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January 13, 1934

The Eugenic Predicament

JAMA. 1934;102(2):155. doi:10.1001/jama.1934.02750020067033

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The title expresses the author's conviction that the present dysgenic differential birth rate, through which those elements of the population whose perpetuation is least to be desired have the most children, is indeed a predicament. "We are forced to conclude that the more intelligent are being outbred by those on a lower mental level.... A number of writers have exercised their ingenuity to discover reasons for not accepting this unpleasant conclusion. Others who admit that the present differential birth rate is dysgenic contend that it is nothing to be disturbed about." With the latter the author takes issue in a vigorous and yet temperate manner. He believes that heredity is a far more potent influence than environment in the ultimate development of individual capacity, at least in limiting the progress which a given individual can make. He strengthens his position by freely admitting that nurture is important, though less so

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