Eugenics in the Americas

Patience A. Schell*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


This article discusses eugenics in the Americas - a scientific ideology that profoundly has affected the history of this region - and identifies common themes and varied examples for comparison. These examples demonstrate the influence of the 'well-born science' on medicine, psychiatry, education, and public policy. This article includes a broad overview of eugenics in South and North America, pointing out areas of differences and commonalities. The chapter also discusses examples of formal eugenics organizations, in their national and pan-American context and the utility of eugenics for its practitioners. The article finishes discussing examples of eugenic practice through immigration policy, puériculture programs, and sterilization.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationInternational Encyclopedia of the Social & Behavioral Sciences
PublisherElsevier Inc.
Number of pages7
ISBN (Electronic)9780080970875
ISBN (Print)9780080970868
Publication statusPublished - 2015


  • Biotypology
  • Birth control
  • Eugenics
  • Euthanasia
  • Gender
  • Homiculture
  • Immigration
  • Lamarckian inheritance
  • Puériculture
  • Race
  • Sterilization


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