Family, Marriage, and Parenthood

By Howard Becker; Reuben Hill | Go to book overview
make for racial betterment are the bicycle and the omnibus, the flivver and the jazz band -- in short, the collective enjoyments of town life."5In positive eugenics, we need to be critical of the grounds for assuming inherent biological superiority as a property of any particular "class." We referred to the absurdity of concluding, from appearances alone, that farmers as a whole inherit darker skins than do professors of philosophy. What shall be our grounds for evaluating the inherent intellectual potentialities of the children of farmers as a population compared with those of professors? Here, too, unless we can reliably eliminate, control, or make allowance for the environmental variable we are not likely to draw a just conclusion.Many of our population policies, many of our material discoveries, many of our social and political decisions may have effects on the inherent qualities of our population. We need to consider these effects as best we can, just as we need to consider the effects of our own family decisions against the broader social background. But we may lose, not gain, from oversimplification of these issues. They are not simple.
SELECTED READINGS
DAHLBERG GUNNAR, Race, Reason and Rubbish. Translated from the Swedish by Lancelot Hogben ( New York: Columbia University Press, 1943), chaps. 1, 4, 5, 10.
DUNN L. C., and DOBYHANSKY T., Heredity, Race, and Society ( New York: Penguin Books, 1946).
GLASS H. B., Genes and the Man ( New York: Columbia University Teachers College, 1943), chaps. 1, 2, 4.
HALDANE J. B. S., New Paths in Genetics ( New York: Harper, 1942), chaps. 1-5.
HOGBEN LANCELOT, Nature and Nurture ( New York: Norton, 1939), chaps. 1, 5.
RIFE D. C., The Dice of Destiny ( Columbus: Long's, 1945), chaps. 1-3.
SCHEINFELD A., You and Heredity ( Philadelphia: Lippincott, 1939).
SNYDER L. H., Medical Genetics ( Durham: Duke University Press, 1941), chaps. 1,2,9, 10.
-----, The Principles of Heredity ( 3rd ed.; Boston: Heath, 1946), chaps. 1, 27-29.

TOPICS FOR DISCUSSION OR REPORTS
1. Leaflets to demonstrate heredity, including paper treated with phenylthio- carbamide for the "taster test," may be obtained from the American Genetic Association, 1507 M Street, N. W., Washington 5, D. C. (present cost: 10 leaflets for 25 cents; 50 for $1.00). Can you determine your genetic type for this pair of genes? Try tracing the genes through a family. What chance have you for a "nontaster" child? Does the sample of population represented by the members of this class fit the expected proportion of about 30 per cent "nontasters"? Why isn't the percentage exactly as expected?
____________________
5
Gunnar Dahlberg, Race, Reason, and Rubbish ( New York: Columbia University Press, 1943), p. 188.

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