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Prostitutes and criminals: Beginnings of eugenics in Croatia in the works of Fran Gundrum from Oriovac (1856-1919)


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Fran Gundrum (1856-1919) was a Croatian physician, encyclopedist, and an advocate of medical enlightenment and healthy lifestyle. In order to identify and analyze Gundrum's ideas about the problems of prostitution and criminality, we studied all of his books, booklets, and articles published between 1905 and 1914. We showed that Gundrum's theories of heredity, morality, and sexual hygiene incorporated many of the important discussions of his time, especially those related to the Darwinian paradigm. Gundrum's project of collecting statistics on prostitutes was the first such study published on the territory of today's Croatia. Although he rejected the notions of born prostitutes and born criminals, defended by Italian criminal anthropologist Cesare Lombroso, he still regarded eugenics as a convenient method of dealing with the ills of society. He believed that criminals were degenerate individuals representing a violent threat to the society and that it was legitimate to use radical means, such as sterilization and deportation, to deal with this problem. Organicistic view of the society prevented him from seeing the individual rights as important as that of the society to protect itself. Nevertheless, this view led to many humanistic ideas, such as the binomial illness/poverty in case of prostitution, which influenced many prominent works of social medicine movement.
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doi: 10.3325/cmj.2012.53.185
Prostitutes and criminals:
beginnings of eugenics in
Croatia in the works of Fran
Gundrum from Oriovac
Martin Kuhar, Stella Fatović-Ferenčić
The Institute for the History and Philosophy of Science, The
Division for the History of Medical Sciences of the Croatian
Academy of Sciences and Arts, Zagreb, Croatia
Fran Gundrum (1856-1919) was a Croatian physician,
encyclopedist, and an advocate of medical enlight-
enment and healthy lifestyle. In order to identify and
analyze Gundrums ideas about the problems of pros-
titution and criminality, we studied all of his books,
booklets, and articles published between 1905 and
1914. We showed that Gundrums theories of heredity,
morality, and sexual hygiene incorporated many of
the important discussions of his time, especially those
related to the Darwinian paradigm. Gundrums proj-
ect of collecting statistics on prostitutes was the rst
such study published on the territory of today’s Croa-
tia. Although he rejected the notions of born prosti-
tutes and born criminals, defended by Italian criminal
anthropologist Cesare Lombroso, he still regarded eu-
genics as a convenient method of dealing with the ills
of society. He believed that criminals were degener-
ate individuals representing a violent threat to the so-
ciety and that it was legitimate to use radical means,
such as sterilization and deportation, to deal with this
problem. Organicistic view of the society prevented
him from seeing the individual rights as important
as that of the society to protect itself. Nevertheless,
this view led to many humanistic ideas, such as the
binomial illness/poverty in case of prostitution, which
inuenced many prominent works of social medicine
Fran Srećko Gundrum (born in Oriovac near Slavonski Brod
on October 9, 1856, died in Križevci on July 24, 1919), a Cro-
atian physician and encyclopedist educated in Croatia and
Vienna (Figure 1), is described by historiographers of medi-
cine as a forerunner of medical enlightenment and advo-
cate of healthy lifestyle (1). He spent most of his working
years as a town physician in Križevci, using primarily pre-
ventative methods to treat his fellow citizens. While work-
ing as a physician in Bulgaria, where the awareness of the
importance of disease prevention was quite low, he devel-
oped interest in public health activities and hygiene. As a
polyglot he was able to participate in international confer-
ences, where he got acquainted with new ideas and medi-
FIGURE 1. Fran Gundrum (1856-1919). The photograph is kept at
the Division for the History of Medical Sciences of the Croatian
Academy of Sciences and Arts.
Croat Med J. 2012;53:185-97
cal advances of the time. He published numerous booklets,
manuals, and health guides, focusing primarily on alcohol-
ism, tuberculosis, and dental care, and he was especially
concerned about poor psychophysical health of young
population (2-9). Some of his works were recommended
by the County School Council of the City of Zadar for use
in “all elementary schools, preparatory schools, and high
schools” and by the Department of Religion and Education
of the Royal Land Government in Zagreb “to be purchased
for libraries in elementary schools and high schools in Cro-
atia and Slavonia (10). Gundrum’s book “Tobacco (11) re-
ceived a special award by the Paris society Societe contre
l’abus du tabac in 1903. It should be noted that Gundrum,
while working for the Medical Association of Croatia and
Slavonia, suggested the development of Code of Ethics for
Physicians (12). This idea of his eventually came to fruition
in 1901, and again in 1922, when Croatian Medical Associa-
tion issued the ethical code.
So far, only one comprehensive biographic-bibliographic
book about Gundrum has been published (1), as well as
several reprints of his works. However, no thorough analy-
sis of his role, inuence, and activities has been carried out
that would help us determine his place in the history of
health enlightenment, eugenics, and other trends at the
time in this part of Europe.
We tried to provide evidence that Gundrums work on prob-
lems of prostitution and criminality contained characteris-
tics of Darwinian ethics combined with characteristics of
health enlightenment and occasional elements of negative
eugenics, ie, prohibition of reproduction in particular popu-
lation groups. By providing contemporary theoretical con-
text for Gundrums attitudes, we showed that his attitudes
reected the beginnings of eugenic tendencies in Croatia.
We searched through the handwritten material kept at the
Department of History of Medical Sciences at the Croatian
Academy of Sciences and Arts and all Gundrum’s publica-
tions on prostitution and criminality published between
1905 and 1914. In that period, Gundrum was at the height
of his professional, intellectual, and writing career. It was
also the time when Mendel’s genetics was gaining ground
and public health and politics were inuenced by the the-
ory of evolution. Many theoreticians of the time argued
in favor of Darwinism and saw it as the best paradigm for
organization of the society, complementing the Darwin-
ian ideas of natural selection with their moral theories.
Thus, the evolutionary ethics was born. Its followers no
longer thought that ethical categories of good and
evil should be dened according to the Biblical dogmas,
but rather to laws of nature (13). The thesis that human
beings inherit their moral characteristics just like they in-
herit their biological instincts oered a dierent point of
view for dealing with ethical issues. The natural selection
became a new code for interpretation and evaluation of
particular human behavior. An individual was seen merely
as a member of a species, and a species as one point in the
evolutionary progress (13). The value of an individual cor-
responded to the value of a cog in the machine. Such a
view presented the connection to the organicistic concept
of society, which, over time, had a formative inuence on
attitudes that psychopathology (mental illness, retardation
etc.) represented a threat to the society (14). Although Dar-
win distanced himself from the application of his theory to
human society, others like Ernst Haeckel, Alfred Ploetz, and
Wilhelm Schallmayer did precisely that. Haeckel, for exam-
ple, used Darwin’s scientic ndings and applied them to
social issues, criticizing especially medicine as the main
culprit responsible for the creation of a “number of indi-
viduals (…) infected by their parents with lingering, heredi-
tary disease (15).
To convey as accurately as possible the origin, nature, and
consistency of Gundrums attitudes, we should explain his
understanding of heredity, sexual hygiene, and morality.
We tried to illustrate how the concepts of sexually trans-
mitted diseases and repression of prostitution were incor-
porated into Gundrums work. We also tried to show how
they were incorporated into a broader social context by
analyzing his attitudes toward criminals.
In Gundrums texts, the concept of “heredity refers to the
“various characteristics of parents and ancestors that can
be transferred to their descendants” (16). Among heredi-
tary diseases he includes moles, polydactyly, rotten teeth,
shortsightedness, metabolic diseases such as gout, obesi-
ty, and diabetes mellitus, mental and neurological diseas-
es, and especially epilepsy (16).
At the time, the basic concepts related to heredity were only
started to be understood, and mechanisms of inheritance
had not yet been completely explained. Mendel’s laws
were rediscovered in 1900, and chromosomes have been
known to exist since 1882, but until the seminal work by T.
H. Morgan and his associates The Mechanism of Mendelian
Heredity in 1915, chromosomes had not been universal-
ly accepted as carriers of Mendel’s traits (17,18). Although
Kuhar and Fatović-Ferenčić: Gundrum’s eugenics
in 1903 and 1904, Sutton and Boveri proposed that genes
were located on chromosomes, genetics still required an
independent conrmation that chromosomes could ex-
plain specic distribution and combination of traits. Until
then, genes had been only seen as hypothesized function-
al entities, not having a decisive morphological equivalent
(19). What nally led Morgan to adopt the position that
genes were located on chromosomes and that they were
responsible for heredity was the observation that certain
traits were sex-linked, together with F. A. Janssens’ cytologi-
cal demonstration of crossing-over (18). With this knowl-
edge, Morgan constructed the rst chromosomal map
of the fruit y Drosophila melanogaster. Geneticists in the
United States had generally accepted Morgans Chromo-
some Theory of Heredity by 1920, and British geneticists
by 1925, while in Germany it had gained acceptance by
1930, but to a lesser extent than in the US or Britain (17). So,
Gundrum can very well be excused for maintaining in 1914
that it had not yet been conclusively proven that chromo-
somes were the sole bearers of heredity. Since his prime
concern was the role of external factors in health and dis-
ease, he dedicated signicantly more attention to blast-
ophtorie. The expression was introduced by Auguste Forel
(1848-1931), a Swiss psychiatrist, entomologist, and one of
the founders of research into the eects of alcoholism, to
show that chronic poisoning of the organism at concep-
tion may lead to a serious damage to the fetus, including
physical and mental malformations and potential predis-
position to harmful social behavior. Because of his views
and the belief that weaker members of the society should
not be allowed to reproduce, in 1886 Forel himself castrat-
ed several mentally ill persons. These are among the rst
cases of sterilizations reported in Europe (20). Gundrum
not only accepted Forel’s blastophtorie, but also embraced
the whole theory of inheritance supported by Forel: “(…)
each creature [is] an identical repetition of the entire life
of its parents or ancestors” (16). In Gundrum’s opinion, the
inuence of acquired behavior can change genetic mate-
rial in germinative cells: “Deliberate and abnormal stimuli,
which do not originate from the functional maturity of the
body, will mediate a signicant weakening of the struc-
ture through abuse or premature use; weakened testicles
will produce a weak and wicked fruit. Thus weakened, the
body will produce weak seed and incur suering to the o-
spring” (16). One of such abnormal stimuli was alcohol, and
it attracted special attention from Gundrum: Alcohol is
harmful not only for the current generation, but also for fu-
ture generations. It is the cause that prevents normal men-
tal and physical development of the children who come
from alcoholics; it is the cause that drunkenness and crimi-
nality are inherited and that the descendants of alcoholics
also become alcoholics and criminals” (3). These thoughts
clearly reect the inuence of Lamarckism, ie, inheritability
of acquired characteristics. Jean Baptiste Lamarck (1744-
1829) proposed in 1809 the rst fully elaborated evolution-
ary theory, now known as Lamarckism. In his opinion, ev-
olution was a linear change happening slowly over time
under the inuence of two factors: one was the intrinsic
process leading toward ever-greater complexity; and the
second was the accumulation of bodily changes that oc-
cur with use and disuse of organs (21,22). Those acquired
changes were hereditary. Therefore, in his view the role of
the environment was key to understanding evolutionary
change and the dierences found in the living world. He-
reditary matter was conceived as soft and moldable. Even-
tually, Mendel’s genetics contradicted the idea that the en-
vironment alters hereditary matter. It is not possible for the
protein to make changes to the genes in germ cells, the
fact that will later become known as the central dogma of
molecular biology (23). Moreover, Darwins theory that nat-
ural selection operates on variations randomly occurring
in each new generation, explained better the phenomena
found in the living world. Although Lamarck’s theory of ev-
olution had already given way to Darwins theory of natural
selection by the time Gundrum wrote his works, Lamarck-
ism was still surviving in various forms. Whether latent or
clearly expressed, it was present in the concepts of many
physicians of the time, who used it, among other things, to
legitimize their public health activities. Socialists especial-
ly preferred Lamarckism over Darwinism (24), since they
believed that a radical social change could bring about a
change in human nature. Gundrum, while certainly not a
socialist, also believed that various public health interven-
tions could change human hereditary constitution, which
was one of the reasons why he accepted Forel’s Lamarck-
ian notion of blastophtorie, rather than Darwins random
variations and “hard heredity.
The idea of hygiene in a socio-medical sense came to life
at the end of the 18th century. Its purpose and aims were
popularized by a compelling book A System of Complete
Medical Police by Johann Peter Frank (1745-1821) (25). The
book emphasized that degeneration and illness were the
consequences of social inequality, a concept that paved
the way for hygiene as a scientic and practical discipline
important for the whole society. Gundrums work was
completely in line with these ideas, especially when pro-
motion of therapeutic power of health education was
concerned. Gundrum considered health education to
be the basis for prevention and repression of social-
Croat Med J. 2012;53:185-97
ly harmful diseases. Over the course of the 19th and rst
half of the 20th century, these ideas were spread and de-
veloped further, nding their conrmation in the works of
other physicians, such as Andrija Štampar.
Fran Gundrum was the rst physician in the region who
was thoroughly devoted to the use of contemporary sci-
entic methodology in his approach to the problems of
sexuality. He published his opinions and research results
in a comprehensive book, Sexual Health Care (Figure 2)
rst in 1905 and then again in 1914 as a revised edition
(16). It was the rst book on sexual health in the region, a
textbook type of publication of approximately 500 pages,
which investigated all aspects of sexuality, from anatomy
and physiology of sexual organs to the causes of spread
of sexual diseases. The book covered a wide range of top-
ics. Although some chapters were conservative, doubt-
lessly reecting authors own attitudes, such as “Restraint
from Sensual Indulgence, The Consequences of Unre-
strained Sexual Activity, or “Repression of Onanism, overall
the book was completely modern in a sense that it openly
discussed many topics that were usually not talked about,
such as masochism, sadism, and homosexuality. We should
also mention that Gundrum self-published the book be-
cause he could not nd a publisher. In his advertisement
for the book, Gundrum says: “Venereal diseases are spread-
ing faster than ever through all layers of society, jeopardiz-
ing the health of man and his ospring. It would behoove
everyone to learn more about their essence and nature,
their origin and development, for the purpose of self-pro-
tection. To that end, in a few days’ time, I will be publish-
ing a book written in a popular style, titled Sexual Health
Care(…). The book provides ample advice and exhaustive
account of almost all facets related to the issue. With re-
spect to its content, Sexual Health Care is the rst of its kind
in Croatian literature. The time has come to fulll the urgent
need and thoroughly instruct a man on what benets and
what harms his health. Various problems that have been
left untouched despite their far-reaching consequences
now have to be broached, in the interest of an individual as
well as general public. Our duty, our love of our fellow man
demands it. I am hopeful that this work of mine will be suc-
cessful in gradually stopping the dissemination of venereal
and other diseases related to sexual drive (26).
Gundrum considers sexual hygiene very complex and
closely related not only to many physiological processes
in the body, but also to mental conditions and growth and
development of an individual. With respect to its strong in-
uence on every aspect of individual and social life, sexual-
ity was, in Gundrums writing, an unavoidable area of (self-)
regulation: And this statement should serve to many as
guidance of sorts, to prevent further harm. For can there
be any greater shame than a man with a disease marry-
ing, maybe even without knowledge that he can pass it
to his children? Is not such a man almost a threat to the
mankind, for sowing the seed that cannot but beget an-
other sick and stunted ospring, ospring that is weak in
mind and body, ospring that succumbs to illness easily
and remains ill for lengthy periods of time, lacking ability
to fulll his duty to mankind as he ought to; such ospring,
I am certain, would be the rst to say loud and clear that
he would have been better o had he never been born in
the rst place! There is enough misery in the world! Why
increase it further?” (16).
This is an interesting, although not atypical concept of mo-
rality at a time when morality was only ceasing to be de-
FIGURE 2. The front cover of the book Sexual Health Care (in Croa-
tian: Zdravstvo spolnog života), 1st edition, 1905.
Kuhar and Fatović-Ferenčić: Gundrum’s eugenics
ned according to religious dogma (13). The evolutionary
paradigm did not place man above nature, but saw him as
part of nature and morality as a naturally inherited trait. Na-
ture and its laws became a new moral authority. Science
rather than ethics as a separate discipline became the au-
thority that prescribed moral rules. Gundrum concurred:
This is the purpose of science in this case, sexual sci-
ence and science is nothing but investigation of truth, a
clear wellspring of genuine morality and real humanitari-
anism (16). The science of sexual hygiene became one of
the most important elds in medicine, and since it directly
aected future generations, it was also important from the
ethical point of view because it established the real moral-
ity. Thereby, Gundrum assumed an implicitly critical atti-
tude toward traditional concepts of morality, and found the
laws of nature and its sometimes cruel logic more persua-
sive than socially construed norms. In his text On Banish-
ment of Criminals, Gundrum refers to natural selection as
follows:“[Selection] (…) makes sure that anything that does
not comply with its purpose, anything that is weak and un-
necessary, is removed. A predatory beast whose teeth get
rotten, a bird hatched from the egg as an albino and there-
fore easily spotted; an animal that becomes mentally ill or
psychologically abnormal or develops unusual, inappropri-
ate drives, as well as any other animal that would produce
degenerated ospring perishes early and speedily, de-
nitely before its time to reproduce. Therefore, we may con-
clude that there is nothing degenerate in the nature” (27).
Gundrum continues with the intent to show that allowing
the weak to survive is unnatural, but sensible only if such
individuals are expected to be somehow useful. Thus, he
laid the foundations for his own objections to such politics
and social uselessness of the weak: “However, this logic is
only applicable to wild animals; we will not exterminate
a domesticated, tame beast for a minor defect, but rath-
er we will protect and keep it, in order to have some use
of it. If we use such an animal for breeding, though, then
we become complicit in the degeneration of the species.
Sometimes we even purposefully breed animals with pe-
culiarities, which would otherwise be exterminated by na-
ture immediately. For example, we breed white cattle; or
hornless cattle, which would not be able to defend itself in
the wilderness; fat pigs, which would perish in the wild as
would a skinny race horse, etc. Specic types of degenera-
tion enable us to achieve a particular purpose; we protect
and keep such creatures because we are able to benet
and prot from them; but nature does no such thing; na-
ture destroys all that cannot survive in the normal and usu-
al state of things” (27).
A man, especially a physician, tries to save every individual
irrespective of the cost of such intervention: “It is our duty
to protect every freak of a man, the sickest, the feeblest, the
poorest child, because we cannot eliminate them like an-
cient Greeks eliminated their children. We must use all pos-
sible means, which are sometimes very expensive, to help
such a poor creature become able to live as it chooses (27).
In Gundrum’s opinion, by saving the weak and degener-
ate, medicine has an unnatural purpose because it contra-
dicts natural laws and hinders the development of society
of higher quality: These rescued creatures, to use such an
expression, are rarely antisocial, usually because they are
too weak to ever pose a danger to anyone; on the other
hand, they still marry when they become adult enough.
(…) However, if a spouse of such an individual, who was
only saved from nature after a great eort, is hale enough,
we are confronted with a truly bizarre and frequent phe-
nomenon of their children being naturally normal, but
nevertheless suering from some defect; and this is the
point where the degeneration begins to manifest itself to
a lesser or greater extent” (27).
For Gundrum, morality is a healthy inner state of man,
and health is a “harmonious working of all forces and ac-
tivities, so that even natural drives and inclinations of a
man, ie, selsh elements, are naturally expressed and thus
bound to work harmoniously together with altruistic abili-
ties” (16). The idea of moderation has been known since
Aristotle’s times, but the denition of moral characteristics
as “natural drives and inclinations” unquestionably results
from a Darwinian understanding of ethics, which changes
along with a biological, evolutionary progression. Moral-
ity is not given once and for all, it is not eternal and im-
mutable, but rather changes as the man changes. The at-
titude that egoism plays a role in morality could not be
derived from Christian teachings; however, this attitude
was common to many authors at the turn of the 20th cen-
tury who considered Darwinism as a foundation of eth-
ics. Moral rules were thus considered to be inherited, serv-
ing only as an instrument of survival. Such a belief led to
an attitude that every change that improves survival is, in
a sense, valuable and good. One of the scientists with a
similar attitude to that of Gundrum’s was Ernst Haeckel.
In his book The Riddle of the Universe from 1900, Haeckel
says: “[Modern science] regards as the highest aim of all
morality the re-establishment of a sound harmony be-
tween egoism and altruism, between self-love and the
love of one’s neighbor, pointing out that Christianity
devoted too much eort to altruism, while neglecting
self-love (28).
Croat Med J. 2012;53:185-97
Sexual hygiene was thus associated with heredity, and he-
redity was associated with morality. A man had to protect
himself from sexually transmitted diseases and irresponsi-
ble behavior or else he would ruin himself, his children, and
eventually the whole nation and state. The collapse of the
nation and state would be an inevitable consequence of
irresponsible behavior of individuals and of a society that
omitted to sanction such a behavior, because the selection
mechanism benets the stronger and destroys the weak-
er. Since all these processes were thought to be inherited,
and science the only way to investigate the mechanisms
and consequences of heredity, it followed that science also
determined the fortune or misfortune of people. Regula-
tions on what was considered a moral behavior could not
be prescribed any longer by a non-natural authority, but
only and exclusively by science. Since science could not lie,
what it claimed to be true had to become a new behavior-
al criterion. Only science could provide guidelines for be-
havior that led to fortune and progress of the society as a
whole. The society, thus, turned out to be an entity whose
survival and development was given more importance
than individual rights, and the moment when the threat
to the society was interpreted as large enough, the society
had the right to protect itself.
In his practice, Gundrum saw a large number of cases of
sexually transmitted diseases and gave a lot of thought to
how to eradicate them. While he was working as a town
physician, in 1907 he started a project of collecting statis-
tics on prostitutes in Croatia and Slavonia in 81 adminis-
trative districts (Figure 3). On the basis of 77 replies to his
questionnaire, he wrote an extensive article that was pub-
lished in Liječnički vjesnik in 1910 under the title Statistics
on Public Prostitutes in Croatia and Slavonia, 1907-1908.
Gundrum also gave a lecture based on the results of this
project at the General Meeting of the Medical Association
of the Kingdom of Croatia and Slavonia. The project mate-
rial prompted him to revise extensively the rst edition of
Sexual Health Care, dedicating the largest portion of the
book to prostitution. This was the rst study and the rst
publication on the topic of prostitution in Croatia. The ba-
sic motivation for this research was Gundrum’s belief that
prostitution, a “disgusting infamy” as he called it, was the
biggest threat to sexual health of the nation. He reasoned
that prostitution brings about debauchery and leads to
spreading of venereal diseases. He also believed that
detailed and multifaceted statistical research on the
problem will reveal the laws that govern this phenome-
non, which will enable the society to reduce the negative
impact of prostitution. Gundrum highly regarded statis-
tics and even quoted Baron Hugo von Haan’s description
of statistics as “a snapshot of life” (16). His survey included
questions on prostitutes age, religion, ethnicity, sexual dis-
eases, reasons for choosing the profession, and many oth-
Gundrums research into prostitution went beyond mere
data collection, aiming to illuminate all the intricacies of
FIGURE 3. Statement on Prostitutes (in Croatian: Iskaz o bludnica-
ma). From: Public Prostitutes in Croatia and Slavonia in 1907-1908
(in Croatian: Javne bludnice u Hrvatskoj i Slavoniji 1907./8. godine),
page 15.
Kuhar and Fatović-Ferenčić: Gundrum’s eugenics
its causes. His research is not only a scientic study, but
also a sort of a cross-sectional review of the ideas of sev-
eral European authorities in the eld of sexuality. It should
be noted, for example, that Gundrum had a very dierent
attitude from that of Cesare Lombroso (1836-1909), Italian
psychiatrist whose work on antisocial personality typology,
which would be abandoned and discarded later on, still
attracted a lot of interest at the time. Gundrum criticized
Lombroso’s theory about prostitutes, which was essentially
an extension of his theory about born criminals. Lombro-
so considered prostitutes equivalent to criminals and be-
lieved that prostitution was a hereditary disease. He also
believed that prostitutes could be recognized by physical
and psychological aws. Gundrum considered Lombrosos
theory about women unsound and pretentious, because it
concentrated on womens inadequacies compared to men
(16). It was clear to Gundrum that a large percentage of
prostitutes were in the profession out of economic neces-
sity and due to neglect in childhood, as indicated by his
survey. He emphasized that “there are some very honest
prostitutes (16).
Among more important issues that caught Gundrum’s at-
tention were those related to intrinsic predisposition that
inuenced women to turn to prostitution. He obviously
did not accept the attitudes of Lombroso, who compared
prostitutes to criminals, but instead took a more moder-
ate approach. However, he could not completely resist the
idea of an intrinsic predisposition, and the scientic meth-
od he used did not convince him otherwise. Of 207 prosti-
tutes who made the core sample, as many as 40 declared
they had become prostitutes because of the will for lech-
ery, 7 listed pleasure and love for lechery, 25 stated that
they liked it, and 35 listed lust (29) (Figure 4). Based on the
replies from half of the subjects, he concluded there was
an endogenous cause responsible for their behavioral dis-
order. By rejecting Lombrosos concept and by taking into
account his own statistical indicators, Gundrum recog-
nized two elementary factors that played a role in prostitu-
tion. The rst one was upbringing, which was the main rea-
son in most cases: “(…) in a word, the cause could be some
mental aw, which in many cases is the consequence of
awed upbringing and neglect in childhood” (16). The eco-
nomic milieu was considered only as the second, contrib-
uting factor (16). Most prostitutes, according to Gundrum,
were neither ill nor criminals and only a few are hereditary
degenerative (16). However, there was a group of prosti-
tutes in whom the cause was hereditary in nature; it did
not mean predetermination, but it did imply a certain incli-
nation: As for the females, it should be said that there are
some prostitutes who are degenerate. Nevertheless, this
does not mean that they are predetermined to become
prostitutes, although it denitely makes them prone to a
less stable life. Their nature is riddled with a certain incon-
stancy; moral, social and other notions have no foothold
there. Degeneracy is sometimes manifested in immedi-
ate disease, such as severe hysteria or feeblemindedness.
Cramps, headache, alcoholism, proneness to fancies, day-
dreaming and other purposeless practices. Sometimes, the
signs of degeneracy are visible in the body, eg, in the shape
FIGURE 4. Responses to survey question on the reasons for becoming prostitutes. From: Public Prostitutes in Croatia and Slavonia in 1907-1908
(in Croatian: Javne bludnice u Hrvatskoj i Slavoniji 1907./8. godine), page 31.
Croat Med J. 2012;53:185-97
of the head; in the unusualness, crookedness of the lips
harelip; in the throat – cleft palate; inborn blindness; bulg-
ing or eccentric pupil; crookedness of the earlobes, arms or
legs; poor development of the entire body; stunted devel-
opment with deformation of body parts, especially sexual
organs; squinting; stuttering (16).
Whether it was that a girl became a prostitute because
of poor upbringing in the early childhood in majority
of cases or because of the inherited behavioral instabil-
ity – in minority of cases – neither factor alone could have
had such a strong inuence, so Gundrum considered so-
cial circumstances (eg, poverty) to have an eect on both
factors. Thereby, he developed his own theory, according
to which, contrary to Lombroso, no prostitute was born
as such. However, it is interesting to note that Gundrum
classied a possible heredity of inclination toward prosti-
tution together with some stereotypical characteristics of
congenital defects, which shows how deeply he was inu-
enced by theories of his time and how much he owed to
Lombroso, despite their dierences in opinion.
Gundrums deep resentment toward prostitution and ve-
nereal diseases as its consequence prompted him to clam
that syphilis aects entire social classes and, therefore, sex-
ually transmitted diseases are the public enemy number
one. (10). Despite his opinions and the fact that he con-
sidered prostitution to be evil, Gundrum did not condemn
prostitutes. He was equally critical toward men who sup-
ported prostitution, and especially toward economic sys-
tem in which young women sometimes had no other
choice but to become prostitutes (16).
Whichever of these two main causes of prostitution was
crucial in individual cases, it did not mean that nothing
could be done about prostitution. As far as intrinsic factors
were concerned, Gundrum was convinced that prostitutes
can often (…), using an appropriate approach, be brought
back to the right path (16). In his rst longer text about
prostitution, On Sarajevo brothels, published in Liječnički
vjesnik in 1903 (30), Gundrum made clear that prostitution
was a universal occurrence and that everything should be
done to bring its negative consequences under control,
but he was also aware that it cannot be eradicated. In Gun-
drums opinion, brothels in Sarajevo could serve as a role
model to others (30). They were located in a side street
in the outskirts of the city, adjacent to the examina-
tion house. Gundrum thought that it was mandatory to
perform physical examinations of prostitutes twice a week
by county town physicians and once a week by a city phy-
sician. He suggested to brothel managers to use a method
he himself had successfully applied in Bulgaria, ie, to write
on a board the numbers of rooms and names of prostitutes
along with the results of their examination. If a prostitute
had her period, he suggested it also should be posted on
the board. In this way, prostitutes would not have to use in-
travaginal sponges, which were harmful to their health and
deceitful to their guests” (30). In addition, Gundrum sug-
gested reeducation of underage prostitutes, sanctioning
women tracking, reporting sexually transmitted diseases,
and mandatory treatment of sexually transmitted diseases.
The decisive role in these actions had to be played by the
state, which had a free hand to put prostitution under con-
trol by systematic and thorough implementation of public
health and preventative measures.
Although the problem of criminality did not take as much
Gundrums attention as prostitution and sexual hygiene, he
did dedicate several booklets to this topic. In these texts,
Gundrums attitudes toward eugenics were more readily
expressed than in those dealing with prostitution. On Ban-
ishment of Criminals (Figure 5) contains a discussion about
healthy and sick criminals, which gradually turns into a dis-
cussion about the degenerate (27). Although there is no clear
denition of a healthy criminal, we can assume that it refers
to personalities who cannot tell the dierence between
good and evil, although they do not have a psychiatric diag-
nosis. For such cases, Gundrum suggests either deportation,
if the country is big enough or has colonies, or incarceration,
if the country is small. On the other hand, there are also sick
criminals, whose criminality is caused by a mental disease.
These are the criminals who – due to the current notion of
humanitarianism (27) – have to be treated.
The degenerate are, according to Gundrum, all those who
have any congenital defect that interferes with survival. At
one point, he writes that the truth be told, the degenerate
are not so much sick, as they are stunted” (27), and then he
says that incarceration of criminals would make sense “if
some of the degenerate were categorized as healthy (…),
but we should not incarcerate the sick (27). Obviously,
Gundrum included both sick and healthy criminals among
the degenerate, along with all other degenerate individu-
Kuhar and Fatović-Ferenčić: Gundrum’s eugenics
als who suered from congenital defects. It is important to
notice that the attribute healthy was for Gundrum a con-
ditional category and applied to those who did not have
a predisposing psychopathology for their condition; it did
not mean that they were healthy in the absolute sense of
the word. Gundrum thought that there was a predisposing
factor responsible for incorrigible, corrupt morality even in
a healthy criminal. Consequently, he believed that castra-
tion of incorrigible criminals and rapists was a method that
promised a solution to the problem of criminality (27). Cas-
tration, of course, would have made no sense if Gundrum
had not assumed that criminal behavior was determined
by heredity. Since, thereby, all criminals belonged to the
same group as the degenerate, they were all potential can-
didates for eugenic measures.
Gudrum believed that the degenerate were mostly the re-
sult of modern medical advances combined with ethical
feeling of empathy: “Science has found the most rened
means and ways to achieve this purpose; there are dier-
ent institutions, which cost a lot of money and where ev-
erything is arranged, everything aimed to act against na-
ture, not only to save such a creature, but also to make it
somehow capable of reproduction, a creature that nature
would know how to dispense of very quickly (27). All these
means, therefore, have one single goal – to act against na-
ture (27), which always nds a way to eliminate the degen-
erate. While “nothing degenerate can be found in nature”
(27), because natural selection takes care of it, people do
everything they can to save the weak and ill and help them
reach fertile age at which they can start spreading their he-
reditary defects further. Gundrum obviously thought that
good intentions had no place in objective medical profes-
sion and that society rather than the individual deserved
Gundrum extended his debate with Lombroso to the sub-
ject of criminality. He based his criticisms of Lombrosos
theory about born criminals (31) on statistics, pointing out
that only 15 of 2804 people sentenced for crime in 1907
were brought to the Royal Earth Institute for Mentally Ill
in Stenjevec (32). After excluding simulants and patients
with no diagnosable mental disorders, he found that only
8 had committed a crime in the state of unsound mind. Al-
though Gundrum believed that statistics did not support
Lombroso’s theory of born criminals, he still gave him cred-
it for opening the door to research into “physical and men-
tal inferiority of some people” (32). Gundrums attitude to-
ward healthy criminals and health for him was a relative
concept – is conrmed by the following words: “(…) I have
never intended to claim that all other criminals 2796 of
them were unconditionally and absolutely mentally
healthy; only that they showed no signs that would justify
the conclusion that they had a mental disorder (…)” (32). In
other words, the nature of hereditary burden in their case
was not psychiatric, but moral. However, Gundrum was
very cautious and indirect in his critique of Lombrosos at-
titudes, saying that his research only provided evidence
that Lombrosos theory cannot be applied to our circum-
stances” (32), and left open the possibility that the circum-
stances in other countries were dierent and the problem
of degeneration possibly more widespread. Irrespective of
the fact that the number of mentally ill criminals was low,
Gundrum was convinced that it was a big problem that
seriously threatened the feeling of safety in communal
life, because all crimes could have been prevented: This
should prompt all counties into action to treat the men-
tally ill who fornicate freely with anyone, because
FIGURE 5. The front cover of the book On Banishment of Criminals
(in Croatian: O izlučenju zločinaca), 1908.
Croat Med J. 2012;53:185-97
these poor creatures are incapable of comprehending the
act that they will eventually commit, while the community
teeters steadily on the edge of a dire calamity. In this case
too the same old maxim applies preventing evil takes
precedence over everything else!” (32). This issue was not
important only from the point of civil safety, but also from
the economic point of view: A large sum of money, I’d say,
if we take into account that this money actually serves to
achieve a negative gain, that is, to remove everybody sick
in their mind, and some of those who are really dangerous.
This huge expense and heavy burden on public budget
does not have a single positive result. What a sad fact!” (32).
Gundrum did not think that huge expenses incurred to the
state economy by some individuals were good enough a
reason to remove the degenerate from the social body.
What distinguished criminals from all other degenerates,
whose treatment costs could also be high, was that crimi-
nals were dangerous to others. Gundrum was preoccupied
by those who presented a threat to the society; nancial
threat to the society was not a sucient reason society
had to be threatened by violence.
One of the arguments repeatedly used by Gundrum in
the debate about criminals was especially important as it
reected the complexity of his attitudes. Gundrum inves-
tigated the role of alcohol in crime on several occasions.
We chose two discussions on the topic of alcohol, one from
1904, titled Alcohol-Poison, and the other from 1909, titled
Crime and Mental Disease. In Alcohol-Poison, Gundrum
presented statistics obtained from the director of the Insti-
tute for Mentally Ill in Stenjevec for the period 1893-1902,
which clearly showed that a third of mentally ill patients
were classied as alcoholics. He also used the statistics from
Germany, according to which 41.7% of prisoners were alco-
holics. Gundrums conclusion was unambiguous: Thus we
can say without hesitation that alcohol creates insanity and
criminality (3). He established a hereditary link between pa-
rental alcoholism and criminality of their ospring. One of
the mechanisms by which Gundrum thought alcohol pro-
moted criminal behavior was a direct eect of alcohol on
hereditary matter, which was considered the main reason
why children born to alcoholic parents had alcoholism and
criminality “in their blood. The other was the role of drunk-
enness in a particular criminal act: “80% of all crimes occur
in a state of drunkenness (3). The latter mechanism equally
aected the mentally healthy, “whose mind became de-
ranged due to pleasures of alcohol” (3), and mentally ill
individuals, “whose primary illness has worsened due to
pleasures of alcohol or who were stimulated to commit
a misdeed because of drunkenness (…)” (32). In addi-
tion to those who became alcoholics because they inher-
ited it from their parents, Gundrum also recognized the in-
uence of the “mans desire to imitate (3).
Gundrum mentioned three methods that could be used
to solve the problem of criminality. One was deportation,
which was an option for all healthy criminals. To support
this attitude, he described the experiment of deportation
of “the worst thieves, scapegraces, brigands, and man kill-
ers” to Australia (27), where reversion of hereditary burden
occurred under the inuence of new circumstances and
return to nature. After only a few generations, there was
“truly a very solid stratum of normal people” (27). This also
reected his attitude that reformation could have been
achieved after only a few generations even in those who
had already deeply sunk in the life of crime, but only if they
were completely deprived of the culture that had created
them. In other words, they should have been left to the
strong, existential pressure of nature, which did not nec-
essarily and exclusively include natural selection: “If he
knew that he was to remain in the new homeland until
the end of his life, then, after probably a horrible storm
that would arise in his soul at the beginning of incarcera-
tion, he would get accustomed to new relations. He would
work. He would have to work unless he wanted to perish;
the work would sustain him, drive him (…)” (27). Here, the
pressure of reform was given precedence over natural se-
lection. Such a pressure could not be created by a society,
which was based on the reduction of existential pressure.
A single instance that could make such a radical reform
was the nature itself. Thus, in this case, we can clearly see
that Gundrum understood the deportation method in the
Lamarckian context, where nature provided the conditions
for inheritance of characteristics acquired over time, such
as persistence and engagement.
Two more methods suggested by Gundrum were inu-
enced by the laws passed in two American states, Ohio
and Indiana. The rst one, which Gundrum considered to
be of limited eectiveness, was the Ohio Law on Marriage
from 1904, which prohibited marriage to “the mentally ill,
idiots, and epileptics” (27). It is interesting that Gundrum
omitted chronic alcoholics from this list, although they
were included in the original Law. The other was the In-
diana Law on Sterilization from 1907, which applied to “in-
corrigible criminals, the slow-witted, feebleminded, and
rapists” (27). Obviously, incorrigible criminals (healthy crim-
inals) were the candidates for sterilization, as well as the
feebleminded (sick criminals). Such an attitude could have
been justied only if Gundrum had thought that healthy
Kuhar and Fatović-Ferenčić: Gundrum’s eugenics
criminals also carried a hereditary factor for incorrigible
criminality, which was highly probable given the fact that
he considered morality to be instinctive, biologically deter-
mined. Since criminals incurred high costs and represent-
ed danger to the society, in Gundrum’s opinion, the steril-
ization law was reasonable: “By all means, a Draconian law!
because it is not safe from abuse; and if there were no
possibility of it being abused, than everyone would deem
this law to be purposeful, because castration today is not
a dangerous operation and no one would object it, just
as no one objects to laws and regulations on protection
from contagious diseases or laws on vaccination against
smallpox or against unlimited power of police. Many shall
deem this legal novelty scandalous, but every one, even
the most cold-blooded skeptic, will have to admit that no
radical novelty, however noble, has found its place without
practical experiments” (27).
It is evident that the use of carefully chosen analogies with
the police and vaccinations served the purpose of margin-
alizing the side-eects of the absolute power of physicians.
Being noble toward criminals has its limits and Gundrum
reminded his contemporaries of priorities: “It is good to
have patience with these wretches and it is noble to treat
them humanely; but when they become dangerous to our
neighbor, to mankind, then the most radical means should
be used to remove this evil” (27). At the end of his book
about criminals, Gundrum fully supports further develop-
ment of care for the problem of criminals: We should greet
with joy every eort and undertaking by those who work
on reducing the evil and eliminating dangerous individu-
als from the society of mankind (27).
Until now, Gundrum has been presented exclusively as a
forerunner of hygienic eorts and health enlightenment
in Croatia (1). On the other hand, eugenic aspects that
formed the axis of his hygienic eorts have not been ana-
lyzed. Although Gundrum did not use the expression eu-
genics” in his writings, his works were proven to be full
of traces of Darwinian ethics, Lamarckism, and eugen-
ics. There were also clear elements of negative eugenics,
upon which Gundrum partly based his concept of social
While he demonstrated moderation when suppression of
prostitution was concerned, he completely adopted eu-
genic measures for the repression of criminality. Among
other concerns, Gundrum analyzed the economic aspect
of putting into prisons and asylums those who, due to
their disease, represented a threat to the society, and be-
lieved that such a practice produced only a negative ben-
et. By negative benet he meant the exclusion of a par-
ticular group of people from the society, the act which by
itself did not produce a new value or increased the benet
for the society. A positive benet would include the proc-
ess of building a society, which would bring an additional
value to the society without criminals. Even in such atti-
tudes, we can catch glimpses of a certain divergence from
the curative approach and recognize the rudiments of the
idea that not only somatic, but also social pathology, can
be prevented. It is evident that Gundrum was more inter-
ested in the safety of society as a whole and less inter-
ested in the rights of individuals. The society, if threatened
by its sick members, has the right not only to protect it-
self, but also to do it in the cheapest way, nancially and
Gundrums writings, ideas, and attitudes were occasion-
ally inconsistent or even contradictory. A good example
is his ambivalent attitude toward the concept of ght
for survival. On the one hand, deportation of criminals
to Australia reected the Lamarckian view that ght for
survival underlies the reformation of individuals. On the
other hand, when he analyzed the consequences of life
in a city a year later, Gundrum concluded that “the per-
centage [of mentally ill] is high there where the ght for
survival is most violent, where physical and mental health
care is most defective (…)” (32). In villages, the percent-
age of mental diseases was lower, because living condi-
tions were simpler and “ght for survival was not so bitter,
so brutal (…)” (32). While the ght for survival in Austral-
ia quickly created a whole generation of normal people
from the worst individuals, the same ght for survival in
the cities produced quite the opposite eect. It is un-
clear whether Gundrum was aware of this contradiction
in his attitudes and whether he completely understood
the mechanisms of the ght for survival, which had posi-
tive eects in Australia and completely opposite eects in
Western European cities.
The question is how we should explain Gundrum’s advo-
cacy of sterilization, when he was clearly aware that de-
portation was an eective method for reformation of the
worst individuals. The deportation method was in line with
social Darwinism, which presupposed cancellation of all
achievements of civilization that make people weak. On
the other hand, sterilization was a method advocated
by those who favored eugenics, who believed that
Croat Med J. 2012;53:185-97
civilization would be preserved if articial selection was
applied on the level of society (13). Basically, Gundrum be-
lieved that the main criterion in choosing between two
methods was feasibility. Thus, in case of countries with-
out colonies to deport their criminals to, the method of
choice was negative eugenics (sterilization), which Gun-
drum considered to be cheap and safe (27); otherwise, de-
portation should be favored.
Although there was a strong correlation between alcohol-
ism and criminality in Gundrums opinion, he still did not
suggest sterilization for alcoholics. Alcoholism as an impor-
tant social trigger of criminality was still not considered a
condition serious enough to declare the individuals addict-
ed to alcohol as a threat to the society. Although they were
capable of criminal acts, and most criminal acts were com-
mitted under the inuence of alcohol, not many alcoholics
actually committed a crime. Therefore, it follows that only a
social threat, which could have been established with cer-
tainty only in criminals and mentally ill, could justify the use
of radical methods. In addition, alcoholism was, in practical
terms, such a wide problem that Gundrum did not see steri-
lization of alcoholics as a reasonable approach.
Created in times when social processes were interpreted
and understood in the context of anthropological, organi-
cistic approach, Gundrum’s work reects the shift in the fo-
cus of medicine from the illness of an individual to the illness
of a society. Criticism of medicine as a profession that does
everything in its power to save those who do not belong
to the society only apparently undermined Gundrums own
position. His concept of public health and medicine, increas-
ingly adopted by other physicians at the time, included a
strong state control and repression of the sick in order to
preserve the healthy social body. Medicine was supposed to
be primarily preventative rather than curative profession, in-
cluding the prevention of inheriting bad characteristics. For-
tune or misfortune was not reected at an individual level,
but at the level of a society, and society had to do everything
it could to ensure its happiness, even if it meant removing
inadequate elements from the social body. Of course, ex-
cept for the aberrant eugenic movement, there were some
very useful humanistic ideas that appeared with new under-
standing of the role of medicine. This was particularly obvi-
ous in case of prostitution, where the binomial illness/pov-
erty marked the beginnings of the ideas that would become
more prominent in the works of representatives of social
medicine movement, especially Andrija Štampar. Identify-
ing the poor as ill paved the way for improvement of health
by introducing broad social changes.
Acknowledgment We thank the anonymous reviewer for his/her valuable
comments on an earlier version of the paper.
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... Epilepsy appeared as the explanation of growth arrest in criminals and of romping moral insanity in its episodes [3,4]. Then, in criminal woman, prostitution was the main criminal aspect, in addition to reduced brain volume, weight and tendency to crime of passion [5]. ...
... Epilepsy appeared as the explanation of growth arrest in criminals and of romping moral insanity in its episodes [3,4]. Then, in criminal woman, prostitution was the main criminal aspect, in addition to reduced brain volume, weight and tendency to crime of passion [5]. ...
Lombroso’s theories, in 1800s, gave a strong shock in the international scientific community, regarding the correlation between the human morphology and its tendency to crime. They were followed, especially out of the Europe, and still are being discussed. But, in that century, they were enriched researches on human neurophysiology, which then would be further down to our time and that they denied sharply the Lombroso concepts. In short, the ignored neurophysiology, to the detriment of hypothesis which theorized the tendency to crime as an expression of the physical features of the individual, the whole body, from the face, limbs, ears, the shape of the skull. In this review, are made some critical remarks about Lombroso concepts, on ‘atavism, the people considered inferior on the basis of their physical appearance, in other words what was called morphoanthropology. At the same time, this work emphasizes instead the ‘importance of neurophysiological aspects of’ individual tending to crime, that are the basis of abnormal acts against the society ‘and that are related to the dysfunction of certain brain areas, such as the frontal cortex and limbic cortex, under the influence of genotype and environmental factors.
Croatia is a Central European and Mediterranean country with a long maritime border with Italy. Throughout history, it was not only goods but also knowledge and medical practices that were exchanged over its borders. Following archival sources, individual informal networks, professional publications, daily newspapers, and public lectures, we aimed to present main channels by which Croatian intellectuals embraced Lombroso's criminal anthropology at the end of the 19th and the beginning of the 20th centuries. We illuminated the fact that the adoption of Cesare Lombroso's concepts stimulated the joint engagement and communication of medical and legal realms in Croatia. Our analysis exposed the traces of Lombroso's ideas within the reform of the penal code, thus influencing forensic psychiatric practice. We showed how those ideas were translated into policy, politically exploited, and pitched into discussions employing rhetorical techniques, which led to the stigmatization of certain groups of people, particularly patients suffering from epilepsy. Our results also showed that, contrary to other countries that formed Austria-Hungary, the discussions about Lombroso's criminology waned in Croatia after the First World War. We believe that our results can close the gap on this topic, adding the evidence about the spread and influence of Lombroso's concepts within Austria-Hungary in the analyzed period.
The essay outlines the development of the history of science and medicine in Croatia since the first half of the 20th century, addressing in more detail some recent research trends that seem to have the potential to reshape and reposition this relatively marginal field within the national academic landscape. It examines the origins and implication of the “historicization” of the history of science, as manifested in, among other things, tentative convergence between the history of science and medicine and “general” history. Also considered are changes in the understanding of what counts as science and who as a historian of science within a specialist community in a small country that has struggled with balancing between the national and wider contexts, and with embracing newer conceptual frameworks and methodological approaches.
The history of the condom, although repressed or bypassed throughout the centuries, represents an important part of our cultural history. A historical overview on how the condom was perceived by Croatian physicians and how the pharmaceutical industry advertised condoms in the first half of the 20th century is provided. The contributions on contraception in Croatian medical bulletins, as well as the advertisements published in our professional pharmaceutical magazines established in the interwar period is traced. Indeed, the condom was mostly neglected either as a prophylactic or a contraceptive among physicians and public health workers, despite epidemics of syphilis and the rise of socialized medicine. In conclusion, this paper is the first attempt to provide the history of condom in Croatia, discussing dominant attitudes towards contraception, prophylaxis of venereal diseases, the control of reproduction, and the ideologies about human sexuality.
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This paper aims to explore the state of the art and the options for studies of eugenics in Bulgaria, Croatia, Czechoslovakia, Serbia, and Slovenia. The networking of eugenically minded scholars from these countries is seen as one of the complex transnational settings for eugenics, which ensured its reproduction over the twentieth century. By adopting a broad theoretical framework, the review of seventy-seven texts published between 2002 and 2017 juxtaposes Jörn Rüsen’s classification of historical narratives and Roy Bhaskar’s differentiation of negation. Three types of historical narratives frame the current diversity of approaches to eugenics: 1) traditionalexemplary, based upon real negation; 2) exemplary-critical, providing transformative negation; and 3) critical-genetic, ensuring radical negation. Tracing the history of eugenics as a multi-layered process of crossing historical, geographical, and ideological borders assists to scale the existing pool of historical narratives about eugenics in Bulgaria, Croatia, Czechoslovakia, Serbia, and Slovenia in a way that recognises the current limits and possible options for a comprehensive revision of the legacy of eugenics.
The face seen as an element of diversity. The ugliness of a face or a body and deformities were considered in 1800 as symbols of atavism, regression to being primates, or expression of inferior beings. The Italian physician Cesare Lombroso was the author of the concept of morphoanthropology, according to which the human being is judged on the basis of his or her physical connotations. An individual with ugly features of the face and body would be brought in as a criminal. Time has dissolved the value of Lombrosian theories, and scientific research has highlighted the influence of various factors in the genesis of crime. Genetic, biological, socioenvironmental factors, regulated by neurophysiology, which adds the effect of antagonism between the prefrontal cortex and the limbic cortex, explain the tendency to commit crime.
Nineteenth-century psychiatry shifted its focus to the brain as the seat of mental disorders. With a new understanding of mental disorders arose the need to consult forensic psychiatrists in cases of criminal acts committed by persons with mental illness. This article focuses on three murders committed by 'epileptics' at the end of the nineteenth and the beginning of the twentieth centuries in Croatia. An analysis of these cases will help to situate forensic psychiatry at the turn of the century within the Austro-Hungarian Empire, and reveal the authority that forensic experts wielded in the courts. We will argue that Cesare Lombroso's biological theory of crime, as well as the influence of eugenicists and pharmaceutical companies, shaped the long-standing relationship between epilepsy and violent behaviour.
The earliest serious investigation into prostitution in Croatia was a survey conducted in 1907 by the physician Fran Gundrum. His study was an attempt at a comprehensive exploration of prostitution, which tried to reconstruct demographic, anthropologic, and sociologic features of prostitutes. I present an analysis of his study and argue that Gundrum consistently found himself vacillating between blaming society and charging the nature of women to explain the existence of prostitution. This ambivalence was a result of embracing both the power of Enlightenment, which believed that human morality could be improved by the process of learning, and the notion of hereditary degeneration, which regarded human improvement by reeducation as futile. Heavily influenced by his Catholic upbringing and political conservatism, Gundrum married the "scientific" notion of innate prostitution with a pervasive view of women as flirtatious and materialistic. His survey reveals the typical personality of the period, a scientific enthusiast advocating the medical control of the population and the use of statistics in realizing that goal. It was, essentially, an attempt to construct and verify widespread attitudes toward public health as a method of monitoring venereal diseases and social control in general. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Originally trained as a physician, the biologist and thinker Ernst Haeckel (1834–1919), was an evolutionist who remained sceptical of natural selection. This book, which first appeared in German in 1899, sold 10,000 copies in its first few months and was published in an English translation the following year. In the preface, Haeckel applauds the technological progress of the nineteenth century, but bemoans the lack of communication between empirical scientists and abstract philosophers in the search for truth. The book carefully outlines Haeckel's monistic philosophy and ethics, which he sees as the key to human progress. Its twenty chapters cover anthropology, psychology, cosmology and theology, ranging from the embryology of the soul to a debate on Christianity and science. Haeckel's philosophy attracted a sizeable following for several decades, and it remains of interest to historians working on the reception of Darwinism as well as on its appropriation into Nazi ideology.
This paper examines the process that led to the identification of chromosomes as carriers of genes. It focuses on the role played by explanations in theory construction and analyzes the status given to the entities and processes introduced through such explanations. I argue that the theory of the gene was a functional explanation that, as such, could not offer decisive support for the existence of genes. However, I maintain that functional explanations set the conditions of identification needed to discover the physical structure that has a certain function in a given system. In this case, the theory of the gene helped to select the chromosomes as the physical structure responsible for the Mendelian segregation of genes. In its turn, the theory of chromosome inheritance helped to reduce the permissive character of the theory of the gene, regulating its further development.
Typescript (photocopy). Thesis (Ph. D.)--University of Iowa, 1994. Includes bibliographical references (leaves 341-383).
In the first decade of the twentieth century, the foundation for the science of genetics was set. In 1900, the data of Gregor Mendel were rediscovered. By 1915, a community of scientists accepted that there were entities on chromosomes that controlled the development of observable traits. During the intervening period, Thomas Hunt Morgan was one of the major skeptics regarding the chromosomal location of the genes. His acceptance may have been the turning point for the flowering of American genetics. This paper will discuss the reasons for Morgan's recalcitrance, his conversion to belief, and the nature of the scientific evidence that led to his acceptance.
T. H. Morgan, A. H. Sturtevant, H. J. Muller and C. B. Bridges published their comprehensive treatise The Mechanism of Mendelian Heredity in 1915. By 1920 Morgan's "Chromosome Theory of Heredity" was generally accepted by geneticists in the United States, and by British geneticists by 1925. By 1930 it had been incorporated into most general biology, botany, and zoology textbooks as established knowledge. In this paper, I examine the reasons why it was accepted as part of a series of comparative studies of theory-acceptance in the sciences. In this context it is of interest to look at the persuasiveness of confirmed novel predictions, a factor often regarded by philosophers of science as the most important way to justify a theory. Here it turns out to play a role in the decision of some geneticists to accept the theory, but is generally less important than the CTH's ability to explain Mendelian inheritance, sex-linked inheritance, non-disjunction, and the connection between linkage groups and the number of chromosome pairs; in other words, to establish a firm connection between genetics and cytology. It is remarkable that geneticists were willing to accept the CTH as applicable to all organisms at a time when it had been confirmed only for Drosophila. The construction of maps showing the location on the chromosomes of genes for specific characters was especially convincing for non-geneticists.
On physicians’ ethics
  • F Gundrum
  • F Gundrum
a system of complete medical police
  • Jp Frank
Frank JP. a system of complete medical police. Baltimore (Md): the Johns Hopkins university Press; 1976.