Eugenics

The Malthusian League (1877–1927)

The Malthusian League (1877–1927)

In June 1877 Charles Bradlaugh, a political activist and journal editor, and Annie Besant, a women’s rights activist, were tried for distributing material that was considered obscene through the Freethought Publishing Company. At the time, anti-obscenity laws prohibited the transmission of medicine or literature that discussed reproduction. The book that Bradlaugh and Besant published was called Fruits of Philosophy, written by a physician called Charles

Human Betterment Foundation (1928-1942)

Human Betterment Foundation

In 1928 Ezra Seymour Gosney founded the non-profit Human Betterment Foundation (HBF) in Pasadena, California to support the research and publication of the personal and social effects of eugenic sterilizations carried out in California. Led by director Gosney and secretary Paul Popenoe, the HBF collected data on thousands of individuals in California who had been involuntarily sterilized under a California state law enacted in 1909.

Buck v. Bell (1927)

<a href="/search?text=Buck%20v.%20Bell%20%281927%29" title="" class="lexicon-term">Buck v. Bell (1927)</a>

In 1927, the US Supreme Court case Buck v. Bell set a legal precedent that states may sterilize inmates of public institutions. The court argued that imbecility, epilepsy, and feeblemindedness are hereditary, and that inmates should be prevented from passing these defects to the next generation.

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