Thesis ID: CBB176129676

A Program of Race Betterment: The Emergence and Evolution of Eugenic Ideas in Michigan (2022)

unapi

Lynch, William T. (Advisor)
McEuen, Branden (Author)


Lynch, William T.
Wayne State University
Publication date: 2022
Language: English


Publication Date: 2022
Physical Details: 402

Contemporary concerns with technologies like CRISPR and the proliferation of state laws restricting abortion have led people to wonder if we are witnessing a return of eugenics. I analyze the development and evolution of eugenic ideas and policies throughout the 20th century, using the state of Michigan as a frame of reference. In examining the eugenic theories and policies psychiatrists and physicians endorsed, I demonstrate that eugenics was a key component of preventive public medicine in the first two decades of the 20th century. I show how they educated the public on eugenics based on both environmentalist and hereditarian ideas and stressed that the suppression of individual rights to reproductive autonomy were necessary to improve the general welfare of society, an argument that influenced American jurists to endorse sterilization as a justifiable police power measure. I then reveal how these core principles remained embedded in both medical genetics and population control. Although medical geneticists shunned research on the inheritance of social behaviors, they remained committed to applying preventive genetic medicine for genetic physical and mental diseases and counseling individuals to not have children based on their genes. Population planners feared the catastrophic consequences of overpopulation and suppressed poor women’s right to reproductive autonomy around the world to address what they believed were crucial issues of resource depletion, economic development, and political stability during the Cold War. I conclude by looking at how eugenic ideas continue to suppress the reproductive rights of individuals while Michigan leaders have failed to adequately address the state’s eugenic past. Although contemporary notions of individualism in relation to reproduction prevent a resurgence of eugenics like that in the first half of the 20th century, current attempts to restrict reproductive rights are a cause for concern, and addressing our eugenic past is crucial to ensuring these rights are not violated.

...More
Citation URI
data.isiscb.org/p/isis/citation/CBB176129676

This citation is part of the Isis database.

Similar Citations

Book Müller-Wille, Staffan; Rheinberger, Hans-Jörg; (2012)
A Cultural History of Heredity (/p/isis/citation/CBB001251195/) unapi

Book Maurizio Meloni; (2016)
Political Biology: Science and Social Values in Human Heredity from Eugenics to Epigenetics (/p/isis/citation/CBB133358389/) unapi

Book Bernardino Fantini; Fabrizio Rufo; (2017)
Il codice della vita. Una storia della genetica tra scienza e bioetica (/p/isis/citation/CBB297801530/) unapi

Article Davide Battisti; (2019)
Genome editing: slipping down toward Eugenics? (/p/isis/citation/CBB945724739/) unapi

Book Amir Teicher; (2019)
Social Mendelism: Genetics and the Politics of Race in Germany, 1900-1948 (/p/isis/citation/CBB585433440/) unapi

Article Kampf, Antje; (2015)
Times of Danger: Embryos, Sperm and Precarious Reproduction ca. 1870s--1910s (/p/isis/citation/CBB001510246/) unapi

Article Waller, John C.; (2001)
Ideas of heredity, reproduction and eugenics in Britain, 1800--1875 (/p/isis/citation/CBB000100764/) unapi

Article Medeiros, Flavia Natercia da Silva; (2013)
Fora da ordem natural: a natureza nos discursos sobre a clonagem e a pesquisa com células-tronco em jornais brasileiros (/p/isis/citation/CBB001420696/) unapi

Book Sperling, Stefan; (2013)
Reasons of Conscience: The Bioethics Debate in Germany (/p/isis/citation/CBB001450247/) unapi

Article Sachse, Carola; (2006)
Von Männern, Frauen und Hunden. Der Streit um die Vivisektion im Deutschland des 19. Jahrhunderts (/p/isis/citation/CBB001022227/) unapi

Article Valles, Sean A.; (2012)
Lionel Penrose and the Concept of Normal Variation in Human Intelligence (/p/isis/citation/CBB001221611/) unapi

Book Dennis L. Durst; (2017)
Eugenics and Protestant Social Reform: Hereditary Science and Religion in America, 1860–1940 (/p/isis/citation/CBB376484628/) unapi

Article Dejong-Lambert, William; (2009)
From Eugenics to Lysenkoism: The Evolution of Stanislaw Skowron (/p/isis/citation/CBB001022626/) unapi

Article Santiago Stucchi-Portocarrero; (2018)
Eugenics, medicine and psychiatry in Peru (/p/isis/citation/CBB864800904/) unapi

Book Carlson, Elof Axel; (2001)
The Unfit: The History of a Bad Idea (/p/isis/citation/CBB000600017/) unapi

Book Witkowski, J. A.; Inglis, J. R.; (2008)
Davenport's Dream: 21st Century Reflections on Heredity and Eugenics (/p/isis/citation/CBB000774895/) unapi

Authors & Contributors
Baker, Graham
Carlson, Elof Axel
de Jong-Lambert, William
Durst, Dennis Lee
Evans, Suzanne Elizabeth
Fantini, Bernardino
Journals
Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part C: Studies in History and Philosophy of Biological and Biomedical Sciences
Canadian Bulletin of Medical History/Bulletin Canadienne d'Histoire de la Medecine
Feministische Studien
Gewina
História, Ciências, Saúde---Manguinhos
Historical Studies in the Natural Sciences
Publishers
Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory Press
University of Chicago Press
University of California, Berkeley
Cambridge University Press
Donzelli
Palgrave Macmillan
Concepts
Eugenics
Heredity
Science and politics
Biology
Biology and ethics; bioethics
Genetics
People
Booth, William
Davenport, Charles Benedict
Galton, Francis
Lysenko, Trofim Denisovich
Penrose, Lionel
Skowron, Stanislaw
Time Periods
20th century
19th century
21st century
20th century, early
20th century, late
Places
Germany
Great Britain
Brazil
Soviet Union
Canada
Norway
Comments

Be the first to comment!

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

Log in or register to comment