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The Deaf

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An Excerpt:  "When we come to consider the question of congenital deafness, which comprises a little over a third of the total amount of deafness, we have an even more
difficult problem on our hands, for here we are to deal with some of the great
questions of heredity-though hereditary deafness and congenital deafness are not
altogether one and the same thing.[41] For the purposes of our inquiry, let us
think of the congenitally deaf as divided into three great classes in respect to
their family relations: 1. the offspring of parents who were cousins; 2. the
offspring of parents who were themselves deaf or members of families in which
there are other deaf relatives; and 3. the product of families without either
consanguinity or antecedent deafness. Of these three classes the first two only
will engage our attention. Of the last, comprising, according to the census,[42]
nine-twentieths, or 44.4 per cent, of the congenitally deaf, there is not much
that we can say. For a great part of it there no doubt exists in the parent, or
perhaps in a more remote ancestor, some abnormal strain, physical or mental, in
the nature of disease or other defect. But in respect to such deafness we have
too little in the way of statistical data to help us arrive at any real
determination; and for it as a whole we shall have to wait till we have greater
knowledge of eugenics and the laws of heredity.[42]
The Offspring of Consanguineous Marriages
Not all the deaf born of consanguineous marriages are congenitally deaf, but as
the majority are so, and as the fact of the parents being blood relatives is
assumed to have at least a contributing influence in the result, we may consider
the matter in this place. It is in fact closely connected with the question of
deaf relatives in general."

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