Society for Biodemography and Social Biology

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The Society for Biodemography and Social Biology
Formation 1922
Hans-Peter Kohler
Formerly called
The Society for the Study of Social Biology;[1] The American Eugenics Society[2]

The Society for Biodemography and Social Biology, formerly known as the Society for the Study of Social Biology and the American Eugenics Society,[1] is dedicated to "furthering the discussion, advancement, and dissemination of knowledge about biological and sociocultural forces which affect the structure and composition of human populations."[3]


The Society formed after the success of the Second International Conference on Eugenics (New York, 1921). The founders included Madison Grant, Harry H. Laughlin, Irving Fisher, Henry Fairfield Osborn, and Henry Crampton. The organization started by promoting racial betterment, eugenic health, and genetic education through public lectures, exhibits at county fairs etc. Under the direction of Frederick Osborn the society started to place greater focus on issues of population control, genetics, and, later, medical genetics. In 1930, the Society included mostly prominent and wealthy individuals, and membership included many non-scientist. The demographics of the Society gradually changed, and by 1960, members of the Society were almost exclusively scientist and medical professionals. Consequentially, the society focused more on genetics and less on class-based eugenics.[2] After Roe v. Wade was released (1972), the Society was reorganized and renamed The Society for the Study of Social Biology.[2] Osborn said, “The name was changed because it became evident that changes of a eugenic nature would be made for reasons other than eugenics, and that tying a eugenic label on them would more often hinder than help their adoption. Birth control and abortion are turning out to be great eugenic advances of our time." [4][5] The name was most recently changed to Society for Biodemography and Social Biology.[1]

List of presidents[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c Eugenics, Encyclopedia of Critical Psychology, (2014, pp 619-626)
  2. ^ a b c American Eugenics Society, Controlling Heredity,
  3. ^ The Society for Biodemography and Social Biology, Homepage (Last retrieved Nov 26, 2014)
  4. ^ Messall, Rebecca (Fall 2004). "The Long Road of Eugenics: From Rockefeller to Roe v. Wade". The Human Life Review 30 (4): 33–74, 67. PMID 15856597. 
  5. ^ American Eugenics Society, Inc. (1931). Organized eugenics: January 1931. pp. 3, 65. 

External links[edit]