Did Others at the Time Oppose Marriage of the Deaf?
Yes. Even the simplest mechanics of genetics were misunderstood at the turn of the 19th Century. Most scientists believed that traits such as deafness were hereditary and that the chances of children being born deaf were increased if their parents were both deaf. The incidence of deafness was also more common then, before antibiotics were available. […]
Was Bell in Favor of Laws or Programs to Breed an Improved Race of People?
No. In a 1908 article for National Geographic Magazine titled A Few Thoughts Concerning Eugenics, Bell notes that scientists “have learned to apply the laws of heredity so as to modify and improve our breeds of domestic animals. Can the knowledge and experience so gained be made available to man, so as to enable him to improve […]
Did Bell Endorse Using Genetics to Restrict Marriage?
No. Bell gave a talk in 1891 on the subject of marriage at what is now Gallaudet University. He said, “I know that the idea has gone forth, and is very generally believed in by the deaf of this country, that I want to prevent you from marrying as you choose, and that I have tried […]