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Title: Eugenics, demography and family planning in Greece, 1950-1980 : the activities of the Hellenic Eugenics Society
Author: Barmpouti, Alexandra
ISNI:       0000 0004 5991 3939
Awarding Body: Oxford Brookes University
Current Institution: Oxford Brookes University
Date of Award: 2016
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During the twentieth century systematic population studies brought international demographic problems, such as overpopulation, to light. Contrary to the global overpopulation problem and its consequences, Greece experienced low birth rates, high rates of induced abortion and mass emigration to Western countries. After the end of the Civil War (1949), the central preoccupation of the Greek population experts, physicians and academics was mostly demographic stability at a time when, with the onset of the Cold War, having a large and robust army became a priority. At the same time the lack of health and hygiene education and a poor infrastructure exacerbated the deterioration of the health condition of the population. As a consequence, the Greek state adopted pro-natalist policies to encourage demographic growth, whilst simultaneously prohibiting any contradictory efforts such as birth control. Thus, it is not surprising that until the 1980s family planning advice and female contraception were illegal. Because they were unable to use modern contraceptive methods, Greek women underwent induced abortion as the only alternative to an unwanted pregnancy. Greek eugenicists, who advocated in favour of family planning and, quality over quantity, in terms of birth, challenged the state’s policy. Beyond the borders of the country, birth control enthusiasts offered their broad support to a group of Greek physicians who shared their views. It was in this context that the Hellenic Eugenics Society was established in Greece. This dissertation addresses the population problems experienced by Greece during the period from the 1950s to the 1980s, from the vantage point of eugenics and family planning. Attention will be especially devoted to the establishment and activities of the Hellenic Eugenics Society, and its impact on domestic and international contexts. Eugenic ideas and policies, the institution of family, hereditary diseases, population distribution and contraception will be the central discussion areas.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available