Definition of Eugenics research paper


Eugenics is the application of heredity and genetic principles to human reproduction with the goal of enhancing the genetic quality of the human race and civilization (Stern, 2015).

Eugenics in Relation to Race, Gender, Nation, and Health

The eugenics philosophy intertwines the factors of health, race, nation, and gender by eliminating persons perceived to be of inferior intelligence, notably people of color and the poor. Eugenics advocates sterilizing those who are deemed less clever or have health problems in order to reduce the number of children born who are sick and unintelligent (Stern, 2015). On the other hand, eugenics is connected to race in that eugenics holds that people of Nordic ancestry are innately superior to people of other races despite the lack of scientific proof. Hence, the ideology supported the elimination of people of color since they were a cost to the society due to their inferiority.

The Eugenics ideology holds that the nation does not need hereditarily inferior children; hence, eugenics is regarded as the only approach that can help in regaining control over the composition of the nation through the mass sterilization of degenerate mothers. Finally, eugenics relates to gender in that the ideology considered the control of female and male heredity crucial following the roles that each gender plays. Therefore, sterilization focused more on women than men, thus creating a gender bias with regard to the control of reproduction.

Question 2: Population Control

Definition of Population Control

Population control refers to the practice of artificially limiting the number and type of people that inhabit a particular region so that the number remains manageable.

Justice Activists and Population Control

In most regions, the key measures that are used for population control are abortion and sterilization, particularly female sterilization. Scholars and reproductive justice activists are critical about population control since it denies poor women control over their reproduction. Further, population control creates reproduction inequalities where eugenical population control measures are created for poor women of color and low-income women, while reproduction enhancement technologies are reserved for the racially and economically privileged women. Luna (2009) notes although uncontrolled childbearing may result to social costs, it is unethical to sterilize poor women since it denies them their right to bear children.

Abortion is regarded as a legal right and it involves an individual choice; however, reproductive justice activists define sterilization as a violation to the right of women to bear children since the majority of women are sterilized without their knowledge, or they are forced into getting sterilized (Roberts, 2009). On the other hand, population control supports the advancement of racial inequalities whereby wealthy white women are granted access to technologies that enable them to have children that are genetically screened to ensure that they are healthy, as well as children that are genetically related to their parents. Conversely, women of color are discouraged from having children by denying them access to such technologies and denying poor women additional public assistance for having any additional baby.

Question 3: Intersectionality

Definition of Intersectionality

Intersectionality refers to an approach that appreciates the fact that several overlapping factors are responsible for shaping health, including class, race, gender, age, income, immigration status, sexual orientation, ethnicity, and education among other factors (Gómez, 2013). Intersectionality describes the manner in which the different discriminating factors intersect to create a whole that is distinct from the component identities, which makes examining the factors that influence health outcomes separately from each other almost impossible.

Intersectionality and Health Disparities

Hankivsky (2012) illustrates the concept of intersectionality using the example of the African communities that are affected by HIV-AIDS. Hankivsky notes that to respond to the needs of the communities, it is crucial to determine how the aspects of gender, sexuality, migrant and HIV status, race, and ethnicity intersect to reveal the diverse effects of HIV on heterosexual African men and women and bisexual/gay men. The author illustrates that the discrimination and stigmatization that African communities that are affected by HIV-AIDS suffer cannot be associated with a single factor, but rather, it emanates from the interaction of the different factors that influence the health of the African communities.


Gómez, L. (2013). Introduction: Taking the social construction of race seriously in health disparities research. Mapping ‘race’: critical approaches to health disparities research, Rutgers University Press, New Brunswick, NJ, 1-22.

Hankivsky, O. (2012). Women’s health, men’s health, and gender and health: Implications of intersectionality. Social science & medicine, 74(11), 1712-1720.

Luna, Z. (2009). From rights to justice: Women of color changing the face of US reproductive rights organizing. Societies Without Borders, 4(3), 343-365.

Roberts, D. E. (2009). Race, gender, and genetic technologies: a new reproductive dystopia?. Signs: Journal of Women in Culture and Society, 34(4), 783-804.

Stern, A. M. (2015). Eugenic nation: Faults and frontiers of better breeding in modern America. Univ of California Press.

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