Forced Sterilization Not the Miracle Remedy

Forced Sterilization Not the Miracle Remedy

We have seen more than once that the public welfare may call upon the best citizens for their lives. It would be strange if it could not call upon those who already sap the strength of the State for these lesser sacrifices, often not felt to be such by those concerned, to prevent our being swamped with incompetence. It is better for all the world if instead of waiting to execute degenerate offspring for crime or to let them starve for their imbecility, society can prevent those who are manifestly unfit from continuing their kind. The principle that sustains compulsory vaccination is broad enough to cover cutting the Fallopian tubes.US Supreme Court Judge Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr., 1927

Depiction Human Conception

Forced Sterilization in the US

Between the 1890s and 1910s was a period of widespread social activism and political reform across the United States of America. The main objectives of the activists and reformists were to address problems caused by industrialization, urbanization, immigration, and political corruption.

Activists and reformists joined efforts to reform local government, public education, finance, industry, churches, and many other areas. Progressives transformed, professionalized, and made the social sciences, history, economics, and political science more “scientific”. Therefore it was not surprising that many Americans wanted to improve the future generations of the US with the help of genetics.

In the early twentieth more than thirty US states supported the idea that if people with genetic disorders were to be force sterilized systematically, genetic disorders would parish in future generations. Would that really work?

Depiction of Gene Mutation

Forced Sterilization Not the Solution

Supporters of forced sterilization of people with genetical deases consider sterilization as weeding out bad genes from human gene pull, and an attempt to harness the power of reproduction to produce people with traits that enable them to thrive.

It is true that science increased the number of individuals who are fit to survive, but that we let people with genetic disorders have children is not the main cause that keeps those “imperfect” genes in the human gene pool.

Many of us mutated genes that come from either one of our parents. However, when a gene coming from one parent is mutated our body subsidizes the “broken” gene with the matching healthy gene coming from the other parent.

A genetic disease manifests itself when certain genes coming from both parents are damaged, or mutated. Since we have so many genes, it is not very likely that both the mother and the father had the same imperfect gene, hence by far most of us do not have genetic diseases.

However, when the mother and the father are close relatives, the possibility that the same genes from both sides are mutated. Hence, we discourage people from marrying their cousins.

Preventing people with genetic diseases, who make up a negligible size of a group in the entire population, from having children helps little to “cleanse” the gene pool because almost all children with the genetic disease are from healthy parents that carry mutated genes.




Tamer Aydogdu strongly believes democracies cannot survive without respect to science.

Love podcasts or audiobooks? Learn on the go with our new app.

Recommended from Medium

The Squeeze

Sleep Apnea is a silent killer. Get a sleep study done.

What will you do if Doctors give up fixing your Sciatica?

A lockdown birthday that’s raised $900+ for breast cancer patients

Probiotics, Fermented Foods or Dietary Microbes?

The Role and Importance of Bio-feedback in Physical Therapy (Article 1 in series)

Earth Is Running A Fever & We’re The Pathogen

Mother Effer Mutation- Are You At Risk?

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store
Tamer Aydogdu

Tamer Aydogdu

Tamer Aydogdu strongly believes democracies cannot survive without respect to science.

More from Medium

Packing and Moving [2010-13]

Xiaomi put a huge camera sensor in its new Mi 12S Ultra flagship smartphone

Art and heart. From a kitchen table in Ballybrack to the wall of one of The Beatles.

Breaking down “Origin”