What is Eugenics?

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Eugenics refers to the idea or social practice of promoting or improving the genetic quality of human beings. By selecting only the so-called ‘good’ genes and eliminating the bad ones, the overall genetic quality of people will be improved. People in the past including scientists, statesmen, and wealthy people among others supported the idea of eugenics which made it an influential theory across different fields including the field of politics.

The idea behind genetic improvement of the human race is credited to Francis Galton back in the 1800s. Galton used the term “Eugenics” in his theories and ideas relating to changing the course of human genetics through different techniques that take advantage of the good genes from some people. The basic idea of Eugenics is that of selection and preservation of people with good genes and elimination of those who have supposedly bad genes. Those who are considered geniuses and talented are classified to have good genes and people that belong to similar groups are said to produce offspring with good genes also. This idea also applies to the opposite side of things wherein those with bad genes can only produce bad genes as well. Through Eugenics, supporters have advocated that various ways can be done in order to improve human genetic development.

As controversial as it sounds, the idea of Eugenics was actually supported by various people in the past up to even the present times. Some societies and cultures promote eugenics through fixed marriages and/or marriage restrictions. There were also people who were forced to undergo segregation by race or even sterilization. Abortions and pregnancies were also forced on some people simply to support the idea of eugenics. All these are considered unethical by many but there are still some people or groups in present times that support some ideas relating to Eugenics.

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