162 The Eugenics Review
that the greater the difference between the races crossed, the less likely is the result to be beneficial: that the Caucasian is nearer to the Mongolian than either is to the Negro, and that the Dark Caucasian is nearer to the Mongolian than is the Fair Caucasian, and so the Dark Caucasian cross is the less harmful of the two.
These generalizations, to which there may be exceptions, are supported by the American, Professor N. S. Shaler:
[extract] "It is not only a general belief that hybrids of blacks and whites are less prolific and more liable to disease than the pure bloods of either stock, but also that they seldom live long. Statistics lacking on this point, I have questioned a large number of physicians well placed for judgment in this matter. All of them agreed that the offspring of a union between pure black and with parents is, on the average, much shorter lived and much less fertile than the race of either parent. My father, a physician of experience and a critical observer, who had spent more than half a century in Cuba and the slave-holding South, stated that, in his opinion, he had never seen mulattoes, that is a cross between white and pure black, who had attained the age of sixty years, and that they were often sterile. The judgment of medical men seems to be that when the blood of either race preponderates, and in proportion as it verges to one or the other, the longevity and fertility increase or decrease."[end extract]
The Factor of Environment
This opinion, then, supports the view that hybrids are usually worse than mongrels. I would, however, remind you that there is more in this matter of heredity. There is environment as well. While it is no doubt hereditary effects which interest us in the first place, we must cultivate a broad outlook and give full consideration to those other effects which are scarcely less important because they are environmental. That at any rate is the eugenic standpoint. Race-mixture may alter many factors in the environment, such as family-life, language, education, religion, and the whole standard of living and of civilization. We must, then answer the question: Is the environment of the hybrid likely to be as good as that of the child of the pure race? The answer is, No! Often it will be worse even than that of the race of the inferior parent. Too often the hybrid is illegitimate, hating his white father and despising his black mother. But even if his parents are married and there is no racial prejudice against mixed marriages where they live, it is exceedingly unlikely that the environment will be good, for at least one of the parents is almost certain to be reckless, improvident, disinclined to settle down, and with poor ideals of parenthood.
In considering how these factors will affect the offspring, it should be recalled that the character of the child is formed at a very early age, and that it is impossible to over-estimate the importance of the parents as a factor in his environment. No one, certainly no one who has been married, could doubt that the married life of parents of such widely different races as European and Negro would be grossly inharmonious, with consequent disadvantages to the children of the marriage.
The United States presents these problems on the largest scale and has devoted much research to them. Indeed, in many States the American view is crystallized into laws absolutely forbidding marriage between white and coloured persons. Furthermore, as the statistics of divorce show, family life in the United States is less stable than it was. I attribute this instability, in very large measure, to the mixed blood of the bulk of her citizens. It is said that people of foreign birth and their children make up one-third of her population, while another third has one foreign parent. Under such conditions, it must be increasingly difficult to find two partners for life with similar ideals, tastes and outlook, and there would be a growing tendency for marriages to result purely from mutual sex-attraction. This is indeed a valuable ingredient in married life, but marriages of which it is the main