eugenics

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Related to negative eugenics: positive eugenics

eugenics

 [u-jen´iks]
the study and control of procreation as a means of improving hereditary characteristics of future generations. The concept has sometimes been used in a pseudoscientific way as an excuse for unethical, racist, or even genocidal practices such as involuntary sterilization or certain other practices in Nazi Germany and elsewhere.
macro eugenics eugenics policies that affect whole populations or groups. This has sometimes led to racism and genocide, such as the Nazi policies of sterilization and extermination of ethnic groups.
micro eugenics eugenics policies affecting only families or kinship groups; such policies are directed mainly at women and thus raise special ethical issues.
negative eugenics that concerned with prevention of reproduction by individuals considered to have inferior or undesirable traits.
positive eugenics that concerned with promotion of optimal mating and reproduction by individuals considered to have desirable or superior traits.

eu·gen·ics

(yū-jen'iks),
1. Practices and policies, as of mate selection or of sterilization, which tend to better the innate qualities of progeny and human stock.
2. Practices and genetic counseling directed to anticipating genetic disability and disease.
Synonym(s): orthogenics
[G. eugeneia, nobility of birth, fr. eu, well, + genesis, production]

eugenics

(yo͞o-jĕn′ĭks)
n. (used with a sing. verb)
The study or practice of attempting to improve the human gene pool by encouraging the reproduction of people considered to have desirable traits and discouraging or preventing the reproduction of people considered to have undesirable traits.

eu·gen′ic adj.
eu·gen′i·cal·ly adv.

eugenics

[yo̅o̅jen′iks]
Etymology: Gk, eu + genein, to produce
the study of methods for controlling the characteristics of populations through selective breeding.

eu·gen·ics

(yū-jen'iks)
1. Practices and policies, as in mate selection or sterilization, which tend to better the innate qualities of progeny and human stock.
2. Practices and genetic counseling directed to anticipating genetic disability and disease.
[G. eugeneia, nobility of birth, fr. eu, well, + genesis, production]

eugenics

The study or practice of trying to improve the human race by encouraging the breeding of those with desired characteristics (positive eugenics) or by discouraging the breeding of those whose characteristics are deemed undesirable (negative eugenics). The concept implies that there exists some person or institution capable of making such decisions. It also implies possible grave interference with human rights. For these reasons, the principles, which have long been successfully applied to domestic animals, have never been adopted for humans except by despots such as Adolf Hitler.

eugenics

the study of ways of improving the hereditary qualities of a population (especially the human population) by the application of social controls, guided by genetical principles.

Eugenics

A social movement in which the population of a society, country, or the world is to be improved by controlling the passing on of hereditary information through mating.
Mentioned in: Gene Therapy
References in periodicals archive ?
Widespread negative eugenics occurred in the twentieth century, under the direction of Marie Stopes (Britain), Margaret Sanger (America) and Adolf Hitler (Germany).
20) The negative eugenics program of Nazi regime which began in 1933 and ended in 1945 led to 400,000 "feebleminded" and "racially unfit" people being sterilized, while another 70,000 individuals were euthanized, a grisly foreshadowing of the murder of six million Jews, and tens of millions of others who were deemed "racially impure" such as Poles, Catholic priests, Romani, Russians or any others who opposed the Nazis.
Negative eugenics, the original basis for the Act continued through the years largely through the work of individual superintendents of institutions who held onto the belief that mentally defective children required sterilization without consent as did mentally defective adult males and females.
However, our data deal directly with the activities of the Eugenics Board and its affiliated mental health institutions, which conducted their activities in accordance with the Sexual Sterilization Act, based in principle on a negative eugenics program.
Similarly, those who elect not to have children with certain disabilities may be implementing a form of negative eugenics.
The claim is that, since it is impossible to draw a non-arbitrary line that distinguishes positive from negative eugenics by defining what a genetic disorder is, genetic therapy may cause more serious maladies in future generations than it prevents for the present one.
Controversial in her own time because she openly discussed methods of contraception and the notion that women should be able to choose if and when they became mothers, Sanger remains controversial now, with scholars revealing her various degrees of support of issues of positive and negative eugenics.
As Wells comments in The Work, Wealth and Happiness of Mankind, "Even in negative eugenics there is no assurance that undesirable qualities will be eliminated altogether.
These countries stressed reproduction of all members of society without distinction (and also practiced positive eugenics in contrast to the negative eugenics of Germany, Britain, and Scandinavian countries.
Negative eugenics promoted contraception, sterilization and abortion.
Although, as pointed out in relation to The Time Machine, Wells was vehemently opposed to positive eugenics, stating in A Modern Utopia that "from anyone in the days after Darwin, it is preposterous" (107), he did for a time (5) see a use for negative eugenics in preventing the procreation of certain `types', namely congenital invalids and certain antisocial `types' such as violent criminals and drug (including alcohol) abusers.
Contemporary or future genetic practices that are generally considered eugenic include measures of positive eugenics, such as cloning and genetic engineering, and negative eugenic procedures, such as prenatal testing and the aborting of impaired fetuses, preimplantation screening of embryos for certain genetic conditions, and genetic counseling that results in a couple who is at risk for passing on a hereditary condition deciding not to have children.