Facing Eugenics: Reproduction, Sterilization, and the by Erika Dyck

By Erika Dyck

Dealing with Eugenics is a social historical past of sexual sterilization operations in twentieth-century Canada. taking a look at real-life reviews of guys and ladies who, both coercively or voluntarily, participated within the greatest felony eugenics software in Canada, it considers the influence of successive criminal regulations and scientific practices on shaping our knowing of latest reproductive rights. The booklet additionally offers deep insights into the wider implications of clinical experimentation, institutionalization, and wellbeing and fitness care in North America.

Erika Dyck makes use of quite a number old facts, together with clinical documents, courtroom testimony, and private documents to put psychological healthiness and intelligence on the centre of discussions relating to reproductive health. studying acts of resistance along heavy-handed judgements to sterilize humans thought of “unfit,” dealing with Eugenics illuminates how reproductive rights healthy right into a broader dialogue of what constitutes civil liberties, glossy feminism, and modern psychiatric survivor and incapacity activism.

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Facing Eugenics: Reproduction, Sterilization, and the Politics of Choice

Dealing with Eugenics is a social background of sexual sterilization operations in twentieth-century Canada. real-life stories of fellows and girls who, both coercively or voluntarily, participated within the greatest felony eugenics software in Canada, it considers the impression of successive criminal guidelines and clinical practices on shaping our figuring out of latest reproductive rights.

Extra resources for Facing Eugenics: Reproduction, Sterilization, and the Politics of Choice

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The debates raised a number of well-worn issues reminiscent of 1920s eugenics discussions while introducing new alliances and a new vocabulary to use as shorthand for polarized stances on reproductive rights. Pro-life and pro-choice advocates jockeyed for the upper hand in an increasingly intense contest over the moral authority to promote one vision over the other. In this book, I offer a social history of sexual sterilization and the politics of reproductive choice in Alberta. I examine the experiences of men and women who came into contact with sexual sterilization, both willingly and unwillingly, and I hope to add to the growing field of research in medical history by a particular focus on the history of eugenics, mental illness, disability, and institutionalization.

This growing cluster of issues soon became associated with the rise of maternal agrarian feminism, which found champions in Alberta. A vocal and active women’s movement on the Canadian prairies promoted eugenics as an extension of the campaign to improve maternal circumstances and bring political attention to family values. Alberta feminists often merged maternal with agrarian politics in a manner that provided subtleties both in terms of women’s professional roles and as mothers familiar with the language of animal husbandry and the rigours of farm life, including cultivation cycles, hereditary concepts, and genetic variation.

Women outnumbered men, by approximately 58 per cent to 42 per cent. The distribution of men and women in the program shifted over time: men were equally or overrepresented in the program between the First and Second World Wars, then women returned as the prime targets of sterilization after the Second World War, and remained so until the Act was repealed in 1972. In Chapter 1 I examine the case of Mrs Nora Powers, who was picked up by the provincial police in 1924 for vagrancy and suspected prostitution.

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