Full text: Problems in eugenics

34Section III.F. L. Hoffman. 
be disproved nor affirmed that the age of the father at the time of marriage 
has an influence upon the vitality of the children; it is certain, however, 
that if any influence of that kind exists it is much less intense than that 
exercised by the age of the mother. 
There has also been an enquiry as to the effect upon the characters of the 
offspring exerted by (i) order of birth; (2) difference in age of the parents; 
and (3) the age of the woman at the first menstruation. 
C. Persons who die at a more advanced age have children in greater 
number and endowed with greater length of life. For some classes of the 
unfit (mad, consumptives, suicides) it can be proved beyond question that the 
number of children born is less and their mortality greater than among 
married people generally. Those who die of heart disease or of cancer 
show a number of children slightly higher than the general average of 
married persons; but that can be attributed to the fact that their age at 
death is greater than the average age at death of married people. 
By Frederick L. Hoffman, LL.D., F.S.S., 
Statistician of the Prudential Insurance Company of America. 
As a contribution to the practical study of eugenics the decennial ma­ 
ternity statistics of Rhode Island are of exceptional interest and importance. 
In 1905, of 36,766 native-born married women 26,329 (71*6%) were 
mothers, and 10,477 (28*4%) childless. Of 32,960 foreign-born married 
women 27,207 (82’5%) were mothers, and 5,753 (i7’5%) childless. Con­ 
trasting these percentages, the fact requires only to be stated to emphasize 
its profound and far-reaching social as well as political significance. 
Considered with reference to religious belief, 72'7% of Protestant and 
80*3% of Roman Catholic married women were mothers. Of married 
women of Jewish faith 88‘0% were mothers. 
At ages 25-34, the proportion of native-born mothers having only one 
child was 35*1%, against 22’6% for the foreign-born; the proportion of 
mothers having from six to ten children was 6’8% for the native-born, 
against I2;9% for the foreign-born. At all ages a similar disproportion is 
apparent. Vastly more important than the multitude of general social and economic 
facts are these statistics of what, for want of a better term, may be called 
human production, and which disclose what must be considered the most

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