Full text: Problems in eugenics

290Section III.D. C. Gini. 
whether the high mortality in the human species during development constitutes 
a natural and specific characteristic of its own, or whether instead it is a 
consequence of the more or less artificial conditions in which, so far as the 
civilised races are concerned, the breeding and rearing of man is accomplished. 
Now, although the absence of statistical data prevents us from choosing 
with certainty between these two hypotheses, we may at least consider the 
second as being more likely than the first; for the experience of horse-breeders 
teaches us that mortality during development is greater in the most rigorously 
selected equine races than in the commoner ones which are more nearly 
in the wild state ; and analogous differences are found according to common 
observation in dogs, cats, and other domestic species. 
It becomes, therefore, of great interest to study the influence on the 
characteristics of individuals of circumstances by which the breeding and 
rearing of the offspring of civilised human races differ from the breeding and 
rearing of the offspring of the higher animals in a wild state. 
These circumstances may be reduced essentially to three : 
(a) The human species reproduces itself at all periods of the year, while 
the species of the higher animals reproduce themselves during one or few 
specific periods of the year. 
(b) Animal species in a wild state reproduce themselves as soon as the 
organism is capable of reproduction, while in civilized human races there is a 
period, more or less long, between the moment when the organism is capable 
of reproduction and the moment when it actually does reproduce itself. 
{c) In civilized human races, the high development of altruistic sentiment 
protects the weak and diseased from the weeding-out process of natural 
selection, and often enables them to take part in the production of future 
generations. 3. The study of the influence of these three factors becomes of much greater 
importance when it is seen that the work of Eugenists will have to be 
specially directed towards their control. 
In fact we can think of several means of improving the human race, 
especially : 
(1) Selecting the reproducers ; 
(2) Placing the reproducers in the most favorable environment; 
(3) Regulating in the best way the circumstances in which the unions are 
consummated, both as regards the absolute and relative ages of the reproducers, 
and as regards the season in which the unions take place, and the interval 
between successive conceptions. 
(4) Placing the offspring in the most favorable environment. 
Improvement of the environment in which the reproducers live and their 
offspring develop undoubtedly has beneficial effects upon the human race; to 
realise its importance it is only necessary to reflect that the higher classes
	        

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