the worst abuses of eugenics by transferring the decision-making process from the state to patients and their families.[130] Comfort suggests that "the eugenic impulse drives us to eliminate disease, live longer and healthier, with greater intelligence, and a better adjustment to the conditions of society; and the health benefits, the intellectual thrill and the profits of genetic bio-medicine are too great for us to do otherwise."[131] Others, such as bioethicist Stephen Wilkinson of Keele University and Honorary Research Fellow Eve Garrard at the University of Manchester, claim that some aspects of modern genetics can be classified as eugenics, but that this classification does not inherently make modern genetics immoral.[132]

In their book published in 2000, From Chance to Choice: Genetics and Justice, bioethicists Allen Buchanan, Dan Brock, Norman Daniels and Daniel Wikler argued that liberal societies have an obligation to encourage as wide an adoption of eugenic enhancement technologies as possible (so long as such policies do not infringe on individuals' reproductive rights or exert undue pressures on prospective parents to use these technologies) in order to maximize public health and minimize the inequalities that may result from both natural genetic endowments and unequal access to genetic enhancements.[133]

In his book A Theory of Justice (1971), American philosopher John Rawls argued that "Over time a society is to take steps to preserve the general level of natural abilities and to prevent the diffusion of serious defects".[134] The original position, a hypothetical situation developed by Rawls, has been used as an argument for negative eugenics.[135][136]

In science fiction

The novel Brave New World (1931) is a dystopian social science fiction novel by the English author Aldous Huxley, set in a futuristic World State, whose citizens are environmentally engineered into an intelligence-based social hierarchy.

The film Gattaca (1997) provides a fictional example of a dystopian society that uses eugenics to decide what people are capable of and their place in the world. Though Gattaca was not a box office success, it was critically acclaimed and is said to have crystallized the debate over the controversial topic of human genetic engineering.[137][138] The film's dystopian depiction of "genoism" has been cited by many bioethicists and laypeople in support of their hesitancy about, or opposition to, eugenics and the societal acceptance of the genetic-determinist ideology that may frame it.[139] In a 1997 review of the film for the journal Nature Genetics, molecular biologist Lee M. Silver stated that "Gattaca is a film that all geneticists should see if for no other reason than to understand the perception of our trade held by so many of the public-at-large".[140] In his 2018 book Blueprint, behavioural geneticist Robert Plomin writes that while Gattaca warned of the dangers of genetic information being used by a totalitarian state, genetic testing could also favour better meritocracy in democratic societies which already administer psychological tests to select people for education and employment. Plomin suggests that polygenic scores might supplement testing in a manner that is free of biases.[141]

Various works by author Robert A. Heinlein mention the Howard Foundation, a group aimed at improving human longevity through selective breeding.

See also


  1. "εὐγενής". Greek Word Study Tool. Medford, Massachusetts: Tufts University. 2009.  Database includes entries from A Greek–English Lexicon and other English dictionaries of Ancient Greek.
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 Black 2003, p. 370.
  3. "Eugenics – African American Studies". "Racially targeted sterilization practices between the 1960s and the present have been perhaps the most common topic among scholars arguing for, and challenging, the ongoing power of eugenics in the United States. Indeed, unlike in the modern period, contemporary expressions of eugenics have met with widespread, thoroughgoing resistance" 
  4. Galton, Francis (1904). "Eugenics: Its Definition, Scope, and Aims". The American Journal of Sociology X (1): 82. doi:10.1038/070082a0. Bibcode1904Natur..70...82.. Retrieved 1 January 2020. 
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 Spektorowski, Alberto; Ireni-Saban, Liza (2013). Politics of Eugenics: Productionism, Population, and National Welfare. London: Routledge. p. 24. ISBN 9780203740231.,+the+term+has+referred+to+everything+from+prenatal+care+for+mothers+to+forced+sterilization+and+euthanasia&pg=PA24. Retrieved 16 January 2017. "As an applied science, thus, the practice of eugenics referred to everything from prenatal care for mothers to forced sterilization and euthanasia. Galton divided the practice of eugenics into two types—positive and negative—both aimed at improving the human race through selective breeding." 
  6. Veit, Walter; Anomaly, Jonathan; Agar, Nicholas; Singer, Peter; Fleischman, Diana; Minerva, Francesca (2021). "Can 'eugenics' be defended?". Monash Bioethics Review 39 (1): 60–67. doi:10.1007/s40592-021-00129-1. PMID 34033008. 
  7. Hansen, Randall; King, Desmond (1 January 2001). "Eugenic Ideas, Political Interests and Policy Variance Immigration and Sterilization Policy in Britain and U.S". World Politics 53 (2): 237–263. doi:10.1353/wp.2001.0003. PMID 18193564. 
  8. McGregor, Russell (2002). "'Breed out the colour' or the importance of being white". Australian Historical Studies 33 (120): 286–302. doi:10.1080/10314610208596220. Retrieved 18 February 2021. 
  9. Bashford, Alison; Levine, Philippa (3 August 2010). The Oxford Handbook of the History of Eugenics. Oxford University Press. p. 327. ISBN 9780199706532. Retrieved 26 February 2020. "Eugenics was prominent at the Nuremberg trials ... much was made of the similarity between US and German eugenics by the defense, who argued that German eugenics differed little from that practiced in the United States ... ." 
  10. 10.0 10.1 10.2 10.3 Black 2003.
  11. Proclamation of Tehran, Final Act of the International Conference on Human Rights, Teheran, 22 April to 13 May 1968, U.N. Doc. A/CONF. 32/41 at 3 (1968) , United Nations, May 1968 – "16. The protection of the family and of the child remains the concern of the international community. Parents have a basic human right to determine freely and responsibly the number and the spacing of their children ...."
  12. 12.0 12.1 Galton, David (2002). Eugenics: The Future of Human Life in the 21st Century. London: Abacus. pp. 48. ISBN 0349113777. 
  13. 13.0 13.1 Withrock, Isabelle (2015). "Genetic diseases conferring resistance to infectious diseases". Genes & Diseases 2 (3): 247–254. doi:10.1016/j.gendis.2015.02.008. PMID 30258868. 
  14. "Resident Evil: The Story So Far". 28 August 2020. 
  15. Galton, Francis (1874). "On men of science, their nature and their nurture". Proceedings of the Royal Institution of Great Britain 7: 227–236. Retrieved 7 June 2020. 
  16. Galton, Francis (2002). Inquiries into Human Faculty and Its Development. pp. 17, 30. Retrieved 21 July 2023. "what is termed in Greek, eugenes namely, good in stock, hereditarily endowed with noble qualities. This, and the allied words, eugeneia, etc., are equally applicable to men, brutes, and plants. We greatly want a brief word to express the science of improving stock, which is by no means confined to questions of judicious mating, but which, especially in the case of man, takes cognisance of all influences that tend in however remote a degree to give to the more suitable races or strains of blood a better chance of prevailing speedily over the less suitable than they otherwise would have had. The word eugenics would sufficiently express the idea; it is at least a neater word and a more generalized one than viriculture which I once ventured to use.... The investigation of human eugenics — that is, of the conditions under which men of a high type are produced — is at present extremely hampered by the want of full family histories, both medical and general, extending over three or four generations." 
  17. Currell, Susan; Cogdell, Christina (2006). Popular Eugenics: National Efficiency and American Mass Culture in The 1930s. Athens, Ohio: Ohio University Press. p. 203. ISBN 9780821416914. 
  18. Feitosa, Saulo Ferreira; Garrafa, Volnei; Cornelli, Gabriele; Tardivo, Carla; Carvalho, Samuel José de (May 2010). "Bioethics, culture and infanticide in Brazilian indigenous communities: the Zuruahá case". Cadernos de Saúde Pública 26 (5): 853–865. doi:10.1590/S0102-311X2010000500002. PMID 20563380. 
  19. "Eugenics". Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy. Center for the Study of Language and Information, Stanford University. 2 July 2014. Retrieved 2 January 2015. 
  20. Hughes, Bill (26 September 2019). A Historical Sociology of Disability: Human Validity and Invalidity from Antiquity to Early Modernity. Routledge Advances in Disability Studies. Abingdon: Routledge. ISBN 9780429615207. Retrieved 21 July 2023. "The Spartan Council of Elders or Gerousia decided whether a new-born child brought before them would live or die. Impairment, deformity, even puny appearance was enough to condemn a child to death." 
  21. Geographica, Strabo, Book 5, page 467. "And they say that among the Samnitae there is a law which is indeed honourable and conducive to noble qualities; for they are not permitted to give their daughters in marriage to whom they wish, but every year ten virgins and ten young men, the noblest of each sex, are selected, and, of these, the first choice of the virgins is given to the first choice of the young men, and the second to the second, and so on to the end; but if the young man who wins the meed of honour changes and turns out bad, they disgrace him and take away from him the woman given him."
  22. The Laws of the Twelve Tables, c. 450 BC "A dreadfully deformed child shall be quickly killed"
  23. Tacitus. Germania.XII "Traitors and deserters are hanged on trees; the coward, the unwarlike, the man stained with abominable vices, is plunged into the mire of the morass, with a hurdle put over him."
  24. Sanders, Karin (2009). Bodies in the Bog and the Archaeological Imagination. University of Chicago Press. p. 62. ISBN 9780226734040. Retrieved 23 August 2018. "Tacitus's Germania, read through this kind of filter, became a manual for racial and sexual eugenics" 
  25. Krebs, Christopher (2011). A Most Dangerous Book: Tacitus's Germania from the Roman Empire to the Third Reich. New York: W. W. Norton & Company. pp. 48–49. ISBN 9780393062656. 
  26. Simon, Emily T. (21 February 2008). "Ancient text has long and dangerous reach". 
  27. 27.0 27.1 Bowler, Peter J (2003), Evolution: The History of an Idea (3rd ed.), University of California Press, pp. 308–310 
  28. 28.0 28.1 Hansen, Randall (2005). "Eugenics". Eugenics: Immigration and Asylum from 1990 to Present. ABC-CLIO. Retrieved 23 September 2013. 
  29. James D., Watson; Berry, Andrew (2009). DNA: The Secret of Life. Knopf. Retrieved 31 August 2017. 
  30. Blom 2008, p. 336.
  31. Allen, Garland E. (2004). "Was Nazi eugenics created in the US?". EMBO Reports 5 (5): 451–452. doi:10.1038/sj.embor.7400158. 
  32. 32.0 32.1 32.2 Baker, G. J. (2014). "Christianity and Eugenics: The Place of Religion in the British Eugenics Education Society and the American Eugenics Society, c. 1907–1940". Social History of Medicine 27 (2): 281–302. doi:10.1093/shm/hku008. PMID 24778464. 
  33. Lindsay, J. A. (1917). "The passing of the great race, or the racial basis of European history". The Eugenics Review 9 (2): 139–141. 
  34. Barrett, Deborah; Kurzman, Charles (October 2004). "Globalizing Social Movement Theory: The Case of Eugenics". Theory and Society 33 (5): 487–527. doi:10.1023/b:ryso.0000045719.45687.aa. Retrieved 17 September 2013. "Policy adoption: In the pre–World War I period, eugenic policies were enacted only in the United States, which was both the hotbed of international eugenics activism and unusually decentralized politically, so that sub-national state units could adopt such policies in the absence of central state approval.". 
  35. Hawkins, Mike (1997). Social Darwinism in European and American Thought. Cambridge University Press. pp. 62, 292. ISBN 9780521574341. 
  36. "The National Office of Eugenics in Belgium". Science 57 (1463): 46. 12 January 1923. doi:10.1126/science.57.1463.46. Bibcode1923Sci....57R..46.. 
  37. dos Santos, Sales Augusto; Hallewell, Laurence (January 2002). "Historical Roots of the 'Whitening' of Brazil". Latin American Perspectives 29 (1): 61–82. doi:10.1177/0094582X0202900104. 
  38. McLaren, Angus (1990). Our Own Master Race: Eugenics in Canada, 1885–1945. Oxford University Press. ISBN 9780771055447. [page needed]
  39. Osborn, Frederick (June 1937). "Development of a Eugenic Philosophy". American Sociological Review 2 (3): 389–397. doi:10.2307/2084871. 
  40. Black 2003, p. 240.
  41. Black 2003, p. 286.
  42. Black 2003, p. 40.
  43. Black 2003, p. 45.
  44. Black 2003, Chapter 6: The United States of Sterilization.
  45. Black 2003, p. 237.
  46. Black 2003, Chapter 5: Legitimizing Raceology.
  47. Black 2003, Chapter 9: Mongrelization.
  48. Blom, P. (2009). The Vertigo Years: Change and Culture in the West, 1900–1914 (Toronto, ON: McClelland & Stewart).
  49. Jones, S. (1995). The Language of Genes: Solving the Mysteries of Our Genetic Past, Present and Future (New York: Anchor).
  50. King, D. (1999). In the name of liberalism: illiberal social policy in Britain and the United States (Oxford: Oxford University Press).
  51. Ferrante, Joan (2010). Sociology: A Global Perspective. Cengage Learning. pp. 259 ff. ISBN 9780840032041. Retrieved 7 June 2020. 
  52. Turda, Marius (2010). "Race, Science and Eugenics in the Twentieth Century". in Bashford, Alison; Levine, Philippa. The Oxford Handbook of the History of Eugenics. Oxford University Press. pp. 72–73. ISBN 9780199888290. 
  53. "Consumption: Its Cause and Cure" – an address by Dr Halliday Sutherland on 4 September 1917, published by the Red Triangle Press.
  54. "Lancelot Hogben, who developed his critique of eugenics and distaste for racism in the period...he spent as Professor of Zoology at the University of Cape Town". Alison Bashford and Philippa Levine, The Oxford Handbook of the History of Eugenics. Oxford; Oxford University Press, 2010 ISBN:0199706530 (p. 200)
  55. "Whatever their disagreement on the numbers, Haldane, Fisher, and most geneticists could support Jennings's warning: To encourage the expectation that the sterilization of defectives will solve the problem of hereditary defects, close up the asylums for feebleminded and insane, do away with prisons, is only to subject society to deception". Daniel J. Kevles (1985). In the Name of Eugenics. University of California Press. ISBN:0520057635 (p. 166).
  56. Congar, Yves M.-J. (1953). The Catholic Church and the Race Question. Paris: UNESCO. Retrieved 3 July 2015. "4. The State is not entitled to deprive an individual of his procreative power simply for material (eugenic) purposes. But it is entitled to isolate individuals who are sick and whose progeny would inevitably be seriously tainted." 
  57. Bashford, Alison; Levine, Philippa (2010). The Oxford Handbook of the History of Eugenics. Oxford University Press. ISBN 9780195373141. Retrieved 31 December 2018. 
  58. Pope Pius XI. "Casti connubii". 
  59. Ridley, Matt (1999). Genome: The Autobiography of a Species in 23 Chapters. New York: HarperCollins. pp. 290–291. ISBN 9780060894085. 
  60. Reis, Alex; Hornblower, Breton; Robb, Brett; Tzertzinis, George (2014). "CRISPR/Cas9 and Targeted Genome Editing: A New Era in Molecular Biology". NEB Expressions (I). Retrieved 8 July 2015. 
  61. Goering, Sara (2014), Zalta, Edward N., ed., Eugenics (Fall 2014 ed.), Metaphysics Research Lab, Stanford University,, retrieved 4 May 2022 
  62. "EugenicsArchive". 
  63. James Q. Whitman, Hitler's American model. The United States and the Making of Nazi Race Laws, Princeton University Press 2003, , p. 2 and following
  64. Black 2003, pp. 274–295.
  65. Longerich, Peter (2010). Holocaust: The Nazi Persecution and Murder of the Jews. Oxford University Press. pp. 179–191. ISBN 9780192804365. 
  66. Burleigh, Michael (2000). "Psychiatry, German Society, and the Nazi "Euthanasia" Programme". in Bartov, Omer. Holocaust: Origins, Implementation, Aftermath. London: Routledge. pp. 43–57. ISBN 0415150361. 
  67. Snyder, Timothy (2010). Bloodlands: Europe Between Hitler and Stalin. New York: Basic Books. pp. 256–258. ISBN 9781441761460. 
  68. Turner, Jacky (2010). Animal Breeding, Welfare and Society. Routledge. p. 296. ISBN 9781844075898. 
  69. Clapham, Andrew (2007). Human Rights: A Very Short Introduction. Oxford University Press. pp. 29–31. ISBN 9780199205523. 
  70. Article 2 of the Convention defines genocide as any of the following acts committed with the intent to destroy, in whole or in part, a national, ethnic, racial or religious group, as such as:
    • Killing members of the group;
    • Causing serious bodily or mental harm to members of the group;
    • Deliberately inflicting on the group conditions of life calculated to bring about its physical destruction in whole or in part;
    • Imposing measures intended to prevent births within the group;
    • Forcibly transferring children of the group to another group.
    See the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide.
  71. "Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union". Article 3, Section 2. 
  72. Meilhan, Pierre; Brumfield, Ben (25 January 2014). "Peru will not prosecute former President over sterilization campaign". CNN (CNN). 
  73. Dikötter, F. (1998). Imperfect Conceptions: Medical Knowledge, Birth Defects, and Eugenics in China. Columbia University Press. 
  74. Miller, Geoffrey (2013). "2013: What Should We Be Worried About? Chinese Eugenics". Edge (Edge Foundation). 
  75. Dikötter, F. (1999). "'The legislation imposes decisions': Laws about eugenics in China". UNESCO Courier 1. 
  76. IJRC (21 March 2019). "Forced Sterilization as a Human Rights Violation: Recent Developments". 
  77. "The Global Problem of Forced Sterilization". 
  78. Stevenson, Verity (25 November 2022). "At least 22 Indigenous women underwent forced sterilization in Quebec from 1980-2019: report". CBC News. 
  79. "Netherlands Apologizes for Transgender Sterilizations". 1 December 2020. 
  80. "Japan: Compelled Sterilization of Transgender People". 19 March 2019. 
  81. Luterman, Sara (4 February 2022). "31 states have laws that allow forced sterilizations, new report shows". 
  82. Naftulin, Julia. "Inside the hidden campaign to forcibly sterilize thousands of inmates in California women's prisons". 
  83. "Forced Sterilization of Disabled People in the United States". National Women's Law Center: pp. 8–10. 24 January 2022. 
  84. "Forced Sterilization of Disabled People in the United States". National Women's Law Center: pp. 18. 24 January 2022. 
  85. Epstein, Charles J. (1 November 2003). "Is modern genetics the new eugenics?". Genetics in Medicine 5 (6): 469–475. doi:10.1097/01.GIM.0000093978.77435.17. PMID 14614400. 
  86. Simoncelli, Tania (2003). "Pre-implantation Genetic Diagnosis and Selection: From disease prevention to customized conception". Different Takes 24. Retrieved 18 September 2013. 
  87. Dawkins, Richard (2006). "From the Afterward". The Herald (Glasgow). 
  88. Chan, Ying-kit (4 October 2016). "Eugenics in Postcolonial Singapore". Berlin. 
  89. 89.0 89.1 Gould, Stephen Jay (16 August 1984). "Between You and Your Genes". The New York Review of Books. 
  90. "Singapore: Population Control Policies". Library of Congress Country Studies (1989). Library of Congress. 
  91. Jacobson, Mark (January 2010). "The Singapore Solution". National Geographic Magazine. Retrieved 26 December 2009. 
  92. "Report of the IBC on Updating Its Reflection on the Human Genome and Human Rights". International Bioethics Committee. 2 October 2015. p. 27. "The goal of enhancing individuals and the human species by engineering the genes related to some characteristics and traits is not to be confused with the barbarous projects of eugenics that planned the simple elimination of human beings considered as 'imperfect' on an ideological basis. However, it impinges upon the principle of respect for human dignity in several ways. It weakens the idea that the differences among human beings, regardless of the measure of their endowment, are exactly what the recognition of their equality presupposes and therefore protects. It introduces the risk of new forms of discrimination and stigmatization for those who cannot afford such enhancement or simply do not want to resort to it. The arguments that have been produced in favour of the so-called liberal eugenics do not trump the indication to apply the limit of medical reasons also in this case." 
  93. "Eugenics and Scientific Racism". National Human Genome Research Institute. 
  94. Silver, Lee M. (1998). Remaking Eden: Cloning and Beyond in a Brave New World. Harper Perennial. ISBN 9780380792436. OCLC 40094564. 
  95. Thomas, Gareth M.; Rothman, Barbara Katz (April 2016). "Keeping the Backdoor to Eugenics Ajar?: Disability and the Future of Prenatal Screening". AMA Journal of Ethics 18 (4): 406–415. doi:10.1001/journalofethics.2016.18.4.stas1-1604. PMID 27099190. "We argue that prenatal screening (and specifically NIPT) for Down syndrome can be considered a form of contemporary eugenics, in that it effaces, devalues, and possibly prevents the births of people with the condition.". 
  96. Skinner, Nancy (18 February 2019). SB-1190 – Eugenics Sterilization Compensation Program. State of California. Retrieved 19 February 2019. 
  97. Galton, Francis (1883). Inquiries into Human Faculty and its Development. London: Macmillan Publishers. p. 199. 
  98. "Correspondence between Francis Galton and Charles Darwin". 
  99. "The Correspondence of Charles Darwin". Darwin Correspondence Project. University of Cambridge. 
  100. Blom 2008, pp. 335–336.
  101. Ward, Lester Frank; Palmer Cape, Emily; Simons, Sarah Emma (1918). "Eugenics, Euthenics and Eudemics". Glimpses of the Cosmos. G.P. Putnam. pp. 382 ff. Retrieved 11 April 2012. 
  102. Cited in Black 2003, p. 18
  103. Worrall, Simon (24 July 2016). "The Gene: Science's Most Dangerous Idea". National Geographic. 
  104. White, Susan (28 June 2017). "LibGuides: The Sociology of Science and Technology: Pseudoscience". Library of University of Princeton. 
  105. Haldane, J. (1940). "Lysenko and Genetics". Science and Society 4 (4). Retrieved 3 January 2011. 
  106. A discussion of the shifting meanings of the term can be found in Paul, Diane (1995). Controlling Human Heredity: 1865 to the Present. Humanities Press. ISBN 9781573923439. 
  107. Black 2003, p. 380.
  108. Black, Edwin (9 November 2003). "Eugenics and the Nazis -- the California connection". 
  109. Salgirli, S. G. (July 2011). "Eugenics for the doctors: Medicine and social control in 1930s Turkey". Journal of the History of Medicine and Allied Sciences 66 (3): 281–312. doi:10.1093/jhmas/jrq040. PMID 20562206. 
  110. 110.0 110.1 Glad, John (2008). Future Human Evolution: Eugenics in the Twenty-First Century. Hermitage Publishers. ISBN 9781557791542. 
  111. Pine, Lisa (1997). Nazi Family Policy, 1933–1945. Berg. pp. 19 ff. ISBN 9781859739075. Retrieved 11 April 2012. 
  112. 112.0 112.1 "Heterozygote test / Screening programmes — DRZE". 
  113. "Fatal Gift: Jewish Intelligence and Western Civilization". 
  114. 114.0 114.1 Blom 2008, pp. 336–337.
  115. "Social Origins of Eugenics". 
  116. Carlson, Elof Axel (2002). "Scientific Origins of Eugenics". Image Archive on the American Eugenics Movement. Dolan DNA Learning Center, Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory. 
  117. Leonard, Thomas C. (Tim) (Fall 2005). "Retrospectives: Eugenics and Economics in the Progressive Era". Journal of Economic Perspectives 19 (4): 207–224. doi:10.1257/089533005775196642. Retrieved 3 October 2013. 
  118. Stearns, F. W. (2010). "One Hundred Years of Pleiotropy: A Retrospective". Genetics 186 (3): 767–773. doi:10.1534/genetics.110.122549. PMID 21062962. 
  119. Jones, A. (2000). "Effect of eugenics on the evolution of populations". European Physical Journal B 17 (2): 329–332. doi:10.1007/s100510070148. Bibcode2000EPJB...17..329P. 
  120. Bentwich, M. (2013). "On the inseparability of gender eugenics, ethics, and public policy: An Israeli perspective". American Journal of Bioethics 13 (10): 43–45. doi:10.1080/15265161.2013.828128. PMID 24024807. 
  121. Fischer, B. A. (2012). "Maltreatment of people with serious mental illness in the early 20th century: A focus on Nazi Germany and eugenics in America". Journal of Nervous and Mental Disease 200 (12): 1096–1100. doi:10.1097/NMD.0b013e318275d391. PMID 23197125. 
  122. Hoge, S. K.; Appelbaum, P. S. (2012). "Ethics and neuropsychiatric genetics: A review of major issues". International Journal of Neuropsychopharmacology 15 (10): 1547–1557. doi:10.1017/S1461145711001982. PMID 22272758. 
  123. Witzany, G. (2016). "No time to waste on the road to a liberal eugenics?". EMBO Reports 17 (3): 281. doi:10.15252/embr.201541855. PMID 26882552. 
  124. Baird, S. L. (2007). "Designer babies: Eugenics repackaged or consumer options?". Technology Teacher 66 (7): 12–16. 
  125. Roberts, M. A.. "The Nonidentity Problem". Stanford University. 
  126. Darnovsky, Marcy (2001). "Health and human rights leaders call for an international ban on species-altering procedures". 
  127. Annas, George; Andrews, Lori; Isasi, Rosario (2002). "Protecting the endangered human: Toward an international treaty prohibiting cloning and inheritable alterations". American Journal of Law & Medicine 28 (2–3): 151–78. doi:10.1017/S009885880001162X. PMID 12197461. Retrieved 5 December 2021. 
  128. McKibben, Bill (2003). Enough: Staying Human in an Engineered Age. Times Books. ISBN 9780805070965. OCLC 237794777. 
  129. Caleb, Amanda (27 January 2023). "Eugenics and (Pseudo-) Science". The Holocaust: Remembrance, Respect, and Resilience. Pennsylvania State University. Retrieved 18 February 2023. 
  130. Comfort, Nathaniel (12 November 2012). "The Eugenics Impulse". The Chronicle of Higher Education. Retrieved 9 September 2013. 
  131. Comfort, Nathaniel (25 September 2012). The Science of Human Perfection: How Genes Became the Heart of American Medicine. New Haven: Yale University Press. ISBN 9780300169911. 
  132. Wilkinson, Stephen; Garrard, Eve (2013). Eugenics and the Ethics of Selective Reproduction. Keele University. ISBN 9780957616004. Retrieved 18 September 2013. 
  133. Buchanan, Allen; Brock, Dan W.; Daniels, Norman; Wikler, Daniel (2000). From Chance to Choice: Genetics and Justice. Cambridge University Press. ISBN 9780521669771. OCLC 41211380. 
  134. Rawls, John (1999). A theory of justice (revised ed.). Cambridge, Massachusetts: Harvard University Press. p. 92. ISBN 0674000781. "In addition, it is possible to adopt eugenic policies, more or less explicit. I shall not consider questions of eugenics, confining myself throughout to the traditional concerns of social justice. We should note, though, that it is not in general to the advantage of the less fortunate to propose policies which reduce the talents of others. Instead, by accepting the difference principle, they view the greater abilities as a social asset to be used for the common advantage. But it is also in the interest of each to have greater natural assets. This enables him to pursue a preferred plan of life. In the original position, then, the parties want to insure for their descendants the best genetic endowment (assuming their own to be fixed). The pursuit of reasonable policies in this regard is something that earlier generations owe to later ones, this being a question that arises between generations. Thus over time a society is to take steps at least to preserve the general level of natural abilities and to prevent the diffusion of serious defects." 
  135. Shaw, p. 147. Quote: "What Rawls says is that "Over time a society is to take steps to preserve the general level of natural abilities and to prevent the diffusion of serious defects." The key words here are "preserve" and "prevent". Rawls clearly envisages only the use of negative eugenics as a preventive measure to ensure a good basic level of genetic health for future generations. To jump from this to "make the later generations as genetically talented as possible," as Pence does, is a masterpiece of misinterpretation. This, then, is the sixth argument against positive eugenics: the Veil of Ignorance argument. Those behind the Veil in Rawls' original Position would agree to permit negative, but not positive eugenics. This is a more complex variant of the consent argument, as the Veil of Ignorance merely forces us to adopt a position of hypothetical consent to particular principles of justice."
  136. Harding, John R. (1991). "Beyond Abortion: Human Genetics and the New Eugenics". Pepperdine Law Review 18 (3): 489–491. PMID 11659992. Retrieved 2 June 2016. "Rawls arrives at the difference principle by considering how justice might be drawn from a hypothetical 'original position.' A person in the original position operates behind a 'veil of ignorance' that prevents her from knowing any information about herself such as social status, physical or mental capabilities, or even her belief system. Only from such a position of universal equality can principles of justice be drawn. In establishing how to distribute social primary goods, for example, 'rights and liberties, powers and opportunities, income and wealth" and self-respect, Rawls determines that a person operating from the original position would develop two principles. First, liberties ascribed to each individual should be as extensive as possible without infringing upon the liberties of others. Second, social primary goods should be distributed to the greatest advantage of everyone and by mechanisms that allow equal opportunity to all. ... Genetic engineering should not be permitted merely for the enhancement of physical attractiveness because that would not benefit the least advantaged. Arguably, resources should be concentrated on genetic therapy to address disease and genetic defects. However, such a result is not required under Rawls' theory. Genetic enhancement of those already intellectually gifted, for example, might result in even greater benefit to the least advantaged as a result of the gifted individual's improved productivity. Moreover, Rawls asserts that using genetic engineering to prevent the most serious genetic defects is a matter of intergenerational justice. Such actions are necessary in terms of what the present generation owes to later generations.". 
  137. Jabr, Ferris (2013). "Are We Too Close to Making Gattaca a Reality?". 
  138. Pope, Marcia; McRoberts, Richard (2003). Cambridge Wizard Student Guide Gattaca. Cambridge University Press. ISBN 0521536154. 
  139. Kirby, D.A. (2000). "The New Eugenics in Cinema: Genetic Determinism and Gene Therapy in GATTACA". Science Fiction Studies 27. Retrieved 8 January 2008. 
  140. Silver, Lee M. (1997). "Genetics Goes to Hollywood". Nature Genetics 17 (3): 260–261. doi:10.1038/ng1197-260. 
  141. Plomin, Robert (13 November 2018). Blueprint: How DNA Makes Us Who We Are. MIT Press. pp. 180–181. ISBN 9780262039161. Retrieved 31 October 2020. 

General and cited references

Histories of eugenics (academic accounts)

Histories of hereditarian thought

Criticisms of eugenics

External links