According to Wikipedia:

Eugenics is a set of beliefs and practices that aims at improving the genetic quality of a human population.

And from this site (also Wikipedia):

In 1907, Indiana passed the first eugenics-based compulsory sterilization law in the world. Thirty U.S. states would soon follow their lead.(...) Some states sterilized "imbeciles" for much of the 20th century. Although compulsory sterilization is now considered an abuse of human rights, Buck v. Bell was never overturned, and Virginia did not repeal its sterilization law until 1974

Are there countries legally practizing this kind of things in the present as part of some ideologies/politics?

  • There is/was the opinion (stated in 2016 by the minister of the interior) in the German government that the population would "degenerate in incest" if there was no immigration, but you're probably looking for policies of trying to "get 'bad' genes out of the pool", not "introduce new genes to improve the population", right?
    – janh
    Nov 25, 2018 at 16:49
  • @janh yes, exactly. I'm just curious about that
    – user23698
    Nov 25, 2018 at 18:00
  • Kahnnnnnnnnnnn! Nov 26, 2018 at 14:53
  • @janh Whatever politician said that, has no understanding of genetics whatsoever and/or is using scare tactics to push political agenda. Simulations show that population larger than ~50k, without restrictions on marriage (maybe except of cousins, not sure, been a while since I looked up relevant papers) will not "degenerate in incest". Any principal ethnicity of a modern nation state is self-sufficient in terms of genetic diversity.
    – M i ech
    Nov 27, 2018 at 9:12

1 Answer 1


Firstly, I think the term Eugenics has become slightly tarnished by history which might be why your searches have not been very fruitful when looking this up.

Secondly, there are definitely existing policies aimed to improve genetic quality of humans in many countries around the world. Things as simple as the 1976 Abortion Law amendment allow prenatal diagnosis to lead to abortions for genetic risk reasons (more info in this Pubmed paper), ultimately leading in gentle genetic improvement. Similarly, the legality of companies like 23andme allows humans to check if their mate is a carrier certain genetic conditions. This could lead certain people to change their reproductive partner or habits as a consequence.

Wikipedia has a great subsection of an article on this which you can find here. In addition, for modern implementations, check out this section.

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