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ID 15438

Forced sterilization during the American eugenics movement - James Watson

Description:
Interviewee: James Watson. James Watson talks about forced sterilization during the American eugenics movement.
Transcript:
It was ordered from the top, you couldn't really defend yourself, the judges had the right to say, sterilize you. Civil liberties in those days were primitive compared to what they are today. Well, taking away the right of a woman to have a child, you could say, what worse could you do to a woman. But in those days they said, it would be even worse for you to have descendants and not fair because you couldn't take care of the child. In some cases they were right, but in a lot of cases they were wrong, that because the whole genetics of, quote, feeblemindedness was a mess, no one had real genes and it was arbitrary whether you said, there was really feeblemindedness in the next generation.
Keywords:
american eugenics movement,james watson,watson james,civil liberties,interviewee,sterilization,descendants,inheritance,genes,genetics,next generation
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Creative Commons License This work by Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License.

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