Eugenics Essay

559 WordsApr 5, 20123 Pages
The word eugenics comes from the Greek word “eu,” meaning good or well, and “genos,” meaning offspring. “Conventional eugenics”, which is intentional selective breeding for improved genetic traits, has been performed on crops and cattle for thousands of years. The term eugenics in reference to humans was first used by Sir Francis Galton in 1883. Eugenics became popular during the late 19th and early 20th centuries, because some scientists falsely believed that many human behaviors, like alcoholism or being promiscuous, came from genes, and were not a result of the person’s environment or behaviors. The eugenics movement could actually do way more harm to human evolution and the human race than good. Before World War II, Hitler began to research American eugenics as a way to justify his anti-Semitism and racism. He was able to get more people to believe in his ideals by telling them that it was all based on science. In 1939, Hitler approved the Aktion T-4 program, which authorized certain doctors and officials to perform “mercy deaths” by euthanasia on those who the state said were unworthy of life. The type of people the scientists of the eugenics movement wanted to create were tall, strong, and talented beings, with blond hair and blue eyes. They believed that these people were the only ones fit to live on Earth. As a result of that idea, the people who were sterilized or killed were the ones who were classified as unable to produce the ‘ideal human’. In 1932, the United States had approved required sterilization for many men and women in about 32 states. The people who were being sterilized were disabled, those in mental institutions, criminals, the ones who were considered stupid or feeble-minded, African Americans, Immigrants, Indians, Hispanics, Jews, people with dark hair, poor people, and in many cases people who would go in for a simple surgery and leave

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