Full text: Problems in eugenics

464Appendix.Wagenen. hand. Among other remedies, the following have been proposed as means 
for promoting or effecting the desired ends :— 
1. Life segregation (or segregation during the reproductive period). 
2. Sterilization. 
3. Restrictive marriage laws and customs. 
4. Eugenic education of the public and of prospective marriage mates. 
5. Systems of matings purporting to remove defective traits. 
6. General environmental betterment. 
7. Polygamy. 
8. Euthanasia. 
9. Neo-Malthusian doctrine, artificial interference to prevent conception. 
10. Laissez-faire. 
Which of these remedies shall be applied? Shall one, two, seveial, or 
all be made to operate? What are the limitations and possibilities of each 
remedy? Shall one class of the socially unfit be treated with one remedy 
and another with a different one? Shall the specifically selected remedy be 
applied to the class or to the individual ? What are the principles and limits 
of compromise between conservation and elimination in cases of individuals 
bearing a germ-plasm with a mixture of the determiners for both defective 
and sterling traits? What are the criteria for the identification of indi­ 
viduals bearing defective germ-plasm? What can be hoped from the appli­ 
cation of some definite elimination program? What practical difficulties 
stand in the way? How can they be overcome? These and other questions 
arise, hence this investigation. 
It is difficult, indeed, to make an accurate estimate of the number of 
defectives not in institutions. The eleventh (1890) census enumerated 95,609 
feeble-minded persons not in institutions, while only 5,254 of this class 
were found within institutions. The special enumeration of the twelfth 
census (1904) found 15,153 blind and deaf individuals within institutions, 
while not in institutions Alexander Graham Bell’s special enumeration of 
1900 found 64,763 blind persons, and 89,287 deaf persons. In 1910 the 
enumeration returned 61,423 deaf and dumb, 44,312 blind, and 584 blind, 
deaf, and dumb, total 106,314. 
In 1900 (the twelfth census) 634,877, or .8% of the population of the 
United States, were under custodial care. It is, doubtless, conservative to 
estimate that at least 3,000,000, or nearly 4%, were equally defective, but 
not under the State’s care. While upon the borderline, just above this class, 
were, doubtless, 7,000,000, or nearly 10% of the total population, who, 
though bearly able to care for themselves, and only just abstaining from 
acts which would bring them under the care of the State, are of such 
inferior blood, and are so interwoven in kinship with those still more defec­ 
tive, that they are totally unfitted to become the parents of useful citizens.

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