The past few years have witnessed a striking awakening of professional and popular consciousness of the widespread prevalence of feeblemindedness.
The Mississippi statute allows involuntary sterilization of persons "afflicted with hereditary forms of insanity that are recurrent, idiocy, imbecility, or feeblemindedness.
261, Hunter lists various diseases that are allegedly inherited, including tuberculosis, epilepsy, and feeblemindedness
, "which it is not only unfair but criminal to hand down to posterity.
Anne Coughlin has thoroughly documented how in the nineteenth-century United States, the marital coercion defense was associated with theories of married women's total submission to their husbands' will, as well as with their feeblemindedness
The animalization of people with feeblemindedness
was perhaps most pronounced during the eugenic alarm period, when widespread institutionalization and sterilization were felt to be necessary means of controlling the procreation of the "moron" class (Gould, 1981; Kevles, 1985; O'Brien, 1999; Trent, 1994).
Feeblemindedness in women was believed to be related to early sexual maturation and sexual promiscuity.
Likewise, the view of prostitutes as pathological deviants and victims of feeblemindedness held by social workers in the 1950s continues to influence much of contemporary social work efforts with this population today.
By professionals adopting a mental test rather than a medical examination to diagnose feeblemindedness
, there was a return to the view of the condition held in English common law since the 16th century:
By the same token, the management of the breeding variables within the race state would breed in the "good" qualities and, in time, through the processes of public health and sanitation "cleanse" the folk state of imbecility, feeblemindedness
, and physical disability.
Specifically covered were patients with "hereditary forms of insanity that are recurrent, idiocy, imbecility, feeblemindedness or epilepsy .
He also linked the malady of feeblemindedness to a general propensity for crime.
His testimony consisted of a long discourse on the nature of feeblemindedness and the operation of Mendel's Law and the mechanism of heredity.