"Feminist Aims All Nonsense, Says Eugenicist," New York Herald Tribune (8/23/1932), review of Third Eugenics Congress including immigration policy
Pages:1 of 1
Cold Spring Harbor, ERO, 3rd Int. Congress, Minutes
View this image in our new website.
&quote;Feminist Aims All Nonsense, Says Eugenicist,&quote; New York Herald Tribune (8/23/1932), review of Third Eugenics Congress including immigration policy

N.Y. Herald Tribune August 23, 1932 Feminist Aims All Nonsense, Says Eugenist [centered score] Dr. Sanders Holds Sex Equality Nonexistent Physically and Socially [centered score] Favors Large Families [centered score] Deplores Motif of Slenderness in Fashion World [centered score] The size of families was one of the dominating topics in the papers read yesterday at the Third International Congress of Eugenics held in the American Museum of Natural History, and Dr. J. Sanders, of Rotterdam, proved himself to be the leading advocate of the large family. He deplored feminism, saying that the so-called equality of the sexes was nonsense physiologically, biologically, socially and politically. He urged women hasten back to the fireside, give up their outside aspirations and produce healthy babies in quantity. Dr. Sanders, a genial Hollander with the clear, penetrating blue eyes of his race, and curly fair hair, gave the successful business and professional women short shrift in his spirited address, delivered in perfect English. "Nowadays women prefer fashion to children," said Dr. Sanders scathingly, but with a twinkle in his eye, "for large families are inimical to the slim figure. Fashion designers should cooperate by introducing models which do not emphasize slenderness. "Woman is indeed man's equivalent, but they each have their own particular task to perform in the world. The woman's main duty always has been and always will be the family. The university woman must know, understand, feel that marriage and children represent, after all is said and done, the highest ideal. This can be so only if women accept the task which nature has imposed upon them -- the care of their offspring." Men must also be persuaded that larger families are desirable, Dr. Sanders went on, at least where the chances of bringing gifted children into the world are above average probability. In every country propaganda should be disseminated to this end, he added, and politicians should be made to realize that eugenics represents a powerful instrument for the nation's future in the struggle for existence. Dr. Sanders would also discourage the tendency of the gifted to remain unmarried. He urged state grants to gifted parents to enable them to support children. A slight increase in births has been noted among the better off residents of Bremen, Amsterdam and Paris, according [to the] visiting professor. "It is my opinion that had we been spared the world crisis, this phenomenon would have been observed in many more cities," he said. "Who has ears to hear what is going on in the upper classes will discover that the former objections to larger families have disappeared or at least been weakened. People are even heard to say that it is again fashionable to have three or four children. I foresee, therefore, the possibility of an increased birth rate among the upper strata of society." Dr. Sanders said it was extremely desirable for the Church not only to observe neutrality on eugenics propaganda, but to collaborate with all the means at its disposal to give effect to practical eugenics. Brides in the Almanach de Gotha have more children than those who are not listed therein, according to Professor Franco Savorgnan, whose paper was submitted by mail. The Almanach brides, he pointed out, show a childless percentage of 16.7, as compared with 28.8 among others. There is a slight prevalence of male births in royal families, and the percentage of bachelors at fifty is about twice that of the country at large. The English ducal houses tend towards extinction, according to Professor Savorgnan. A study of 765 co-educational graduates shows them to have more children that the other colleges produce, according to Miss Caroline H, Robinson, of Tankhannock, Pa. The offspring of men at such institutions was found to be only about 18 per cent below full replacement numbers, whereas at Harvard they are 32 per cent deficient. Among the women the deficiency is set at 41 per cent, a little lower than Bryn Mawr but much better than at the other women's colleges. A quarter of the Harvard men remain single, whereas the youths at the co-educational institutions studied married in exactly the same proportion as the average male population of the country. In every decade since 1873, one-third of the co-educational women have remained single. In the present study an exhaustive examination of the intellectual ranking of the graduates by five separate methods showed that those rating over 90 usually were less inclined to marry than the others, but such of them as did marry had large families. The five women who had six children or more were all well off and had fine minds. The speaker listed late marriages, impaired health and inferior personality among the causes of birth deficiency. Wealth was a favorable aid to fertility among college graduates, she said. Miss Cora B. S. Hodson said human fecundity had always been high in England among the wealthiest and most competent. Until recently, fertility of the less well endowed was greatly reduced by early morbidity and infant mortality, but the rise in the standard of living, improved sanitation and hygiene had now reduced these selective factors to a minimum for all classes, she said. The insidious human genes sown by immigration and their effect on the family life of different countries were described by Dr. D. F. Ramos, of Havana, who advocated free immigration for individuals "biologically classified as healthy, physically and mentally, somatically as well as germinally." Dr. Ramos suggested the following measures for enabling nations to control immigration to the best eugenic ends: (1) By studying and listing the biological characters of the native population and of the migratory one. (2) By studying the racial groups constituting the native population and the relative proportion of each group. (3) Determination of the total immigration permissible, and the assignment of convenient quotas for each group. (4) Biological selection of the immigrant in the country of origin. (5) Sanitary selection of immigrants on arrival. (6) Deportation of immigrants or their descendants of the first generation when it is proved that they have inadmissible characteristics. (7) International agreements through eugenic organizations to facilitate the free migration of the desirable. Dr. C. Ward Crampton, director of the diagnostic health clinic of the Post-Graduate Hospital and president of Aristogenic Association, told of the study being made of ten outstanding men, the elements of greatness to include quality, extent, power and continuance of the effect of their lives and work. The group is known as the Aristol, but their names are being kept secret, since they are all alive. The congress will continue today. The exhibits will be on view until September 22. [end]

Copyright 1999-2004: Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory; American Philosophical Society; Truman State University; Rockefeller Archive Center/Rockefeller University; University of Albany, State University of New York; National Park Service, Statue of Liberty National Monument; University College, London; International Center of Photography; Archiv zur Geschichte der Max-Planck-Gesellschaft, Berlin-Dahlem; and Special Collections, University of Tennessee, Knoxville.
The images and text in this Archive are solely for educational and scholarly uses. The materials may be used in digital or print form in reports, research, and other projects that are not offered for sale. Materials in this archive may not be used in digital or print form by organizations or commercial concerns, except with express permission.