Wednesday, August 01, 2007

(Human Rights Issues) Anthropology, Criminology and Eugenics

If you are interested in eugenics conpare these entries in wikipedia, how the german artile excludes the physiognomics theorie by Kretscher whereas it's been added to the article in English.

Now you can compare these entries with the context in which Kretschmer appears in the history of anthropological criminology on these pages:


Dr. O'Connor's Criminology Mega-Site
The author of the website is Dr. O'Connor from Justice Studies Department North Carolina Wesleyan College.
Information: on criminological terminology, history and theories of crime, links to other related websites etc.
Subjects: Criminology, Education & Research, Publications & Electronic Journals.
Location: USA, America (North).

'Constitutionalism, or body-type theories, became popular in the 1920s mostly on account of the work of German psychiatrist Ernest Kretschmer (1888-1964), and in the 1930s mostly on account of the work of Ernest Hooton (1887-1954), a popular Harvard lecturer on physical anthropology and comparative anatomy. Kretschmer is discussed in the Lecture on History of Profiling because his ideas were an attempt to relate body types to mental illnesses. Hooton is more familiar to Americans and studied thousands of criminals and noncriminals from eight different states, concluding that criminals are inferior to civilians in all physical respects. There were racist and sexist overtones to his work because he would say things like the Negroid forehead was a perfect example of a criminal forehead and that women could be classified by the spread of their butt cheeks. He got away with this stuff because he always said it in a humorous or witty fashion.

In the 1940s, the work of William Sheldon (1899-1977) followed on the heels of Hooton and shifted attention away from adults to the physiques of juvenile delinquents. Sheldon produced an "Index of Delinquency" based on three-way photographs which was used in many states to determine if a child in trouble should be institutionalized or not, and later as a way to classify prison inmates upon reception. Sheldon's approach is sometimes called somatotype theory. Sheldon's methods and results were given considerable support by Sheldon and Eleanor Glueck in the 1950s who found that narrow faces, wider chests, larger waists, and bigger forearms were associated with 60% of delinquents and only 30% of nondelinquents. The Gluecks would go on to study practically every known theory or idea in criminology so much that their approach became known as "eclectic" or multiple factor theory -- the notion that "everything causes crime."...'

and finally you can compare this entry in the Enc. Britannica: