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Physical degeneracy or race suicide?

Webb, Sidney (1906) Physical degeneracy or race suicide? Popular Science Monthly, 69. pp. 512-529. ISSN 0032-4647

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Such a revolution in the economic incidence of the burden of child-bearing would leave the way open to the play of the best instincts of mankind. To the vast majority of women, and especially to those of fine type, the rearing of children would be the most attractive occupation, if it offered economic advantages equal to those, say, of school teaching or service in the post office. At present it is ignored as an occupation, unremunerated, and in no way honoured by the state. Once the production of healthy, moral and intelligent citizens is revered as a social service and made the subject of deliberate praise and encouragement on the part of the government, it will, we may be sure, attract the best and most patriotic of the citizens. Once set free from the overwhelming economic penalties with which it is at present visited, the rearing of a family may gradually be rendered part of the code of the ordinary citizen's morality. The natural repulsion to interference in marital relations will have free play. The mystic obligations of which the religious-minded feel the force will no longer be confronted by the dead wall of economic necessity. To the present writer it seems that only by some such ' sharp turn' in our way of dealing with these problems can we avoid race deterioration, if not race suicide. – Concluding paragraph.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: The full text is available at the link to the Popular Science Monthly article republished from two articles in The Times, Oct 11, 1906; p.10, issue 38148 and Oct 16, 1906; p.7; issue 38152, available to subscribers to the Times Digital Archive 1785-2009 at the link.
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HC Economic History and Conditions
H Social Sciences > HQ The family. Marriage. Woman
Date Deposited: 15 Sep 2011 11:06
Last Modified: 06 Mar 2018 16:28

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