Eugenics is the exploration of links connecting heredity with physical and mental outcomes in the pursuit of a more desirable species. Many eugenicists in the early 20th century openly endorsed selective breeding and forced sterilization of humans as a means to weed out undesirable behavioral problems like alcoholism and criminality, as well as physical traits such as deafness and mental retardation. The term eugenics was coined by British statistician Francis Galton in 1883. Galton's early work expanded the discipline of psychometrics and explored the idea of hereditary intelligence. The eugenics movement's chief proponent in America was Charles B. Davenport (1866–1944). Initially constructed through private financing, the Eugenics Record Office (ERO) was founded by Davenport in 1910, and remained the chief eugenics research organization in the ...

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