Full text: Problems in eugenics

230Section III.V. L. Kellogg. 
nearly two to one in 1877 to three to two in 1884. But it is probable that 
the disproportion is by no means yet overcome, or reversed, as it really 
should be. 
An interesting record also is that for typhoid fever in the French army, 
a record which has been carefully worked out by Dr. Brouardel for a 
special French Commission on military hygiene. The mean annual strength 
of the French Army in France, Algeria and Tunis in the 13-year period, 
1872-1884, was 413,493 men, with mean annual deaths from typhoid of 
1,357, and mean annual cases 11,640, or one typhoid case to every 36 
soldiers ! Since the ’7o’s and ’8o’s, however, there has been a rapid 
lowering both of typhoid cases and deaths, the annual number of deaths 
per 10,000 men having been reduced from 32.1 in the five-year period, 
1876-1880, to 8.7 in the five-year period, 1896-1900. And in 1901 there 
were but 5.7 deaths per 10,000. This result comes from the lessening of the 
number of cases and not from a lower proportion of deaths to cases, this 
ratio having remained at about 12 per cent, from 1870 to 1900. The loss 
from typhoid is now no greater in the Army than among the men of 
similar age in the civil population of France. 
But the actual dysgenic importance of the diseases fostered and diffused 
by military service, though certainly real, is mostly hard to get at in any 
quantitative way. The problem of the inheritance of disease, or of the inheri­ 
tance of the diathesis of disease, is only in the last few years coming to receive 
the scientific elucidation necessary to its proper consideration from the 
eugenic point of view. Concerning the congenital transmission and eugenic 
importance of one terrible disease, however, and one that more than any 
single other is characteristic of military service, there is no shadow of 
doubt. It is a disease communicable by husband to wife, by mother to 
children, and by children to their children. It is a disease that causes more 
suffering and disaster than phthisis or cancer. It is a disease accompanied 
by a dread cloud of other ills that it causes, such as paralysis, malforma­ 
tions, congenital blindness, idiocy and insanity, all of them particularly 
dysgenic in character. It is a disease that renders marriage an abomination 
and child-bearing a social danger. And as a crowning misfortune this 
disease does not kill but only ruins its victims. While phthisis and cancer 
carry off their subjects at the rate, in England to-day, of 1,000 per year 
to each 1,000,000 of population, syphilis kills but one person a million. 
It is then not a purifying but wholly a contaminating disease. It does not 
select by death. 
I have called syphilis, and I may include with it the rest of venereal 
disease, a scourge fostered especially by militarism. It is the cause of 
more hospital admissions among soldiers than any other disease. It caused 
31.8 per cent, of the total military inefficiency in the! British army in 1910. 
It was the cause of one-fifth of all the military hospital admissions for that 
year, yet it caused but i-iooth of the total military deaths.

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