Full text: Problems in eugenics

462Appendix.Wagenen. The committee is seeking and receiving assistance from many sources, 
both public and private, in contributions of data pertinent to its investiga­ 
tions, and it seeks the co-operation of anyone having such to impart. 
2.—Nature of the Problem and Reasons for the Investigation. 
In recent years society has become aroused to the fact that the number 
of individuals within its defective classes has rapidly increased both abso­ 
lutely and in proportion to the entire population; that eleemosynary expendi­ 
ture is growing yearly; that some normal strains are becoming contaminated 
with anti-social and defective traits; and that the shame, the moral retarda­ 
tion, and the economic burden of the presence of such individuals are more 
keenly felt than ever before. Within the last three years especially there 
has been a marked development of public interest in this matter. The 
word “ Eugenics ” has for the first time become known to thousands of 
intelligent people who now seek to understand its full significance and 
application. Whether wholly of defective inheritance, or mostly of good inheritance, 
but suffering from an insurmountable hereditary handicap, members of the 
following classes must be considered as socially unfit, and their supply 
should, if possible, be eliminated from the human stock : (1) the feeble­ 
minded ; (2) the pauper class; (3) the criminal class; (4) the epileptics; 
(5) the insane; (6) the constitutionally weak, or the asthenic class; (7) those 
predisposed to specific diseases, or the diathetic class; (8) the deformed ; 
(9) those having defective sense organs, as the blind and the deaf, or the 
kakaisthetic class. 
With the statistics at present available, it is impossible to give an 
accurate table of the numbers within each of these classes. The following 
table giving the enumeration of defective and helpless individuals within 
institutions has been compiled by our committee from the various special 
reports of the United States Census for the eleventh (1890), twelfth (1900- 
1904) and thirteenth (1910-1912) censuses. 
It is hoped that future censuses will make a more careful classification 
of defectives, and a more accurate and complete enumeration of such indi­ 
viduals both within and not within institutions. 
From the following table it is seen that there are in the United States 
nearly two-thirds of a million persons so defective that the State must 
exercise a constant custodial care over them. 
It is impossible to measure the industrial and social handicap caused 
by these individuals. But just as the leaders of successful human endeavour 
exert an influence altogether incommensurate with their number, so this class, 
doubtless, constitutes a drag on society of similar magnitude. 
Along with penal, hospital, and eleemosynary care, a remedy looking 
toward the cutting off of the supply of defectives is being sought on every
	        

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