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Eugenic NationFaults and Frontiers of Better Breeding in Modern America$
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Alexandra Minna Stern

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780520285064

Published to California Scholarship Online: September 2016

DOI: 10.1525/california/9780520285064.001.0001

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Centering Eugenics on the Family

Centering Eugenics on the Family

Chapter:
(p.173) Chapter 6 Centering Eugenics on the Family
Source:
Eugenic Nation
Author(s):

Alexandra Minna Stern

Publisher:
University of California Press
DOI:10.1525/california/9780520285064.003.0007

This chapter details the founding and mission of the American Institute of Family Relations (AIFR). Established in 1930 by sterilization proponent Paul Popenoe, the AIFR had become the country's premier marriage counseling center by World War II, sponsoring a family-centric eugenics that resonated powerfully with the sex-gender dictates of midcentury America. The AIFR offers a compelling window onto the remaking of eugenics during the Cold War and illustrates how planned parenthood, mate selection, and marital advice were implemented and affected the attitudes, behavior, and uncertainties of Americans. Moreover, the trajectory of Popenoe and the AIFR reveals how the eugenic racism of the 1920s became the hereditarian sexism of the 1950s.

Keywords:   American Institute of Family Relations, Paul Popenoe, marriage counseling, family-centric eugenics, planned parenthood, mate selection, marital advice, eugenic racism, hereditarian sexism

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