Sex, Race, and Science: Eugenics in the Deep South

Dorothy Nelkin, PhD
JAMA. 1995;274(5):433-434. doi:10.1001/jama.1995.03530050081044.
Text Size: A A A
Published online

The visibility of contemporary research in genetics has revived interest in the history of the eugenics movement. Edward J. Larson, in Sex, Race, and Science, focuses on eugenics in America's Deep South. The eugenic reforms during the early part of the century followed advances in biology indicating that human heredity could be manipulated through selected breeding. But reforms were mainly driven by social forces: concerns about purifying the Caucasian race and restricting the propagation of those deemed eugenically unfit and responsible for social problems. The movement, championed by a professional elite and based on the authority of science, advocated reforms through eugenic marriage restrictions and compulsory sterilization.

"control of human reproduction as a solution to pressing economic and social problems and a means of controlling the future."

Analyzing eugenic reforms in the context of state policies, Larson's detailed and interesting study suggests that the movement did not necessarily follow the


Sign In to Access Full Content

Don't have Access?

Register and get free email Table of Contents alerts, saved searches, PowerPoint downloads, CME quizzes, and more

Subscribe for full-text access to content from 1998 forward and a host of useful features

Activate your current subscription (AMA members and current subscribers)

Purchase Online Access to this article for 24 hours

First Page Preview

View Large
First page PDF preview




Meets CME requirements for:
Browse CME for all U.S. States
Accreditation Information
The American Medical Association is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education to provide continuing medical education for physicians. The AMA designates this journal-based CME activity for a maximum of 1 AMA PRA Category 1 CreditTM per course. Physicians should claim only the credit commensurate with the extent of their participation in the activity. Physicians who complete the CME course and score at least 80% correct on the quiz are eligible for AMA PRA Category 1 CreditTM.
Note: You must get at least of the answers correct to pass this quiz.
You have not filled in all the answers to complete this quiz
The following questions were not answered:
Sorry, you have unsuccessfully completed this CME quiz with a score of
The following questions were not answered correctly:
Commitment to Change (optional):
Indicate what change(s) you will implement in your practice, if any, based on this CME course.
Your quiz results:
The filled radio buttons indicate your responses. The preferred responses are highlighted
For CME Course: A Proposed Model for Initial Assessment and Management of Acute Heart Failure Syndromes
Indicate what changes(s) you will implement in your practice, if any, based on this CME course.
Citing articles are presented as examples only. In non-demo SCM6 implementation, integration with CrossRef’s "Cited By" API will populate this tab (http://www.crossref.org/citedby.html).


Some tools below are only available to our subscribers or users with an online account.

Sign In to Access Full Content

Related Content

Customize your page view by dragging & repositioning the boxes below.