A Deaf Variety of the Human Race
Alexander Graham Bell studied eugenics, the science of improving a species. When he published "Upon the Formation of a Deaf Variety of the Human Race" in 1884, Bell issued a warning that deaf people were forming clubs, socializing with one another and, worst of all, marrying other deaf people. He concluded that the creation of a "deaf race" was underway.
Other researchers soon countered bell's empirical evidence: although deafness can be inherited, only a small percentage of deaf people have deaf children. But the image of an insular, inbred, and proliferating deaf culture became a potent weapon for the oralist cause. Bell's claims were widely repeated for years to come.
"Those who believe as I do, that the production of a defective race of human beings would be a great calamity to the world, will examine carefully the causes that lead to the intermarriage of the deaf with the object of applying a remedy ."
- Alexander Graham Bell