Full text: Problems in eugenics

A. Marro.Biology and Eugenics.129 
Youthful age 
of father. Middle Age. Advanced Age. 
Cheerful temperament of 
the children ............ 83% 68% 60% 
Melancholy temperament 
of the children............ 16% 31% 33% 
These figures need no commentary. Let us note the approximation 
which exists between the second and the third categories : it might lead one 
to suppose, perhaps, that as a certain number of those of the second category 
kept close to the third, the period of decline commences for some of them 
at an earlier epoch than that which I have fixed in the case where inherit­ 
ance cannot be sought on the mother’s side. The degree of intelligence 
shown by the scholars examined (917) in the different categories in relation 
to the age of the parents has given the following results :— 
Intelligence of Scholars : In Relation to the Age of the Father. 
Age of Father. Good. Medium. Bad. 
Up to 25 years ............ 44 ( 5 above)= 22 = 23% 28 ( 4 below) = 
48%. 28%. 
From 26 to 40 years ... 247 (46 above) = 206 = 32% 181 (35 below) = 
38%- 28%. 
From 41 years and over... 71 (13 above)= 60 = 31% 58 (14 below) = 
38%. 30%. 
As one sees, the first age shows a numerical superiority of good intelli­ 
gences over the other two classes, which are almost equal; however, if we 
consider more particularly amongst the good, those who are shown to be 
superior, the greatest proportion is found in favour of the second class 
(7%), and we also find the proportion of 6% in the last class superior to 
that of the first, which only amounts to 5%. Such a result is easily ex­ 
plained if one considers that at mature age intellectual decline does not 
immediately follow the decline of the physical and emotional faculties. 
More mature reflection belongs, on the contrary, to this age at which children 
are still begotten and gives a still greater force to the pure intellectual faculties 
of man. The fact that the greatest number of intelligent children are born 
from young parents, nevertheless remains, and it is amongst these, also, 
that one finds the smallest proportion of an inferior development of in­ 
tellectual faculties (4%), whilst it attains 5% in the second class and 
7% in that of children of aged fathers. 
These results being obtained as regards psychical qualities, I wished to 
enquire what influence could be attributed to the age of the parents upon

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