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Multilingual Demographic Dictionary, second unified edition, English volume

Hereditary defect

Multilingual Demographic Dictionary, second unified edition, English vol.
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Hereditary defect  (HEREDITARY defect)

A distinction was made between positive eugenics 1, aimed at increasing the number of persons believed to have desirable characteristics, and negative eugenics 2 aimed at restricting the reproduction of persons expected to transmit undesirable characteristics or hereditary defects 3. Much attention has been given to the discussion of eugenic sterilization 4, i.e., the sterilization of persons likely to transmit undesirable characteristics to their descendants. Objections to this measure have been raised on moral grounds and also because of its relatively low efficiency in reducing the frequency of recessive genes (912-6). Among the measures proposed, pre-marital examination 5 may be mentioned; this is designed to give couples intending to marry information about the probable quality of their offspring, so that prospective partners to dysgenic marriages 6, i.e., those likely to produce defectives, may be warned. More...