Disability

Topics: Eugenics, Compulsory sterilization, Sterilization Pages: 6 (2562 words) Published: April 25, 2014

Student Number: 11032300
Disability Report – Victims of state’s eugenics program win sympathy Sterilization is ‘any procedure by which an individual is made incapable of reproduction’ (The free dictionary, 2013) Forced sterilization is what to happened ‘7600 people’ (Wang, 2011) in America from the 1920s to the 1970s. This tragic event was the presentation topic we were assigned to examine. The topic we were given focused on victims of the sterilization process within America and how the state-funded board of eugenics oversaw this sterilization process. However many of these victims including Dottie Virginia Bates and Nail Ramirez which was presented in the case study were failed at having be given compensation for the event. They were lied to, deceived to and butchered at because they were deemed to be ‘poor, undereducated, mentally unstable’ (Wang, 2011). This discrimination led them to not being able to reproduce and most of the victims were left with many medical problems which affected their lives. This is why many victims are wanting compensation. First of all we thought that the sterilization process only happened in Nazi Germany until we read this case study and researched further and realised it happened in many other countries too. To outline and present our topic in great detail we looked at the history of eugenics and sterilization to outline the main theme of the case study. We also related the case study to some sociological theory of the minority, social and affirmation model. All this will be discussed and analysed throughout the report. The History of Sterilization and Eugenics

First of all we looked out the history of sterilization and eugenics in order to contextualise the topic in the case study. Sterilization as said above is where anyone undertakes a procedure whereby they are unable of being able to reproduce. However Eugenics is ‘human attempts to improve human genetic endowment’ (Shaw 2006, pg.29). In orders this means eugenics was a science whereby certain groups of people wanted to improve the race and this did this by the sterilization process of certain people who were deemed to not be the perfect race. This is what happened to people within the case study. The idea of perfecting the human race dates back to Greek philosophy whereby Plato coined this idea. We followed by looking at the work of Charles Darwin and Francis Galton. Plato was a Greek philosopher and first developed the idea that certain people should not be able to pro-create. He used the idea of being able to mathematically analyse genetic make-up. He used marriage numbers like an almost lottery and that determined whether people were able to procreate or not. People would them be able to procreate gold soul children. Although Francis Galton coined the term eugenics in 1833, he developed his idea and theory from the work of natural selection process developed by his cousin Charles Darwin which will be discussed later. Galton thought that we should use a form of control in order to improve the human race. The type of control he suggested was that ‘family records should be kept to estimate the average quality of offspring’ (Galton et al 1998, p.100). He did this by storing the information of the classification system of 4 categories ‘(a) Gifted, (b) Capable, (c) Average or (d) Degenerate’ (Galton et al 1998, p.101) in the state eugenics record office. These were used in order to decide whether people should reproduce or not. After in 1931, 27 sterilization laws were set up in America and these were combinations of voluntary and compulsory sterilization. This is shown in the case study as the victims were a part of this law whereby they were seen a ‘degenerate’ and were ‘restricted from having offspring’ (Galton et el 1998, p.101).

Charles Darwin was one of the first involved in the UK eugenics movement. Darwin developed the most controversial text written the ‘origin of species’ and developed his theory of Darwinism. This...

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