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ID 15440

Eugenics and mental institutions in the early 1900's - James Watson

Description:
Interviewee: James Watson. James Watson discusses how eugenicists reacted to the problem of mental illness and sought to lessen the threat of the "unfit" to the United States. Here he talks about eugenics was a response to mental institutions into which people entered and never left. (DNAi Location: Chronicle > Threat of the Unfit > Threats > Response to mental hospitals)
Transcript:
Most people now don't remember when there was a mass of mental hospitals throughout the country, throughout in fact the civilized world. There was no treatment for mental illness, the people went into them and they never left. And this was, eugenics was I think the response to these large hospitals, how can we not have the continued need for people to enter them and never leave them, but there was a social horror of these hospitals and so I don't regard Davenport as an evil man, by the end of his life you could say he did dreadful science, and they were sort of telling the people there was science behind it and there wasn't science, there was just some unfit people and how do you handle it.
Keywords:
germ plasm,quaker woman,congressional testimonies,eastern europeans,james watson,mental institutions,mental illnesses,mental hospitals,intelligence tests,promiscuous behavior,goddards,kakos,recessive gene,dnai,united states studies,kallos,dalliance,asylums,barmaid,interviewee
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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