Eugenics
Literally, meaning normal genes, eugenics aims to improve the genetic constitution of the human species by selective breeding. The use of Albert Einstein's sperm to conceive a child (by artificial insemination) would represent an attempt at positive eugenics. The Nazis notoriously engaged in negative eugenics by genocide. The word "eugenics" was coined by Sir Francis Galton (1822-1911) to denote scientific endeavors to increase the proportion of persons with better than average genetic endowment through selective mating of marriage partners. The practice of eugenics was first legally mandated in the United States in the state of Indiana, resulting in the forcible sterilization, incarceration, and occasionally euthanasia of the mentally or physically handicapped, the mentally ill, and ethnic minorities (particularly people of mixed racial heritage), and the adopting out of their children to non-disabled, Caucasian parents. Similar programs spread widely in the early part of the twentieth century, and still exist in some parts of the world. It is important to note that no experiment in eugenics has ever been shown to result in measurable improvements in human health. In fact, in the best known attempt at positive eugenics, the Nazi “Lebensborn” program, there was a higher-than- normal level of birth defects among the resulting offspring.
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1. Practices and policies, as of mate selection or of sterilization, that tend to better the innate qualities of progeny and human stock. 2. Practices and genetic counseling directed to anticipating genetic disability and disease. SYN: orthogenics. [G. eugeneia, nobility of birth, fr. eu, well, + genesis, production]

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eu·gen·ics yu̇-'jen-iks n pl but sing in constr a science that deals with the improvement (as by control of human mating) of hereditary qualities of a race or breed

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n.
the science that is concerned with the improvement of the human race by means of the principles of genetics. It is mainly concerned with the detection and, where possible, the elimination of genetic disease.

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eu·gen·ics (u-jenґiks) [eu- + -genic] the improvement of a population by selection of the individuals considered as its best specimens for breeding. Cf. dysgenics.

Medical dictionary. 2011.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Eugenics — is the self direction of human evolution : Logo from the Second International Eugenics Conference, 1921, depicting Eugenics as a tree which unites a variety of different fields.[1] Eugenics is the applied science or the bio social movement which… …   Wikipedia

  • Eugenics — • Eugenics literally means good breeding . It is defined as the study of agencies under social control that may improve or impair the racial qualities of future generations either physically or mentally Catholic Encyclopedia. Kevin Knight. 2006.… …   Catholic encyclopedia

  • eugenics — 1883, coined (along with adj. eugenic) by English scientist Francis Galton (1822 1911) on analogy of ethics, physics, etc. from Gk. eugenes well born, of good stock, of noble race, from eu good (see EU (Cf. eu )) + genos birth (see GENUS (Cf.… …   Etymology dictionary

  • Eugenics — Eu*gen ics, n. The science of improving stock, whether human or animal. F. Galton. [1913 Webster] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • eugenics — eugenics. См. евгеника. (Источник: «Англо русский толковый словарь генетических терминов». Арефьев В.А., Лисовенко Л.А., Москва: Изд во ВНИРО, 1995 г.) …   Молекулярная биология и генетика. Толковый словарь.

  • eugenics — ► PLURAL NOUN ▪ the science of using controlled breeding to increase the occurrence of desirable heritable characteristics in a population. DERIVATIVES eugenic adjective eugenicist noun & adjective. ORIGIN from Greek eu well + gen s born …   English terms dictionary

  • eugenics — [yo͞o jen′iks] n. [< Gr eugenēs (see EUGENE1) + ICS] the movement devoted to improving the human species through the control of hereditary factors in mating …   English World dictionary

  • eugenics — /yooh jen iks/, n. (used with a sing. v.) the study of or belief in the possibility of improving the qualities of the human species or a human population, esp. by such means as discouraging reproduction by persons having genetic defects or… …   Universalium

  • eugenics — From the Greek eu (well) and gens (to produce), eugenics refers to the manipulation of the processes of evolutionary selection, in order to improve a particular genetic stock or population. This may be achieved either through ‘negative’ eugenics… …   Dictionary of sociology

  • Eugenics —    The ideological foundation of Nazi doctrine rested on its objective of producing a master race of blond, blue eyed Aryans. Because the Nazis believed that race was the primary determinant of national greatness, they sought to improve their… …   Historical dictionary of the Holocaust

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