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.

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 ?
This position recognised the positive eugenic potential of family allowances: they would combat the dysgenic fertility rate in Britain by obliterating the social advantage of small families.
Thus neither the truth claims of the positive eugenics of Nigel's island nor the negative eugenics of the Sydney laboratory will work for a woman such as Linda.
(6.) It is possible that additional historical documents may support a parallel emphasis on positive eugenics in the province.
So I want to close instead with a question about his argument against so-called positive eugenics. 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.
Someday it should be possible to identify the chromosomes responsible for certain characteristics and produce a child with exactly the characteristics desired." (43) Behrman, a pioneer in the field of cryopreservation, favorably quoted Muller and advocated the use of cryopreservation for purposes of positive eugenics in a lecture delivered at the Annual Meeting of the American Association of Obstetricians and Gynecologists.
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).
To conduct research on positive eugenics, West German and Danish fertility rates, and to measure genetic distances between major races [1984].
Geneticists, in an attempt to disassociate their science from odious practices, may define eugenics as having "a social aim and often coercive means."(263) If this definition is used, many eugenicists who endorse voluntary or positive eugenics would be excluded from the definition.(264) Modern commentators believe that a resurgence of eugenics is occurring without the element of coercion, but rather as a result of voluntary choices.(265) Parents who select for certain cosmetic or performance traits in their children are practicing positive eugenics, whether knowingly or unknowingly.
Important distinctions between population and individual eugenics and between negative and positive eugenics are glossed over, and the account of the purposes of medicine from which a principled distinction between preventing disease and creating superior children would follow is left undeveloped.
Many believe, though, that genetic engineering to treat or eliminate serious genetic disorders--the practice of negative eugenics--will lead to the process being directed toward enhancing or improving humans, or positive eugenics. This slippery slope argument presupposes that there is something morally unacceptable about positive eugenics, but that has not been No one yet has provided a strong argument demonstrating that genetic engineering to produce enhanced size, strength, intelligence, or increased resistance to toxic substances is morally problematic.
Even before that debate can take shape, however, one hears an eerie echo in this suggestion that raises a kind of positive eugenics. We've already seen enough evidence of how unhealthy it can be to assign an undue superiority to the ordained clerical culture sans offspring.
There are two components to this ideal: positive eugenics, where certain inherited traits are encouraged, and negative, where other traits are discouraged.

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