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December 15, 1951


Author Affiliations

255 Adams St., Milton, Mass.

JAMA. 1951;147(16):1595. doi:10.1001/jama.1951.03670330087032

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To the Editor:  —Sexual sterilization, as a method of prevention of the transmission of mental deficiency, psychosis, or other hereditary disease, was provided under state laws for 1,526 patients in 1950 (Publication No. 5 of the Human Betterment Association of America, 2 E. 103rd St., New York 29). This is a slight increase over the 1,500 reported in 1949 (J. A. M. A. 144:783, 1950). The greater frequency of direct inheritance of mental deficiency probably accounts for the fact that the larger proportion, 62%, were for this cause. Mental disease was the chief cause for 34% and other reasons for 3%.The largest number, 295, was reported by North Carolina, followed by California (275), Georgia (226), Virginia (204), and Iowa (113).North Carolina was also the leading state when population is considered, with 7.3 eugenic sterilizations per 100,000. The rates for the other states are shown in the chart.

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