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Novak Publishes Study on Victims of Eugenic Sterilization in Utah


Nicole Novak, research fellow in the Crime and Justice Policy Research Program, co-authored a study examining the victims of the eugenic sterilization practice in the state of Utah, published in The Lancet Regional Health - Americas.

Over 60,000 people were sterilized across 32 states in the U.S., as an intervention promoted by eugenicists at the beginning of the 20th century to solve the perceived issue of the "unfit" outbreeding the "fit." Utah had a particularly aggressive sterilization program, sterilizing a large proportion of its population and lasting well into the 1970s. The goal of this study was to determine who, at the demographic level, was targeted by this eugenic practice in Utah and estimate how many survivors of the program might still be alive in 2023.

The study gained media attention by The Salt Lake Tribune and Insider.

Read the full study here.