Full text: Problems in eugenics

42Exhibit C xoo—102. 
C 101 
C 102200,000 during the last twelve years. In agriculture, in which four 
and a half million females find their main occupation, the share of 
the married women is much greater still.” 
“ The increase of married female labour being intimately con­ 
nected with the development of our economic life, which cannot be 
deliberately influenced, the demand for a Motherhood Insurance for 
all female labourers of any kind, and for the extension of the legal 
time of stoppage of work before childbirth to at least four weeks, 
follows as a practical result of the facts stated above.” 
Dr. Bluhm’s repeated assertion, which is regarded by many as 
a dogma, that economic conditions cannot be deliberately influenced 
(i.e., that they are of the character of a law of nature) must not 
remain uncontradicted as a principal. It is absolutely unproved, 
though the difficulty of influencing our economic life cannot be 
denied ; the economic order has been created by man and must be 
altered if it proves harmful for the race. 
The adverse influence of female labour on the progeny is shown 
from a somewhat different point of view in Table C 101—“ premature 
births and abortions in different callings.” The most serious fact 
shown here is that a low birth rate may frequently be found in 
conjunction with a high rate for miscarriage and premature birth; 
as the compiler of these statistics points out, this conjunction is most 
apparent in those callings which demand frequent intercourse with 
the public, such as domestic service, that is to say in cases where 
pregnancy is particularly inconvenient. Probably in these cases 
artificial prevention of pregnancy goes hand in hand with the 
procuring of abortion ! 
Race-hygiene does not aim at an indiscriminate motherhood 
insurance of married and unmarried mothers, but it aims at the 
economic subvention and encouragement of legitimate fertility of 
healthy and able parents, connected with, and rendered possible by, 
a reduction of female labour away from the home. Marriage is one 
of the most important hygienic institutions for the individual as well 
as for the race, and it is folly to allow its decay and to replace it by 
substitutes The importance of marriage for the health to married persons 
is shown by figure C 102—“ condition with regard to marriage 
and mortality in Prussia, 1894-97,” as given in Prinzing’s book. 
That we have to deal here with an actual favourable influence of 
marriage, and not with a selection of the healthy at the time of 
marriage, is proved by the fact that the low death rate of the 
married is maintained through all age classes and that the widowed 
and divorced show throughout the highest death rate.

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