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ID 15428

Methods used by Davenport and the Eugenics Record Office, James Watson

Description:
Interviewee: James Watson. Eugenicists looked at pedigrees to see if traits conformed to a Mendelian scheme of dominant, recessive, or sex-linked inheritance. Here James Watson discusses how eugenicists constructed and used pedigrees to highlight the supposed differences between "fit" and "unfit" families. (DNAi Location: Chronicle > Threat of the unfit > The fit and unfit > Tracking traits through families
Transcript:
At the Eugenics Records Office, you would establish pedigrees of good and bad families, and see how traits move through families, to see if they moved in a sort of Mendelian way. Did they move straight through or were the traits dominant, if a trait was present in the father, was it present in the children, or did the trait have to be present in both parents for the child to have it, or was it somehow linked to the X chromosome and somehow seemed to be only inherited by boys. This was Davenport's mission in the first decade of the 20th century.
Keywords:
trophies and medals,genetic deterioration,negative eugenics,sex linked inheritance,james watson,environmental contribution,iq tests,mental hospitals,ishmaelites,fictitious names,pauperism,dnai,artistic achievement,state fairs,nams,jukes,pedigrees,dominant recessive,interviewee,criminality
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