Resources for educators, researchers, and further reading.
Sonoma State Hospital Narrative and Visual History. Justin Joque, Kayla Kingston, Nicole Novak, Alexandra Minna Stern, Kate O'Connor, and Jacqueline Wernimont.
Eugenic Rubicon: California's Sterilization Stories. Jacqueline Wernimont and Alexandra Minna Stern.
"The Movement that Inspired the Holocaust," TEDx Animation
Trace the history of the eugenics movement in the US, and discover how the belief in ideal genetics led to forced sterilizations.
Since ancient Greece, humans have controlled populations via reproduction, retaining some traits and removing others. But in the 19th century, a new scientific movement dedicated to this endeavor emerged: eugenics. Scientists believed they could improve society by ensuring that only desirable traits were passed down. Alexandra Minna Stern and Natalie Lira detail the history of eugenics in the US.
Lesson by Alexandra Minna Stern and Natalie Lira, directed by Héloïse Dorsan-Rachet.
Curtis H. Krishef. “State Laws on Marriage and Sterilization of the Mentally Retarded.” Mental Retardation 10, no. 3 (1972).
Harry H. Laughlin. Eugenical Sterilization in the United States: A Report of the Psychopathic Laboratory of the Municipal Court of Chicago. Chicago: Psychopathic Laboratory of the Municipal Court of Chicago, 1922.
Brian Gratton and Myron P. Gutmann. “Hispanics in the United States, 1850–1990: Estimates and Interdisciplinary History.” Historical Methods 33, no. 3 (2000): 137–153.
Brian Gratton, F. Arturo Rosales, and Hans DeBano. “A Sample of the Mexican-American Population in 1940.” Historical Methods 21, no.2 (Spring 1988).
Harold Marcuse, “Holocaust Memorials: The Emergence of a Genre,” American Historical Review 115, No. 1 (February 2010): 53–89.
bell hooks. “On Self-Recovery,” in Talking Back: Thinking Feminist, Thinking Black. South End Press. 1989. 28–34.
George C. Alter, Myron P. Gutmann, Susan Hautaniemi Leonard, and Emily R. Merchant. “Longitudinal Analysis of Historical-Demographic Data.” Journal of Interdisciplinary History 52, no. 4 (Spring 2012): 503–517.
Michelle Caswell. “Defining Human Rights Archives: Introduction to the Special Double Issue on Archives and Human Rights.” Archival Science 14 (2014): 207–213.
Michelle Caswell. “Toward a Survivor-Centered Approach to Records Documenting Human Rights Abuse: Lessons from Community Archives.” Archival Science 14 (2014): 307–322.
J.T.H. Connor. “The ‘Human Subject,’ ‘Vulnerable Populations,’ and Medical History: The Problem of Presentism and Discourse of Bioethics.” Canadian Bulletin of Medical History (2017).
Hariz Halilovich. “Reclaiming Erased Lives: Archives, Records, and Memories in Post-War Bosnia and the Bosnian Diaspora.” Archival Science 14 (2014): 231–247.
Derek L. Hansen, Patrick Schone, Douglas Corey, Matthew Reid, and Jake Gehring. “Quality Control Mechanisms for Crowdsourcing: Peer Review, Arbitration, and Expertise at FamilySearch Indexing.” Computer Supported Cooperative Work (2013).
Derek Hansen, Jake Gehring, Patrick Schone, and Matthew Reid. “Improving Indexing Efficiency and Quality: Comparing A-B-Arbitrate and Peer Review.” (2013).
David Kaye. “Archiving Justice: Conceptualizing the Archives of the United Nations International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia.” Archival Science 14 (2014): 381–396.
Vani Natarajan and Hannah Mermelstein. “Knowledge, Access, and Resistance: A Conversation on Librarians and Archivists to Palestine.” in Melissa Morrone, ed., Informed Agitation: Library and Information Skills in Social Justice Movements and Beyond. Sacramento: Library Juice Press, 2014. 274–258.
Geoffrey Robinson. “Break the Rules, Save the Records: Human Rights Archives and the Search for Justice in East Timor.” Archival Science 14 (2014): 323–343.
Amanda Strauss. “Treading the Ground of Contested Memory: Archivists and the Human Rights Movement in Chile.” Archival Science 15 (2015): 369–397.
Katherine M. Wisser and Joel A. Blanco-Rivera. “Surveillance, Documentation, and Privacy: An International Comparative Analysis of State Intelligence Records.” Archival Science 16 (2016): 125–147.
History of Eugenics (General)
Morton Birnbaum. “Eugenic Sterilization: A Discussion of Certain Legal, Medical, and Moral Aspects of Present Practices in our Public Mental Institutions.” Journal of American Medical Association 175, no. 2 (1961): 951–958.
Jana Grekul, Harvey Krahn, and Dave Odynak. “Sterilizing the ‘Feeble-minded’: Eugenics in Alberta, Canada, 1929–1972.” Journal of Historical Sociology 17, no. 4 (December 2004).
Rosalind Pollack Petchesky. “Reproduction, Ethics, and Public Policy: The Federal Sterilization Regulations.” The Hastings Center Report 9, no. 5 (October 1979): 29–41.
Philip R. Reilly. “Eugenics and Involuntary Sterilization: 1907–2015.” Annual Review of Genomics and Human Genetics 16 (2015): 351–361.
Chaneesa Ryan, Abrar Ali, and Christine Shawana. “Forced or Coerced Sterilization in Canada: An Overview of Recommendations for Moving Forward.” International Journal of Indigenous Health 16, no. 1 (2021).
“Nordic Eugenics: Here, Of All Places.” The Economist. 28 August 1997.
Pedro Weisleder. “The Eugenics Record Office’s ‘Bulletin No. 4: A First Study of Inheritance in Epilepsy’ Through the Lens of Contemporaneous Book Reviews.” Seminars in Pediatric Neurology 38 (July 2021).
Access to Reproductive Care, Contraception, and Reproductive Autonomy
Kathryn M. Curtis, Anshu P. Mohllajee, and Herbert B. Peterson. “Regret Following Female Sterilization at a Young Age: A Systematic Review.” Contraception 73 (2006): 205–210.
Erika Dyck. “Sterilization and Birth Control in the Shadow of Eugenics: Married, Middle-Class Women in Alberta, 1930–1960s.” Canadian Bulletin of Medical History 31, no. 1 (2014): 165–187.
Mieke C.W. Eeckhaut, Megan M. Sweeney, and Jessica D. Gipson. “Who is Using Long-Acting Reversible Contraceptive Methods? Findings from Nine Low-Fertility Countries.” Perspectives on Sexual and Reproductive Health 46, no. 3 (2014): 149–155.
Denise Jamieson, Steven C. Kaufman, Caroline Costello, Susan D. Hillis, Polly A. Marchbanks, and Herbert B. Peterson. “A Comparison of Women’s Regret after Vasectomy Versus Tubal Sterilization.” The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists 99, no. 6 (June 2022).
Jenny A. Higgins. “Celebration Meets Caution: Long Acting Reversible Contraception (LARC)’s Boons, Potential Busts, and the Benefits of a Reproductive Justice Approach.” Contraception 89, no. 4 (April 2014): 237–241.
Susan D. Hillis, Polly A. Marchbanks, Lisa Ratliff Tylor, and Herbert B. Peterson. “Poststerilization Regret: Findings from the United States Collaborative Review of Sterilization.” Obstetrics and Gynecology 93, no. 6 (June 1999).
Michelle H. Moniz, Tammy Chang, Michele Heisler, Lindsay Admon, Acham Gebremariam, Vanessa K. Dalton, and Matthew M. Davis. “Inpatient Postpartum Long-Acting Reversible Contraception and Sterilization in the United States, 2008–2013.” Obstetrics and Gynecology 129, no. 6 (June 2017).
Joseph E. Potter, Kari White, Kristine Hopkins, Sarah McKinnon, Michele G. Shedlin, Jon Amastae, and Daniel Grossman. “Frustrated Demand for Sterilization among Low-Income Latinas in El Paso, Texas.” Perspectives on Sexual and Reproductive Health 44, no. 4 (2012).
Alanna E.F. Rudzik, Susan H. Leonard, and Lynnette L. Sievert. “Determinants of Tubal Ligation in Puebla, Mexico.” Women and Health 51, no. 4 (2011): 365–382.
Carceral States and Sterilization
Laura I. Appleman. “Deviancy, Dependency, and Disability: The Forgotten History of Eugenics and Mass Incarceration.” Duke Law Journal 68, no. 3 (December 2018).
John P. Radford. “Sterilization Versus Segregation: Control of the ‘Feebleminded’, 1900–1938.” Social Science Medicine 33, no. 4 (1991): 449–458.
Darrell Steffensmeier and Stephen Demuth. “Does Gender Modify the Effects of Race-Ethnicity on Criminal Sanctioning? Sentences for Male and Female White, Black, and Hispanic Defendants.” Journal of Quantitative Criminology 22 (2006): 241–261.
Carolyn B. Sufrin, Jacqueline P. Tulsky, Joseph Goldenson, Kelly S. Winter, and Deborah L. Cohan. “Emergency Contraception for Newly Arrested Women: Evidence for an Unrecognized Public Health Opportunity.” Journal of Urban Health: Bulletin of the New York Academy of Medicine 87, no. 2 (2009).
Della J. Winters and Adria Ryan McLaughlin. “Soft Sterilization: Long-Acting Reversible Contraceptives in the Carceral State.” Journal of Women and Social Work 35, no. 2 (2020): 218–230.
Disability and Reproductive Autonomy
Jeffrey P. Baker and Birgit Lang. “Eugenics and the Origins of Autism.” Pediatrics 104, no. 2 (August 2017).
Jamelia N. Morgan. “Policing Under Disability Law.” Stanford Law Review 73, no. 6 (June 2021).
Julia A. Rivera Drew. “Hysterectomy and Disability among U.S. Women.” Perspectives on Sexual and Reproductive Health 45, no. 2 (2013): 147–163.
Genetics, Race, and Eugenics
Sonya Borrero, Eleanor B. Schwarz, Matthew F. Reeves, James E. Bost, Mitchell D. Creinin, and Said A. Ibrahim. “Does Vasectomy Explain the Difference in Tubal Sterilization Rates between Black and White Women?” American Society for Reproductive Medicine 91, no. 5 (May 2009).
Ellen Wright Clayton and Kyle B. Brothers. “State-Offered Ethnically Targeted Reproductive Genetic Testing.” Genetics in Medicine 18, no. 2 (February 2016).
Him Mark Lai, Genny Lim, and Judy Yung, eds. Island: Poetry and History of Chinese Immigrants on Angel Island, 1910–1940. 2nd ed. University of Washington Press, 2014.
Natalia Molina. “Fear and Loathing in the U.S.-Mexico Borderlands: The History of Mexicans as Medical Menaces, 1848 to the Present.” Aztlán: A Journal of Chicano Studies 41, no. 2 (Fall 2016).
Racial and Ethnic Disparities of Eugenics and Reproductive Care
Sonya Borrero, Charity G. Moore, Li Qin, Eleanor B. Schwarz, Aletha Akers, Mitchell D. Creinin, and Said A. Ibrahim. “Unintended Pregnancy Influences Racial Disparity in Tubal Sterilization Rates.” Journal of General Internal Medicine 25, no. 2 (December 2009): 122–128.
Sonya B. Borrero, Matthew F. Reeves, Eleanor B. Schwarz, James E. Bost, Mitchell D. Creinin, and Said A. Ibrahim. “Race, Insurance Status, and Desire for Tubal Sterilization Reversal.” American Society for Reproductive Medicine 90, no. 2 (August 2008).
Sonya Borrero, Eleanor B. Schwarz, Matthew F. Reeves, James E. Bost, Mitchell D. Creinin, and Said A. Ibrahim. “Race, Insurance Status, and Tubal Sterilization.” Obstetrics and Gynecology 109, no. 1 (January 2007).
Christina J.J. Cackler, Valerie B. Shapiro, and Maureen Lahiff. “Female Sterilization and Poor Mental Health: Rates and Relatedness among American Indian and Alaska Native Women.” Women’s Health 26, no. 2 (2016): 168–175.
Barbara Gurr. “Mothering in the Borderlands: Policing Native American Women’s Reproductive Healthcare.” International Journal of Sociology of the Family 37, no. 1 (Spring 2011).
Josephine Jacobs and Maria Stanfors. “Racial and Ethnic Differences in U.S. Women’s Choice of Reversible Contraceptives, 1955–2010.” Perspectives on Sexual and Reproductive Health 45, no. 3 (2013): 139–147.
Natalie Lira. ““Of Low Grade Mexican Parentage’: Race, Gender and Eugenic Sterilization in California, 1928–1952. Ph.D. diss. University of Michigan. 2015.
Dorothy E. Roberts. Killing the Black Body: Race, Reproduction, and the Meaning of Liberty. New York: Vintage Books, 1999.
Corinne H. Rocca and Cynthia C. Harper. “Do Racial and Ethnic Differences in Contraceptive Attitudes and Knowledge Explain Disparities in Method Use?” Perspectives on Sexual and Reproductive Health 44, no. 3 (2012): 150–158.
Gregory W. Rutecki. “Forced Sterilization of Native Americans: Later Twentieth Century Physician Cooperation with National Eugenic Policies?” Ethics and Medicine 27, no. 1 (Spring 2011).
Grace Shih, Eric Vittinghoff, Jody Steinauer, and Christine Dehlendorf. “Racial and Ethnic Disparities in Contraceptive Method Choice in California.” Perspectives on Sexual and Reproductive Health 43, no. 3 (2011): 173–180.
Karina M. Shreffler, Julia McQuillan, Arthur L. Greil, and David R. Johnson. “Surgical Sterilization, Regret, and Race: Contemporary Patterns.” Social Science Research Journal 50 (March 2015): 31–45.
Thomas W. Volscho. “Racism and Disparities in Women’s Use of the Depo-Provera Injection in the Contemporary USA.” Critical Sociology 37, no. 5 (2011): 673–688.
Amy Vogel. “Regulating Degeneracy: Eugenic Sterilization in Iowa, 1911–1977.” The Annals of Iowa 54 (Winter 1995).
Alex Wellerstein. “States of Eugenics: Institutions and Practices of Compulsory Sterilization in California." in Sheila Jasanoff, ed., Reframing Rights: Bioconstitutionalism in the Genetic Age. Cambridge: MIT Press, 2011, 29–58.
Martha J. Bailey and Andrew Goodman-Bacon. “The War on Poverty’s Experiment in Public Medicine: Community Health Centers and the Morality of Older Americans.” American Economic Review 105, no. 3 (2015): 1067–1104.