The world not being ready for women who are sexually active didn't start with the Eugenics movement. In Britain during the Victorian age, female penitentiaries where not set up to just treat female who commit a crime, they also housed 'fallen women. Women who did not fit the Christian" Ideal of how a women should behave. Most of these penitentiaries were run by Anglican nuns. The first of these penitentiaries was established in London in 1806. This "industry" grew rapidly(1 ). The onset of Eugenics movement gave so called scientific reasoning behind this concept
One if the most infamous court cases in Eugenics is case of Carrie Buck. Carrie Buck was taken away from her biological mother (Emma Buck) at the age of three(2).
She progress normally through school, and was recommended for promotion by her last teacher. Carries adoptive family (the Dobbs) treat her differently from their other children, the assigned her extra chores and was required her to do housework for other families(3 ).
On a family out of town trip she was raped by one of the Dobbs nephews. When Carrie told her adoptive parents they blamed her(4 ).
When it was discovered that Carrie was pregnant, they asked a local court to commit her to an institution in 1923. In 1924 after the birth of her child she was committed. Her appeal went to the Supreme Court. In 1927 the US Supreme Court, arguments in the appeal involving Carrie being declared a "moral imbecile". Harry Laughlin never examined the Buck family for the original court case, he summarized the state's position, on carries biological background "These people belong to the shiftless, ignorant, and worthless class of anti-social whites of the South."(5 ).
On unconvincing evidence and conflicting testimony, The US Supreme Court up held the commitment. Carries Baby was taken by the Dobbs family (7 ).
In 1904 Walter E. Fernald, a eugenicist said at a National conference of; Charities and Corrections " It is well known that feeble-minded women and girls are very liable to become sources of unspeakable debauchery and licentiousness which pollutes the whole life of the young boys and youth of the community. They frequently disseminate in a wholesale way the most loathsome and deadly diseases, permanently poisoning the minds and bodies of thoughtless youths at the very threshold of manhood." (8 ).
In 1910 feeblemindedness, in particular, the "moron" category became just about synonymous with illicit sexual behavior of women. Eugenic ideology, believed that the sexual and reproductive behavior of women could cause the deterioration of the race(9 ).
Superintendent of the Massachusetts School for the Feebleminded Dr. Walter Fernald, said in 1918, "the high-grade [moron] female group is the most dangerous class. They are not capable of becoming desirable or safe members of the community…. They are certain to become sexual offenders and to spread venereal disease or to give birth to degenerate children…. The segregation of this class should be rapidly extended until all not adequately guarded at home are placed under strict sexual quarantine."(10 ).
When America entered World War I the high-grade female Moron was seen as a threat to national security, due to the possible spread of venereal Disease around military installations(11 ).