Eugenics was a political and scientific movement that sought to improve humanity by using the study of heredity to design programs aimed at guiding human reproduction. It was based on an assertion that socially important traits are genetically determined and that steps should therefore be taken to ensure that future generations are descended from individuals with the best traits. Many eugenicists claimed that social categories such as race show inherent differences in intellectual and moral worth. The eugenics movement originated in England and was most influential in the United States in the first half of the 20th century. Eugenics also played a role in other countries. For example, in 1940s Germany, eugenics was used to legitimize the Holocaust. Eugenics has had a lasting influence on ...

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