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Eugenics and Sterilization

wolvesandwildernessThis teenager is a 'regular' and has contributed a lot of work, comments and/or forum posts, and has received many votes and high ratings over a long period of time. posted this thread...
Mar. 27, 2017 at 9:13 pm

So something that isn't widely known is the influence of the American eugenics movement on the Nazi philosophies regarding pure race and how to prevent what would be considered defects. Part of what was considered in that time period for America (late 1800s, early 1900s) was sterilizing the poor, the criminals, and the mentally handicapped, because they are (in some way) not fit to be a productive member of society or produce productive members of society.
 
So what if you had, say, a serial ra.pist? Would it be okay to permanently sterilize them? Would it be okay to put them on a medication that suppresses their desire to ra.pe someone? Would it be okay to do this to a mentally handicapped person, a habitual drunk, or any person that is not in full control of themself?
 
Let me know what you think.

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Ray--yoThis teenager is a 'regular' and has contributed a lot of work, comments and/or forum posts, and has received many votes and high ratings over a long period of time. replied...
Mar. 31, 2017 at 6:32 am

These aren't heritable traits we're talking about here, so getting criminals sterilised won't end crime forever- thus, no point in that.
You raise an interesting point regarding mentally handicapped people, though. Would it be wrong to say all criminals, in a way, are mentally ill? Should all criminals be treated instead of penalised?
I'm interested to hear what everyone has to say on this.

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Mar. 31, 2017 at 3:22 pm

There is heritability of aggression, impulsivity, and antisocialness; the first two have a strong proven correlation with criminal behavior. So if you're impulsive or aggressive, it doesn't mean that you're a born criminal (environment matters, as does neurological development), but it does raise the likelihood of criminal/antisocial behavior.
 
A lot of criminals do have psychological problems- ASPD and CD are pretty common, and a lot of convicted criminals are or have been dependent on drugs at some point. So I suppose that some sort of mental... issue, for lack of a better word, is part of it. 
 
As for treating criminals instead of punishing them, that's a debate going on right now. It's currently concerned with drug addiction, and the two models are called the Medical Model (addiction is a disease and should be treated, not punished) and the Criminal Model (addicts endanger society and their crimes should be punished like any other criminal's). So it depends on what ideology you lean toward. Either way would be costly.

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Mr.packerbear12 replied...
Apr. 4, 2017 at 8:13 pm

I believe that if a criminal commits a se.x.u.a.l crime then they should be sterilized. A lot of people who go to jail or prison for those crimes, when they get out, they do it again. Having that as punishment could really help keep people from committing such crimes. Although I believe there has to be 100% evidence that person did the crime though. Don't want someone that was wrongly convicted to have to be sterile.

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Apr. 4, 2017 at 9:29 pm

That creates the arguments of ethics, though. Is it morally better to sterilize a convicted se.x offender, or is it better to let them free, knowing they can commit the crime again? If you choose the former, then where does it stop? Can you sterilize someone for child por.nography, pros.titution, or moles.tation, or only in cases of ra.pe? What happens if people decide to go further until any se.x crime warrants sterilization? What about if it's forced pros.titution? It could be a slippery slope. But if you choose the latter and you let them go, you have to live with the fact that they could do it again and it would be on your head.
 
There is also this: if you sterilize someone, you don't prevent them from ra.ping anyone (only repro.duction), and you don't prevent them from any of the other crimes I listed above. 
 
It would be quite the deterrent, though.

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Mr.packerbear12 replied...
Apr. 6, 2017 at 3:36 pm

I believe that any, any, se.xual crime..child por.nography..and everything else you mentioned, that that person should be sterilizied. If it is proven to be forced pros.titution then no they shouldn't be sterilized..but if it isn't forced they should be.
 
When someone is sterilized they most likely won't repeat a se.x.ual crime because you lose that drive when you become sterile..now someone may do it out of aggravation but it would cut down on the amount of people that repeat the crime, I believe. That is why king's had eunuchs to protect the queen, because they didn't have a drive to harm the queen se.xually.

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Apr. 6, 2017 at 5:23 pm

1. Any se.x crime? Did you know that if you send an explicit picture of yourself to a girlfriend or boyfriend (or anyone) and you're under 18, you are distributing child por.nography- or if they receive it and keep it, that they are in possession of child por.nography? You'd have to sterilize a lot of teenagers. And anyone hit by a statutory r.ape charge despite it being consensual s.ex would also face sterilization.
As for voluntary pros.titution, I really don't understand the hang-up on that one. People sell goods and services of pretty much anything; why s.ex makes people so squeamish is beyond me. As long as it's voluntary for the pros.titute, it should be fine.
 
Sterilization doesn't stop the urge for s.ex. As for eunuchs, the reason they couldn't harm the queen se.xually is because they were castra.ted- their genita.lia were permanently removed. They physically could not.

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half.noteThis teenager is a 'regular' and has contributed a lot of work, comments and/or forum posts, and has received many votes and high ratings over a long period of time. replied...
Nov. 15, 2017 at 12:31 pm

I'm kinda late to the party, but this is a really interesting thread. Personally, I believe that forced sterilization under any circumstances is wrong. My province (Alberta, Canada) performed forced sterilization during the eugenics movement in the early 20th century. Many people with mental disabilities were sterilized. We watched a video in class of their testimonies and it was pretty horrible. I don't think any human should have the right to make reproductive decisions for another human, even if they are a criminal. It's one thing to lock away a person for a while, but it's an entirely different thing to make permanent choices about their body. As well, I am someone who believes more in rehabilitation than punishment. Prisons should focus on giving prisoners the skills and resources to go back out in the world and contribute to society. This will greatly reduce the chance that they will re-offend and just end up back in prison. I don't think the threat of sterilization will stop anyone from committing crimes anymore than the threat of prison time will. So yeah, I don't think sterilization and eugenics are okay.

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half.noteThis teenager is a 'regular' and has contributed a lot of work, comments and/or forum posts, and has received many votes and high ratings over a long period of time. replied...
Nov. 15, 2017 at 12:36 pm

Sorry for the big block of text, btw. My paragraph spaces aren't showing up. :/

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Nov. 17, 2017 at 6:57 pm

Wow, I didn't know Canada had the movement to that extent. To be honest, I felt almost a little betrayed when I found out the U.S. had it at all-- it's not something they teach here, so it took me some years of just bouncing around on Wikipedia's history pages to find it.
 
I think it's so horrible that people were willing to do it, though, especially since it wasn't entirely directed at criminals (pretty much anyone who was poor or the 'wrong' race), and I think it's terrible that I hear people agreeing with the principle given how utterly dangerous a concept it is.
 
Yeah, I'd like to rehabilitate rather than punish-- it's America; our prisons are full, full, full. However, I do realize that not everyone can be rehabilitated because not everyone is willing to give it a chance.

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half.noteThis teenager is a 'regular' and has contributed a lot of work, comments and/or forum posts, and has received many votes and high ratings over a long period of time. replied...
Nov. 27, 2017 at 1:35 pm

wolvesandwilderness:
 
Indeed, it is not something that most countries like to talk/teach about. The reality is, of course, that eugenics was extremely popular before N.azi Germany took it to an extreme with the H.olocaust. After that, everyone began to rethink eugenics and it became viewed as generally unethical.
 
And true, not everyone can be rehabilitated, but there are many who are in prison for petty crimes or are remorseful for what they've done, and they could easily be rehabilitated. Even to sterilize those who can't be rehabilitated just seems unneccesary and wrong. Especially since there is no guarantee that children of criminals will become criminals themselves.
 
Anyways, I'm probably preaching to the choir here, since we both seem to agree on this topic. :)

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Nov. 27, 2017 at 6:20 pm

Funny, that... not in the actual humor sense, of course, but we probably would have kept the practice for a lot longer if it weren't so politically damaging to do so. I'd like to think that everyone realized how horrible it was and how much worse it could be after World War II, but I think the more likely situation is that some people just didn't want to be tarred with the same brush and stopped supporting it publicly. 
 
I wonder what you think of the death penalty, then. I know that Canada doesn't have it and that the U.S. is one of the few Western countries that does-- what's your take on it?
 
 

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half.noteThis teenager is a 'regular' and has contributed a lot of work, comments and/or forum posts, and has received many votes and high ratings over a long period of time. replied...
Nov. 28, 2017 at 1:56 pm

It seems I was partly mistaken when I said that after WWII "everyone began to rethink eugenics and it became viewed as generally unethical." Although many Western countries did move away from their eugenic policies, in some places (like Canada and the U.S.) eugenics was practiced for many decades after WWII ended. The Alberta Eugenics Board here in Canada wasn't disbanded until 1979, and from what I've read, the U.S. participated in many sterilizations during the '60s and '70s. So there wasn't the swift abandonment of eugenics as I had previously thought before doing some more research. I also found it interesting how a lot of feminist groups and prominent feminists (like the famous Canadian suffragette, Emily Murphy) supported eugenics. Not a very well-known fact.
 
As for the death penalty, I am strongly against it. The justice system is far from perfect and people are wrongly convicted more than we'd like to think. One innocent person being killed by the state is one person too many. And even if we had a perfect justice system and only convicted those who were actually guilty, I don't think we have the right to choose whether or not to end another person's life. People can be rehabilitated, and even those who can't still deserve a chance to live out their existence, even if it's in prison. This life is all we got. Besides, research has shown that the threat of the death penalty does not significantly reduce the amount or intensity of crimes committed. So the death penalty is pretty useless from a preventative stand point, as well.

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Nov. 28, 2017 at 3:24 pm

I'm pretty split on it. U.S. prisons are insanely crowded (about 25 percent of the world's prison population is here) and they run on our tax money. I'd like to say that I oppose it, but then there are people who are active threats... Ted Bundy, for example: serial killer, murdered a minimum of thirty people. He escaped twice, once from a courthouse and once from a prison. He was a threat-- very clearly. Then there are people who just... I think they deserve it. And I know, who am I to say who can live and who can die... but I don't believe there's a higher power, and so I think the decision rests with us. We had a man who bom.bed a building in the 90s and killed 168 people, including several children. Part of the problem is that attacks like this are becoming so common here-- seems like every time I turn on the news, there's been another shoo.ting, another attack, someone who thinks it's okay to murder other people because of their twisted ideals... what do we do with people like that?

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half.noteThis teenager is a 'regular' and has contributed a lot of work, comments and/or forum posts, and has received many votes and high ratings over a long period of time. replied...
Nov. 28, 2017 at 6:30 pm

You make some very good points.
 
It definitely seems like an easy choice to execute people who have consistently proven that they have very few moral groundings and are a danger to society. As well, if someone I loved was killed by another human being, I'd probably want that person dead, that's just how the human sense of justice and retribution works. So I can certainly understand why people support captial punishment.
 
Personally, I believe that most people commit crimes because society has failed them. Obviously they have personal choice, but some people are pretty much set up to fail from the beginning. Most people in prison are from families of low socio-economic status, were abused or bullied as children, and/or were given insufficient supports or treatments for their mental health issues. In democratic, individualistic societies like the U.S. and Canada, it is easy to place the blame on the individual, but I believe that there are more factors involved than just someone deciding to do bad things. On this same line, I believe that if we provide the proper supports and resources, then many prisoners could even be rehabilitated. That way there are less people in the prison system without needing to kill anyone.
 
I don't believe in a higher power, but I'm more against the death penalty now than when I did believe in one. Because if there is higher power, then there's probably an afterlife or a second chance for those who are executed. But since I don't believe in a higher power, then this life is all we have. To end someone else's life prematurely (even if they have done horrible things) is destroying something that can never exist again. No matter how slim the chance of rehabilitation, I think a person should be given the chance.

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Nov. 29, 2017 at 4:34 pm

Yeah, society has failed a lot of people. But there are plenty that it hasn't failed that have still done horrible things-- I'll point out Bundy again, who was able to go to university and had a fairly stable (if not the best) home life. 
 
But there's the thing-- some of these people are perfectly content to end the one life people get, so I don't have much of an issue with ending theirs.

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