eugenics

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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 ?
In this, and in a speech she subsequently gave to the Eugenics Education Society, Rathbone was quick to point out the negative and positive eugenic potential of her proposal.
As we have seen, Habermas argues against positive eugenics lest persons be brought into the world only to be prevented from--or at least confronted with great obstacles to--leading their own lives in pursuit of their own vision of the good.
First, disgust at authoritarian, negative eugenics should not lead us to look permissibly upon liberal, positive eugenics.
Just how serious Wells was being in this portrayal of a future "grim Utopia" is open to question, (2) however, for later in the same work he declares, "Possibly mankind will find that positive eugenics is unattainable and undesirable" (969).
Wells's disposal of positive eugenics is strengthened by his awareness of the complexity of the human makeup.
These complexities revealed by genetics were sufficient to maintain Wells's objection to positive eugenics, though, as is implied by this last quotation, he did not reject negative eugenics in the 1930s.
Genetic engineering allows for positive eugenics without limiting the freedom of anyone.
Despite blurring the line between negative and positive eugenics, contemporary advocates of genomic technologies argue that there are two kinds of eugenics: authoritarian eugenics and liberal eugenics.
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.
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.
Wells's A Modern Utopia, a state socialist utopia by a writer who had considered and rejected Galton's advocacy of positive eugenics, though he does echo Galton to some extent in his plans for segregating the so-called Unfit.
Allen was an advocate of free love who in his 1890 essay "The Girl of the Future" put forward his pet theory that positive eugenic results would flow from free unions not constrained by the Victorian taboos against promiscuity, adultery, divorce, abortion and illegitimacy.

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