Full text: Problems in eugenics

A. Marro.Biology and Eugenics.13 
insane persons, as well as to scholars of the public schools and other normal 
persons affected or not with special diseases. 
Of my studies on criminals, the result is : that the children of young 
parents are found in large numbers guilty of offences against property; and 
this is natural. The first impulse to that is not due to wickedness, which 
impels them to inflict harm on others, but to love of pleasure, of revel, of 
idleness—all features of youth, during which period the passions are very 
active, and no restraint present with which to repress and subjugate them. 
Swindlers alone are exceptions to this rule, but swindling is a crime of 
riper years, according to the dictum of Quetelet. 
Among crimes of personal violence, I have found a numerical superiority 
in the children of aged parents. Assassins, homicides, those who show the 
completest absence of sentiments of affection and often delusions of perse­ 
cution more or less pronounced, gave a proportion of children of aged 
parents far greater than that furnished by all the other categories of 
delinquents; the proportion is as high for fathers as for mothers of ad­ 
vanced age. 
Here, too, we note a certain correlation between the state of discontent, 
of suspicion, of frigid egoism, which the decline of physical energy tends 
to arouse in the old, and the absence of affectionate sentiment and a tendency 
to delusions of persecution which are usual in murderers. Among the 
insane, moral idiocy in particular, and the degenerative forms in general, 
appeared more frequently in children of aged parents. 
As to schoolboys, I have noticed that the minimum of good conduct and 
the maximum of better developed intelligence coincides with the possession 
of youth by both parents. 
The age of complete development corresponds to a maximum of good 
conduct and a minimum of bad conduct, and retains a large proportion of 
intelligent children. 
In the period of decline of both parents, good conduct of children 
is observed in a smaller proportion than in the preceding period, and high 
intelligence in a very small proportion. 
Among biological qualities I have made observations on longevity; 
among persons of 70 and 80 whom I have examined there is a large propor­ 
tion of parents who themselves enjoyed remarkably long lives, which proves 
the transmissibility from father to son of powers of resistance against the 
stresses of life. 
Among physical qualities I have made note of the fact that from 
alcoholic or aged parents were descended children in whom degenerative 
physical characteristics were most frequently apparent, recalling some features 
of an inferior human type, such as exaggeration of the frontal sinuses, the 
torus occipitalis, ears with the Darwinian tubercles prominent, the forehead 
receding, etc. At the same time the ascendants of those who presented 
typical and anomalous characters, due to morbid influences of various kinds
	        

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