Article ID: CBB000831701

Artificial Insemination and Eugenics: Celibate Motherhood, Eutelegenesis and Germinal Choice (2008)

unapi

This paper traces the history of artificial insemination by selected donors (AID) as a strategy for positive eugenic improvement. While medical artificial insemination has a longer history, its use as a eugenic strategy was first mooted in late nineteenth-century France. It was then developed as `scientific motherhood' for war widows and those without partners by Marion Louisa Piddington in Australia following the Great War. By the 1930s AID was being more widely used clinically in Britain (and elsewhere) as a medical solution to male infertility for married couples. In 1935 English postal clerk, Herbert Brewer, promoted AID (eutelegenesis) as the socialization of the germ plasm in a eugenic scheme. The next year Hermann Muller, American Drosophila geneticist and eugenicist, presented his plan for human improvement by AID to Stalin. Some twenty years later, Muller, together with Robert Klark Graham, began planning a Foundation for Germinal Choice in California. This was finally opened in 1980 as the first practical experiment in eugenic AID, producing some 215 babies over the twenty years it functioned. While AID appeared to be a means of squaring a eugenic circle by separating paternity from love relationships, and so allowing eugenic improvement without inhibiting individual choice in marriage, it found very little favour with those who might use it, not least because of a couple's desire to have their `own' children has always seemed stronger than any eugenic aspirations. No state has ever contemplated using AID as a social policy.

...More
Included in

Article Hall, Lesley A. (2008) Eugenics, Sex and the State: Some Introductory Remarks. Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part C: Studies in History and Philosophy of Biological and Biomedical Sciences (p. 177). unapi

Citation URI
https://data.isiscb.org/isis/citation/CBB000831701/

Similar Citations

Chapter Benninghaus, Christina; (2005)
Eine “unästhetische Prozedur”. Debatten über “künstliche Befruchtung” um 1910 (/isis/citation/CBB000800252/)

Article Etkind, Alexander; (2008)
Beyond Eugenics: The Forgotten Scandal of Hybridizing Humans and Apes (/isis/citation/CBB000831700/)

Article McMillan, John; (2007)
The Return of the Inseminator: Eutelegenesis in Past and Contemporary Reproductive Ethics (/isis/citation/CBB000701051/)

Book Hodges, Sarah; (2008)
Contraception, Colonialism and Commerce: Birth Control in South India, 1920--1940 (/isis/citation/CBB000850369/)

Chapter Kravetz, Melissa; (2011)
Promoting Eugenics and Maternalism: Women Doctors and Marriage Counseling in Weimar Germany (/isis/citation/CBB001221549/)

Book Tsuge, Azumi; (2012)
Seishoku gijutsu: Funin chiry to saisei iry wa shakai ni nani o motarasu (/isis/citation/CBB001551354/)

Book Philippa Levine; (2017)
Eugenics: A Very Short Introduction (/isis/citation/CBB212608315/)

Book Sandra Bärnreuther; (2021)
Substantial Relations: Making Global Reproductive Medicine in Postcolonial India (/isis/citation/CBB296718154/)

Chapter Ogino, Miho; (2007)
Eugenics, Reproductive Technologies, and the Feminist Dilemma in Japan (/isis/citation/CBB000760192/)

Article Benninghaus, Christina; (2007)
Great Expectations---German Debates about Artificial Insemination in Humans around 1912 (/isis/citation/CBB000701050/)

Article Cowan, Ruth Schwartz; (2009)
Moving up the Slippery Slope: Mandated Genetic Screening on Cyprus (/isis/citation/CBB001024128/)

Article Diane B. Paul; (2014)
What Was Wrong with Eugenics? Conflicting Narratives and Disputed Interpretations (/isis/citation/CBB543448733/)

Article Gregory, P. R.; Markevich, A.; (2002)
Creating Soviet Industry: The House That Stalin Built (/isis/citation/CBB000321040/)

Thesis Campos, Luis Andres; (2006)
Radium and the Secret of Life (/isis/citation/CBB001560573/)

Authors & Contributors
Benninghaus, Christina
Karl Bruno
Shirai, Chiaki
Sandra Bärnreuther
Hideki Yui
Tsuge, Azumi
Journals
Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part C: Studies in History and Philosophy of Biological and Biomedical Sciences
East Asian Science, Technology and Society: An International Journal
VIET: Voprosy Istorii Estestvoznaniia i Tekhniki
Slavic Review
Science and Education
History and Technology
Publishers
Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht
Oxford University Press
Misuzu-shobô
Cornell University Press
Ashgate
Harvard University
Concepts
Eugenics
Artificial insemination
Reproductive technologies
Reproductive medicine
Mothers and children
Fertilization, in vitro
People
Müller, Hermann Joseph
Stalin, Joseph
Murphy, Emily
Ivanov, Il'ia Ivanovich
Gager, Charles Stuart
Burke, J. Butler
Time Periods
20th century, early
20th century
20th century, late
21st century
19th century
Places
Japan
Germany
Soviet Union
Alberta, Canada
Weimar Republic (1919-1933)
Sweden
Institutions
Keio University
Comments

Be the first to comment!

{{ comment.created_by.username }} on {{ comment.created_on | date:'medium' }}

Log in or register to comment