November 27, 1926


JAMA. 1926;87(22):1832-1833. doi:10.1001/jama.1926.02680220048014

The circumstance that our population includes a considerable proportion of persons of limited capacity has given concern to those who are interested in race progress and human betterment. They fear a possible degradation through the workings of the now familiar laws of heredity under conditions in which human matings may bring undesirable characters of mind and body into prominence. Such misgivings have largely been responsible for the recommendation of eugenic improvement through the control of heredity. An enthusiast on this subject has pointed out, however, that eugenics does not require the old Spartan practice of infanticide, nor does eugenics propose to do violence in any other way to humanitarian or religious feeling. Eugenics does not mean, as some have imagined, compulsory or government-made marriages. Nor is eugenics the science of improving the human stock by matings that are academically ideal, but which lack the element of individual attraction and instinctive

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