“The social hygiene movement represented a rationalized, professionalized version of the earlier social purity movement. Many reformers, such as Marie Stopes, were also proponents of eugenics. Inspired by Charles Darwin’s theory of natural selection, they argued for the sterilisation of certain groups, even racial groups, in society. Indeed, by the 1930s thousands of forced sterilizations of people deemed undesirable took place in America and other countries each year. This continued for several more decades in some countries, though after 1945, the movement was largely discredited.”
MARSHALL BALFOUR, POPULATION EXPERT
SPECIAL TO THE NEW YORK TIMES MARCH 23, 1976
Dr. Marshall C. Balfour, a retired staff member of the Rockefeller Foundation, who had been active in population control efforts, died Saturday in. Chapel Hill, N.C., where he lived. He was 79 years old.
What comes out most clearly from an examination of the BSH files is that there are many interconnections between the Social Hygiene, Mental Hygiene, Birth Control, Population Control and Eugenics Movements between 1920 and 1940, and that to understand these movements they must be seen in the context of the broad movement to rationalize and control social development – a plan to which the Rockefeller interest had been won by the first decade of the twentieth century. The BSH Papers will be enlightening to researchers in the history of any one of these fields.
St. Louis, Missouri