Full text: Problems in eugenics

Exhibit C 83—85. 
C 83 
C 84 & 85 
C 85A striking peculiarity of cities, especially large cities, is, as pointed 
out before, the high mortality amongst men; for this general observation 
Figure C 83, male and female mortality in town and country, offers an 
example. Whereas the female mortality in Berlin, in the higher age 
groups, is even lower than in Mecklenberg with its preponderantly country 
population—which is evidence that in town life there are no inherent cir­ 
cumstances adversely affecting all persons in a high degree—the male 
mortality in all the age groups is higher, and in some much higher. 
The special adverse influence on men of town life is also apparent in 
the upper part of the figure (comparison of male and female mor­ 
tality). In Mecklenburg the mortality among men is at most 25% 
higher than among women,and during the period of most intense child 
production, as well as in the highest age group, it is even smaller, 
whereas in Berlin the differences are much more accentuated. It 
may be remarked that the higher male death-rate in Mecklenburg 
between the ages of 40 to 75 years can only to a small degree be 
explained by physiological reasons. This is shown for example by 
the fact that in the provinces of Schleswig-Holstein, Pomerania, 
Hanover, Hessen-Nassau, and the Rhein Provinces in the country, 
the expectation of life for men aged 25 years is about equal to that 
of women. The higher male mortality in cities is only partially explained by 
the specific harmfulness peculiar to men’s town occupations, though 
the mortality of peasants and agricultural labourers ranks amongst 
the lowest. A very important part in this connection may be 
played by syphilis. How terribly syphilis injures the body, though 
it is seldom directly fatal, is shown by the experiences of life insurance 
companies, of which examples are given in Tables C 84 and C 85. With 
the Gotha Life Insurance Bank, for instance, the mortality of the syphilitic 
at the ages of 36 to 50 years was found to be nearly double as high 
(186%) as that of the non-syphilitic. 
Table C 85 shows to what a high degree the heart and vessels 
especially are harmed by syphilis. At this point it is to be noted that 
it may now be considered as proved that the statement that general 
paralysis causes death in 2.9% cases among the non-syphilitic is 
erroneous, because general paralysis only occurs among persons who 
have been affected with syphilis. There is no doubt that the poison 
of syphilis is also most injurious to the germs and the progeny; the 
foetus is sometimes infected in the mother’s womb, and sometimes 
suffers by the general debility of the maternal body. A large propor­ 
tion also of those children who attain a higher age are either enfeebled
	        

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