Eugenics Discussion

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Eugenics is the study of population enhancement by breeding to increase the frequency of desired heritable characteristics. It is a hybrid of social movements that explores human development through generations and turns that knowledge into social policies. Eugenics is focused solely on observation, which distinguishes undesirable and desirable characters in running families. It also assumes that people will affect the occurrence of certain traits in subsequent generations by exerting strong control over those who are reproducing. Just as human beings are in a position of choosing the plant and animal breeds by their traits, social policies, which are technologically driven, can be used to auspiciously sort people who would be present in the next age groups. The appeal and notion of eugenics have been growing steadily for the past decades. However, only in the 20th century it turned out to be more influential in social policies and different publications on population. Following the implementation of euthanasia and sterilization as some of the eugenics policies by Nazis, eugenics was deemed an evil manifestation. Philosophers of bioethics and science have made fewer contributions to the comprehension eugenic histories and thinking. Scientists have transformed the use of genetics as they attempt to come up with good traits as bad ones are exterminated in the society (English 78). This paper determines if eugenics research will give more control to people over the traits their children will have and reduce racism in future societies.

Relationship between Eugenics and Race

The issue of eugenics and race has been in existence since the period of Nazism. Whereas some groups argue that genetic research can improve human traits and reduce undesired ones, other people feel that eugenics can promote racism. In the early 1930s, the research on eugenics acquired significant popularity amongst people in the United States and Germany. In line with the themes of the fair progress of century, several stations were gyrating around attempts of showing ways for propagating favorable human traits (Bachrach 36). Through a study of inherited characteristics, fairgoers were urged towards adopting open-minded viewpoints. There were booths set up in every country for fair promotions. These were considered the contests for fitter families. Medals were offered to families that emerged eugenically firm to indicate that people were more obsessed with having only good traits.

The beliefs in eugenics extend from philanthropy functions to generations in future. Eugenics provides actions to be more encompassing through coping with families in their totality. Besides, it implements the significance of marriage covenant through directing severe attention towards possible future offspring qualities. The beliefs in eugenics sternly prohibit every form of charity sentiment which is seen to be harmful to racism. It fervently seeks opportunity in support of individual kindness acts, which are equivalent to a loss of whatever is forbidden. It also brings about kinship tie into fame alongside encouraging interests and love within race and family. In essence, eugenics certainly is viewed as a virile creed which is full of optimism alongside being attractive to noblest sentiments within human nature. Many people support studies on eugenics as it is expected to reduce race issues within societies. It would occur by ensuring that the couples select only competent traits.

Eugenics Research Will Give More Control to People in Which Traits Their Children Shall Have When Born

Eugenic movement history has raised several issues, which are pertinent in expanding genomic works. Studies done in the field of HGP (Human Genome Projects) which are expected to provide more control to people about traits their children would have at the time of their birth. In the meantime, the arrival of new techniques related to test-tube babies, human genome sequencing, genetic testing, research on stem cell among others, is an expression that eugenics has gained popularity in people’s culture. It is nowadays possible for the couples to determine the gender of a fetus before birth. Changes in research development have been brought about by the advent of technologies, which promotes eugenic in the 21st century. According to Moran (167), it is making no difference whether state legislation or rather economic and social pressure compels people towards making decisions to reproduce.

As indicated by McBride (156), the coercion by the state indeed is qualitatively not the same with different categories of social pressure. Contemporary genetic pronouncements are considered on a case-by-case basis. However, they are not applying policies to the entire groups, which are defined nationally, racially or somewhat ethically. Undoubtedly, it is in the interest of insurance companies to trim down incurred costs on treatments by their customers. As said by McBride (123), it is in the individual families’ interest to circumvent bringing severely disabled children to the world. However, ethicists are raising the question of who is supposed to be judged and what is “disabled.” These issues have turned out to be significantly pressing on the medical costs. People who have a similar mutation within their cystic fibrosis genes may have different phenotypes. For that matter, during the process of utero-genetic testing, such individuals might show mutant gene. However, the gene shall give less information concerning a child’s characters when born. According to McBride (80), specific genes affect human personality or behavior such as criminality, shyness, alcoholism, aggression, manic depression and racism. No single group has been identified exclusively to be causing such conditions. Nevertheless, a conviction that such conditions can be determined genetically in the public domain.

Consequently, eugenic research with the help of new technology in medicine would undoubtedly assist in unraveling the genetic features, which have been hard to achieve. Numerous ethical considerations that make it difficult for scientists to conduct the genetic studies. However, geneticists have been attempting to arrange genome pieces to search for variations that may align to various useful matrices in the life of human beings. Their principal objective is creating information, which shall assist in preventing and treating common diseases. On the other hand, in the process of such exploration, they are as well generating information that can help in the declarations concerning the meaning of race biologically. Germ-line technology, for instance, is expected to offer a significant challenge for people if at all it would be successful. The technology would compel people to come to grips with social, philosophical, medical implications that are deemed to be self-directing the evolution of human beings (Robin 12). Choices made in the wake of germ-line technology shall be irrevocable. The technology would provide a conception that takes place in labs to be obligatory instead of being optional. It would form significant steps in determining various activities that are likely to improve people’s lifestyle in shunning racism. According to Piotrowski (76), children who are modified genetically frequently chose traits, which are desirable. However, as indicated by Piotrowski (34) identifying policies consequences in the pretense of eugenic movements assist in avoiding apparent mistakes, which have been committed in the past period about eugenics.

For future generations, it is evident that eugenic research would be made more helpful in determining the traits of kids before they are born. It would help in trimming or reducing the prevalence of evil characters. There would be less racism as the traits that promote perpetrations of discrimination will not be allowed exist within the society. Everyone will be treated relatively everywhere since there would be good people with better traits. It would be therefore hard to hear cases of criminality taking place with different precincts. No one would be bothered by doing underhand activities. All these allude to the eugenic research, which has been taking place in various medical labs. According to Piotrowski (91), life would be more comfortable when undesirable people would not be allowed to exist in any society. There would be no wars or various issues that are against the will of human beings.

Immoralities in Eugenics

Efforts of transforming the genetic composition of a population usually need the involvement of third partied within individual choices of reproduction of couples. Someone, other than a person generating children should follow the standards and policies set by the government. In this 21st century, such efforts include coercion or force because people are repellant to the policies and rules which have been set and might compel their improvement visions on the populations or groups that are not willing. Nevertheless, it is an issue perceived to be different for partners undertaking efforts towards utilizing genetic technologies as well as acquaintance within the intention of improving potentiality of their children. Attempts to transform inherited genetic composition of a specific individual might be as a result of the involvement of a third party (Engs 67). However, it is possible that such attempts shall happen due to a choice made by a person to reproduce. Population eugenics entails forcing people towards producing phenotypic or genotypic traits which are desirable. The form of eugenics is never similar as permitting couples or individuals to select voluntarily an innate fetus, egg, sperm that is driven through their viewpoint of whatever desirable or useful.

It is morally offensive to institutions, governments, or rather other people to coerce force the reproductive behavior of any person. Reproduction right, exclusive of any interference from any third party is a vital freedom, which is internationally recognized by law as well as moral theories available. On the other hand, attaining perfection, disease avoidance about any person should not entail force or coercion (Engs 61). The choice made by the couples should be executed freely to meet moral grounds.

The other immoral issue about eugenics is the perfection subjectivity. The decision on which behavior or character is healthy or good should rely on culture, environment or circumstances that children face in their entire life. Prejudice and stigma should not be inevitable outcomes to the choice being made by any parent. Views concerning whatever is perfect or desirable within human beings, typically depends on the issues of tastes, personal experiences as well as culture. However, these factors are not often the products, which come as result of subjective sentiments. Particular traits such as strength, physical stamina, analytical capability, vision acuity and dexterity are associated with health in a manner that they are commanding universal assent like their attractiveness. Provided that people are never compelled to make choices regarding their children who are conforming to particular bad or good visions, there would be sufficient agreement on appeal for specific traits. Such characteristics would make parents to make choices without being coerced. Therefore, subjectivity to perfection should not make a person or rather a couple to choose genetics modifications of offspring. It would spoil the preferences about characters of a child.

No moral standard permits one to censure eugenic goal of the other person. However, threat and compulsion, coercion have no place when it comes to making choices on procreative. Hence, as scientists do more research on eugenics, they should follow the legal standards that would make the couples choose right pronouncements in their take of promoting future generation. The choice should be made out of will without coercion or any other form of intimidations.

Changes Expected in Eugenics that Would Influence Race

Evidently, some changes happen due to peoples’ reactions to new surroundings (Andrews 89). For instance, within Northern Europe, people are undergoing mutations in support of lighter skin color boomed. It is happening due to the sunlight scarcity in that region. The sunlight dearth makes people who are dark skinned to be vulnerable to vitamin D and rickets. However, several variations are happening within nonfunctional genome parts, which have no impacts on a person’s health or appearance.

The future options of children may be limited owing to various makeups they have on their bodies (Andrews 90). Otherwise, it can be restricted due to oppressive or unwelcoming conditions in which they are born. As per the eugenics history, people who are a liberal advocate for recognition of the need of attending unjust social situations alongside controlling the present bias within the societies. For example, when the future gender of a child needs to be changed via genetic interventions, then parents should be allowed to engineer within any direction. It is because homosexuality and heterosexuality enable fruitful pursuit of different life plans. On the other hand, when one needs to attend to any present social condition, then it would be recognized that homophobia exists within several regions in spite the fact that there are advancements on legislation, which are concerning anti-discrimination. Thus, if one considers a social condition, then it will appear as if the future options of such child are decreasing within a society. Offering social norms existence within a community would show that an approach to a free market in enhancing the genetic of the child would bring about homogeneity pressure. As a result, parents are required to feel free in choosing the characteristics of their offerings without compulsion. In addition, most of the societal pressures concerning the choices made by parents shall at one point have impacts on various policies that have been placed by the government. In such cases, it seems that genetic technology enhancement shall give racism as well as homophobia exceptional effectiveness (Stock 78). The concerns in support of prospective welfare in such instance might lead to genocide through stealth.

It should be also mentioned that many people believe that eugenics promotes racism. This scientific field fosters research to establish racial differences associated with different characteristics or traits expressed by people. Thus, eugenics has become a significant tool for promoting racial superiority or inferiority. It allows separation of people according to the characteristics desired from those undesired. Medicine is one of the areas that currently apply eugenics to promote racism. In an article published in New York Times, Robin (2004) states that scientists are applying eugenics to identify medicines that could be used to treat heart disease in African American population. According to Robin (2004), many diseases in the US have severe effects among the African Americans compared to other races. Therefore, understanding genetic mechanisms for these differences can help to establish drugs or treatment options that depend on each race. Using genetic basis to differentiate patients according to race can promote hatred. Besides, African Americans will always feel inferior to use specific treatments that differ with other races.

Moreover, scientists are focusing on identifying genetic markers associated with some of the phenotypic or genotypic traits. For instance, genetic studies reveal that diseases such as hypertension, cancer, obesity, and diabetes are highly expressed among African Americans than other races. The basis for this argument is that African Americans have a high expression of genes for these disorders. Despite improving health for the African Americans, most of these studies lead to negative perceptions that the race is highly susceptible to diseases, hence inferior to other groups.

Furthermore, many people could become worried with the ongoing genetic research, since they could relate to the racial cleansing during Nazism. The Nazis had a eugenic program supported by the US. The program aimed at sterilizing citizens with genetic disorders as determined by the Genetic Health Court. Patients identified were transported, placed into gas chambers and killed by carbon monoxide. Therefore, any research on the human genome and racial relationships could lead to protests from the targeted groups. As a result, racism will continue to grow, and it could be difficult to control ethnic stereotyping.


In summary, the research on eugenics will have more control on people in the future when it comes to selecting which traits their children would have when they are born. For racism reduction in societies, scientists should do more on eugenics research with the intention of ensuring equality amongst the human races. On the other hand, all standards and laws should be taken into considerations to avoid breaking rules of the country. It would bring about fewer instances of racism taking place in our societies. Designing the features of a child indeed is not like ensuring that a child assumes a particular trait. Parenting will never lose its setbacks just because a child has acquired good characteristics needed in society. However, parents need to engage their children continuously in the period of their growth and development. Engagement through communication is typically not part of genetic engineering. If a child is just left, then that would have adverse effects on the parent-child relationship, which might bring about the misunderstanding between the two. Therefore, there are transformations, which would bring about a revolution in human life according to eugenics research in future.

Annotated Bibliography

Stock, Gregory. Redesigning Humans: Our inevitable genetic future. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2002.

In the book, Gregory Stock gives an account of future manipulation of genetics. While people put more focus on artificial intelligence to be the next upsurge, Gregory takes genetic manipulation as a catalyst, which shall propel human revolution to greater significant levels. Stock foretells that technological issues on genetic embryo selection and germ-line shall overtake computer and robotic technologies. Genetic technologies will reach a magnificent climax of DNA chips, cochlear implants, artificial limbs as well as retinal electrodes. The author foresees a future where there would be two forms of people. To be precise, individuals who are “enhanced” and those who are “unenhanced.” These two groups of persons shall take evolutionary paths that are different. Nevertheless, Stock holds that the merits of such a world offset the dangers. He places his conviction on free markets as well as choices to be the distinctive approaches of safeguarding human beings from abusive practices.

Andrews, Lori B. Future perfect: Confronting decisions about genetics. Columbia University Press, 2001.

In this book, Andrew Lori gives cautions about the advancement of technology. She says that growth in genetic technology might bring about societal setbacks. She points out that genetic technology might one time generate “perfect” individuals who can harm the society. The author asserts that traditional therapies are apt even in areas where gene therapies have been sought. Andrew argues that genetic information spread of an individual is virtually foolproof. It is because genetics create discrimination with the reference genetic predisposition of a person.

Piotrowski, Christa. "Dark chapter of American history: US court battle over forced sterilization." Neue Zuricher Zeitung 21 (2000): 072100-106.

The article gives an explanation of significant events as well as impacts on eugenic movements in American history. The author, Christa Piotrowski has listed the total number of sterilized individuals in the USA. Christa points out the kind of racism, which has been taking in America since time memorial.

McBride, James. The Color of Water. Riverhead Brooks. NY: Riverhead Trade, 2002.

This article is a tribute to a black man to his white mother. The author explains the situations where he was brought up from an interracial marriage. The mother of McBride as well gives her story version of racism, which she experienced at the time she was dating African American man during the 1900s. The narratives are helpful in comprehending experiences and cultures of biracial Americans.

Moran, Rachel F. Interracial intimacy: The regulation of race and romance. University of Chicago Press, 2003.

The author provides insights of new multiculturalism, which cropped up in the case of Loving versus Virginia. Moran similarly offers effects biracial kids as well as their heritage within contemporary society. The book similarly investigates social perspectives of marriages and families. The book is useful for the project as gives instant results about Loving case. It as well augments readers’ speculations about the impacts of future incidents.

English, Daylanne K. Unnatural Selections: Eugenics in American Modernism and the Harlem Renaissance. Univ of North Carolina Press, 2005.

The book discusses family crisis felt by Du Boi at the beginning. It also looks into the eugenics movement that has been deemed to be the worst infringement of human rights so far. It provides how eugenic movements became related to various feminist movements. Both moves were associated to take away human rights. By and large, the book gyrates around race and bigotry that whites and blacks perpetrated in the 1900s.

Bachrach, Susan. Deadly medicine: Creating the master race. Chapel Hill, NC: University of North Carolina Press, 2004.

In this book, the author describes how a nation can be assisted through not feeding people who are poor. The author portrays how the week in a society should be eliminated through sterilization or by murder. The book is useful in narrating the use of eugenics by Hitler and Nazi policies both from Germany. The book suggests that healthy individuals should triumph in the world. The author also goes ahead discussing biochemical and nationalism supremacy in a country.

Villeneuve, Hubert. Teaching Anticommunism: Fred C. Schwarz, the Christian Anti-Communism Crusade, and American Postwar Conservatism. Canada: McGill University, 2012.

The author gives short narrations about various firms, conferences, publications as well as historical events, which constitute the eugenics movement. By putting more focus on the USA, Villeneuve incorporates data on events, which occurred in Germany and Great Britain.

Jackson, John P. "Science, race, and ethnicity: Readings from Isis and Osiris." (2002).

The article is a collection of essays attained from Isis and Osiris journal. The book has been selected by the editor to show ways in which race as scientific fact has been proved as the eugenicist. Whereas ideas about eugenics were similar to racism, such notions turned out to justify various effects of eugenics. The book as well runs a narrative on Jewish assimilation alongside national science that has been used in giving justification of anti-Semitism.

Engs, Ruth Clifford. The Eugenics Movement: An Encyclopedia Westport. Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 2005.

The book covers fundamental concepts of eugenics, companies, and institutions, people as well as various timelines of the eugenics movement. Engs concentrates majorly on eugenic which took place in North America all through the book.

Robin, Hening. “The Genome in Black and White (and Gray), The Newyork Times Magazine, 10 Oct. 2004, Accessed 4 November 2009.

Robin presents various changes expected in human genomes due to the technological changes witnessed. The presented transformations in the genome would reduce racism, which has become a social evil in societies.

Works Cited

Andrews, Lori B. Future perfect: Confronting decisions about genetics. Columbia University Press, 2001.

Bachrach, Susan. Deadly medicine: Creating the master race. Chapel Hill, NC: University of North Carolina Press, 2004.

English, Daylanne K. Unnatural Selections: Eugenics in American Modernism and the Harlem Renaissance. Univ of North Carolina Press, 2005.

Engs, Ruth Clifford. The Eugenics Movement: An Encyclopedia Westport. Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 2005.

Jackson, John P. Science, Race, and Rthnicity: Readings from Isis and Osiris. University of Chicago Press, 2002

McBride, James. The Color of Water. Riverhead Brooks. NY: Riverhead Trade, 2002.

Moran, Rachel F. Interracial intimacy: The regulation of race and romance. University of Chicago Press, 2003.

Piotrowski, Christa. "Dark Chapter of American History: US Court Battle Over Forced Sterilization." Neue Zuricher Zeitung, 21 July 2000, Accessed 4 November 2009.

Robin, Hening. “The Genome in Black and White (and Gray), The Newyork Times Magazine, 10 Oct. 2004, Accessed 4 November 2009.

Stock, Gregory. Redesigning Humans: Our Inevitable Genetic Future. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2002.

Villeneuve, Hubert. Teaching Anticommunism: Fred C. Schwarz, the Christian Anti-Communism Crusade, and American Postwar Conservatism. Canada: McGill University, 2012.

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