Essay Sample: Eugenics in Popular Culture Today

Published: 2019-10-16
Essay Sample: Eugenics in Popular Culture Today
Type of paper:  Essay
Categories:  Genetics Society Human
Pages: 4
Wordcount: 888 words
8 min read

Eugenics is a strong belief and ideology that touches on the human race and population. It involves the acknowledgment and faith in the possibility of making the human species and population better. By this, it argues that people can improve their living standards and features. For instance, people with inheritable characteristics or even genetic defects are said to fall under negative eugenics. This belief strategically asserts that these conditions can be eliminated. In a brief illustration, eugenics is the belief in the notion that rewriting human genes is possible and thus an improvement in human lives. Eugenics contents are present various instances like movies, and documentaries among others.

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Plenty stories about eugenics are from the 19th century. The knowledge of Natural Selection gives light in it and other early books like The Science of Human Improvement by better breeding, by C.B. Davenport. This text reveals the idea that humans would not give birth if they know that their children would be mentally inferior. Darwinism is another theory that elaborates on eugenics. Darwinism trys to collate eugenics with scientific racism. Darwinism entails the theory of evolution that has the support of unifying principle in biology. It explains how life began on earth; it as well has plenty of evidence that supports this. According to Darwinism human race shares a common ancestry. Charles Darwin, a British citizen, was the founder of the theory of Darwinism.

An Englishman called, Sir Francis Galton came with diverse views on eugenics. He firmly believed in the idea of eugenics. For example, he believed that marriage between different men and wealthy women could yield a better and gifted race. He as well held the idea that selective mating would be better human lives. The other factor on eugenics was that mental features like talent and genius could be inheritable. Finally, eugenics would be embraced through under breeding of the less fit members of the society and over breeding of the fittest members. According to Galton, eugenics was to help do away with the junior members. The BBC documentary Scientific Racism: The Eugenics of Social Realism confirms that it can be associated with scientific racism experienced back in the 19th century. Scientific racism is the belief on country of origin, skin color and economic status. Through this human species could be divided into two groups. The two groups are inferior and superior humans.

Eugenics is race bias since it is concerned with the two groups of people, the superior ones trying to control the inferior. There was the assumption that the black race was inferior to the white race. This belief spread to the United States of America (USA), and they believed that humans were of different species. The documentary tries to put it that Darwin was at some point responsible for racism and even slavery. People abandoned the idea of common ancestry. Darwin brought the argument and notion that there were inferior races. According to him, these races were less evolved, less human, and therefore less than the superior races. White, wealthy Americans believed to be part of superior races. Since social life was seen to be a battle in which, best individuals were to win against inferior once. This further encouraged slavery and other cultural defects. Social Darwinism had a different meaning on imperialism, free trade, sexual inequality, competition, and racial extermination. Today effects of eugenics are quite clear like in the currently trending USA politics. Donald Trump, a presidential candidate, intends to make certain laws on the immigrant issue if he wins the presidency. He argues that immigrants from other regions are dangerous. By this, he talks about other races that portray cultural difference.

Eugenics has attained a broad expression, from movies to cultural practice. Certain movies express eugenics as a dubious social value. The movie Idiocracy released in the year 2006, reveal positive message on social values. Its plot comprises of two people who volunteer as cryogenically frozen in a hibernation experiment. The test fails to yield the expected results. They are hence retained until the future. The future tends to contain an increasing number of idiots due to down breeding. The movie further shows a scenario whereby an intelligent couple fails to procreate until its late. While on the other side there is a guy who impregnates women and gives birth to many kids. According to the movie, eugenics is an outcome of Darwins theory of natural selection. Idiocracy shows the stigma associated with it. Eugenics is not shown as a dangerous belief as it should have been. It is dangerous because of its effects on the Jews as many Jews were exterminated. Idiocracy expressed eugenics as a beneficial social value as it emphasized on intelligence quotient (IQ) differences and their relationship with biological inheritance.

Eugenics is still present in the world today as modern culture. It is most common in peoples speech and the media. As popular cultures grow and acquire some extent of knowledge, they impart a different meaning to the eugenics. Through this, they shape and reinforce it. Media platforms that encourage eugenics include comic books, movies, books, television series, and the internet among others. Eugenics has grown to a higher level through all these mechanisms. Technological advancement is another factor that embraces it. However, different regions have come up with ways to prevent its effects.

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