Is old age, or physical infirmities feeblemindedness
, weakness of memory, or other eccentricities enough to show that incapacity?
Working backwards historically, we come across "intellectual disability" to the now unacceptable "mental handicap" to "mental retardation" to "feeblemindedness
" and then even further back to terms like "spastic", "imbecile" and "cretin", all of which were perfectly acceptable, socially sanctioned phrases of their time.
Official records suggested she was sterilised because of "hereditary feeblemindedness
" -- a diagnosis that was disputed by her family.
a mechanism to address hereditary feeblemindedness
as the root of social
Wiggam, two popular authors, proselytized the policy of controlled breeding, warning of a "rising tide of feeblemindedness
" (187) and promoting a "new decalogue of science," (188) a modern ten commandments based upon eugenic principles.
Within 20 years, Binet was horrified to discover that people were being sterilized for scoring too low, out of a misguided fear that people of subnormal intelligence were sowing feeblemindedness
genes like so much seed corn.
As Cohen shows, everything had to go wrong in the legal system to produce this horror, and everything did, starting with a crooked local process that declared Buck intellectually inferior based on her out-of-wedlock pregnancy--an indicator, state doctors averred, of promiscuity, which connoted feeblemindedness
. In fact, she had been raped by her foster parents' nephew; the couple then sought to cure this embarrassment by having Buck sent away to the state colony for her "kind." There is a particular poignancy that the anniversary of the Buck v.
Of particular interest in historical texts was the framing of the immigrant body as a site of intellectual and mental infirmity, the identification of the problem of lunacy, idiocy, and feeblemindedness
as distinctly racial problems.
(62) At the turn of the twentieth century, most of the American scientific and medical community hypothesized that infirmities, such as "feeblemindedness
, epilepsy, drunkenness, criminality and insanity," were hereditary and passable to offspring.
The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fifth Edition (DSM-V)  defines ID as "a disorder with onset during the developmental period that includes both intellectual and adaptive functioning deficits in conceptual, social, and practical domains." The term ID is introduced in DSM-V in accordance to Rosa's law,  which replaces all other synonymous terms such as "mental retardation (MR)," "mental subnormality," and "feeblemindedness
," which were previously used to describe it.
There, drawing from the agricultural model of breeding the strongest and most desirable members of a species while preventing the less desirable from reproducing, Laughlin and his colleagues compiled records, or "pedigrees," for thousands of families, detailing what they believed to be inheritable family characteristics --criminality, alcoholism, illegitimacy, indolence, and feeblemindedness
. Laughlin later used these pedigree charts when he testified before Congress that there was "excessive" insanity among immigrants from southern and eastern Europe.
They first passed the Law for the Prevention of Genetically Diseased Progeny (1933), which forcibly sterilized those suffering from "feeblemindedness
, schizophrenia, manic-depression, severe physical deformity, hereditary epilepsy, Huntington's chorea, hereditary blindness and deafness, and severe alcoholism." (36) Two years later, Hitler began regulating citizenship and marriages with the passage of the Nuremberg Laws which stripped Jews of German citizenship and prohibited marriages or sexual relations between Aryans and non-Aryans.