Brief Discussion About the Eugenic Movement

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With the popular and separation of intelligence test developed by French psychologist Binet and Simon, it was translated into English by American psychologist Henry Goddard in 1908, and was conducted on peoples including new immigrant and prison inmates and delinquents. Translation though did not change the original meaning and the way intelligence was tested, the language became the obstacle as well as the conducting process.
For new immigrants, English was unfamiliar to them and might have trouble understanding the introduction of the test which obviously affected their performance on it. Also, many conductors did not fully understand the test which originally designed for child, and applied it to adults. All these factors made the results that there were many who were sentenced as mental retardation and the proportion went up to 40% among immigrants.
Due to the situation, people who wished to contain good genes proposed the Eugenic Movement which separated wildly in America. People who were classified as mental retardation needed to be sterilized. However, this movement was a controversial issue until today because it prevents people from reproducing by against their willingness.
Proponents of the Eugenics Movements held opinions that people should preserve good genes to reproduce making sure survival. People against it said that people do have their right to reproduce and to have their own children enjoying the family life.
I personally against the Eugenics Movement for the following reasons, based on what I've learnt from PSY 1001.
First, there was no fully evidences proved that intelligence was completely based on our biological structure which means that it will be influenced by genes. Thought our brain size and structure, partial size as well as density may contribute to intelligence, however, there was no absolute answer of this question. Outside environment such as nutrition and education also plays significant roles in it. Though recent years, twin studies do prove that there were positive correlations between intelligence and genes, however, this still cannot be the reason for the Eugenics Movement because, first, there were not twin studies at that time; second, there was no evidence that education cannot improve one's intelligent since our intelligence is constructed by two parts, flow intelligence and crystal intelligence.
Second, as mentioned before, I do think that intelligence could be improved since our crystal intelligence is "accumulated knowledge of the world acquired over time". Properly education does help people learn more and improve their capability. People who are not high in general intelligence may have other talents, in other words, they may have high special intelligence. Intelligence test do reflects something which is quite important, however, it could not reflect the value of one's life, and people could not use it to decide which person could reproduce, enjoy life and which one could not.
Here is a link I found on our U of M website about the U and the Eugenic Movement.

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This page contains a single entry by baixx078 published on November 20, 2011 11:22 PM.

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