Full text: papers communicated to the first International Eugenics Congress held at the University of London, July 24th to 30th, 1912

124Section I.A. Marro. 
own powers; in consequence, calculation, suspicion, and avarice tend to 
take the upper hand if the good education received in youth, mature reflec­ 
tion and the practice of virtue in the preceding years do not come to constitute 
a solid check against the new tendencies which the progress, of the years 
develops. These psychical alterations proper to old age, according to the researches 
made by Kostjurin in the laboratory of Obersteiner at Vienna, should have 
an anatomical basis consisting of a fatty pigmentary degeneration of the 
nerve cells of the cortical substances of the cerebral hemispheres, with 
porous atrophy of the nerve tubes, atheroma of the vessels, condensation of 
the connective tissue, and the appearance of amyloid corpuscules on the 
surface of the brain. 
Now, the result of my researches as regards the character of criminals 
in relation to the age of parents at the time of their birth, corresponds to 
theoretical provisions.TABLE I. 
PROPORTION OF FATHERS OF NORMAL SUBJECTS, CRIMINALS, AND INSANE IN 
VARIOUS AGES ACCORDING TO THE TIME OF BIRTH. 
Period of full 
of immaturity.development.of decline. 
Normal ....................................8-8% .66'l%249% 
Total number of criminals10-9% .•• 56'7%32-2% 
Assassins ...................................2-9 % .• • 44‘i%52-9% 
Blows and wounds .................••• I3‘5% ••• 45 '9%40-5% 
Rape ........................................2‘7% .66'6%30-5% 
Thieves ...................................••• 15-5% ••■ 57'2%2 7 ’1 % 
Swindlers ................................... 2-8% ..6o'o%37-i% 
Insane ......................................... !7'o%■ 47'°%36-o% 
Amongst crimes against property we find a large number of children of 
young parents, and this was natural. The first motive for theft is not 
an impulse due to mischievousness which drives an individual to have a 
prejudice against other people, but rather the love of pleasure, of dissipa­ 
tions and of idleness which are characteristics of youth in which the passions 
reign and which lacks the curb capable of restraining and controlling them. 
I have, however, found one exception. In the class of criminals against 
property, swindlers, the children of aged parents we find in a notable pro­ 
portion, whilst the children of young parents were not numerous. 
It could not be otherwise. Swindling usually entails long pre­ 
meditation, and, besides, a great deal of malice, united with a special 
condition of mind, by which he who commits the crime shows himself 
rather inclined to bring into action psychical faculties, namely, simulation 
and hypocrisy in place of physical force, agility, dexterity, and violence.
        

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