The Eugenics movement was a wide spread movement across the United States during the early twentieth century well into the 1970s. This movement was a way for public officials to allow force sterilization and essentially a way in which individuals could get rid of certain individuals who they did not seem fit for society. Many of these people who were affected were low income, mentally disabled or people who were racially oppressed during this time. The state of Virginia incorporated the Eugenics movement into a majority of their early twentieth century legislation and laws. These laws would essentially discriminate, oppress, and find anyway possible to make sure people followed what was considered a Virginia standard of being pure during this time. During the Eugenics movement Virginia’s laws were the first of their kind to be considered constitutional as well as serve as a model for sterilization in several states during the movement.1 Some of these laws and ideas of the Eugenics movement would eventually be adopted by Nazis during World War II. For this project I will be discussing what the Eugenics Movement was within the realm of Mental Health. I will also be discussing the Role that Eugenics played in Virginia Society as well as some of the people who were crucial to the movement and some of the court cases brought up because of Eugenics and forced sterilization.

  1. Trice, Calvin. “DeJarnette’s Ugly, Complicated Legacy.” The News Leader, April 12, 2014. []