Full text: Problems in eugenics

I2ÓSection I.A. Marro. 
of whom were aged, seeing his sister making fun of his lameness, after 
having attempted an assault upon her, seized a club and crushed her head. 
He boasted to me of the effect of his blow. Another assassin was also the 
son of aged parents—an assassin who, in company with an accomplice, 
drew a passer-by into a wood in order to kill and rob him; also a third, 
who killed the father of a young girl whom he wished to violate. 
The children of young parents are found in very small proportion 
amongst the assassins and homicides. I only find 3% of these as children 
of a young father. 
The proportion of aged fathers is somewhat remarkable, namely 40%, 
amongst those condemned for blows and injuries; but we find also amongst 
them an increase in the number of the children of young parents; it is 
greater than the proportion of the normal, and reaches 13.5%. 
This is natural, because when it is a question of slight injuries or brawling, 
the lack of affectivity may be as much the cause as the untamed character, 
resenting offence with what seems to youth a natural promptitude, or from 
alcoholic excitement, whilst with the assassin who meditates a blow and pushes 
the re-action as far as to take his adversary’s life, the affective feelings must 
always be profoundly altered. 
One class of criminals in which the children of aged parents do not 
predominate so clearly, is that of persons guilty of rape, of whom the pro­ 
portion is from 30%. We have, nevertheless, in compensation, a greater 
number of aged mothers. 
Amongst the insane I have found that all the children born of fathers 
either too young or too old show a large proportion as compared with 
normal people and with criminals taken in general. The number which I 
have observed (100) does not allow of the deduction of well-founded conclu­ 
sions upon the relation of different forms of mental defect with the age of the 
parents. I have found, however, that the forms of insanity most easily 
curable, the pure melancholies and the manias, give relatively to the 
normal a rather higher proportion of young fathers (15%), children of 
middle-aged fathers rather less (59%), and an almost equal number of 
children of aged fathers (25%). In the degenerative melancholic forms of 
insanity the proportion of children of aged fathers attains the maximum; 
two patients, the subjects of hypochondriac insanity, had been begotten by 
men of whom one was 56 and the other 61, while the mothers were only 
38 and 34. 
In the other degenerative forms of insanity—paranoia, moral insanity, 
hebephrenia, epilepsy—we have also a larger number of children of aged 
fathers, 47%, whilst we find 37% of children of middle-aged fathers, and 
17% of children of too young fathers. Moral insanity is distinguished 
amongst all by the high proportion of children of aged fathers; 5 in 7 
persons examined by me were found in this class, of whom 3 also had an

Note to user

Dear user,

In response to current developments in the web technology used by the Goobi viewer, the software no longer supports your browser.

Please use one of the following browsers to display this page correctly.

Thank you.