Initially when Alberta’s Sexual Sterilization Act of 1928 was drafted it aimed to forcefully sterilize inmates in mental hospitals with a record of mental illness or disorder white being discharged from asylums or mental health institutes. Though the sterilization program was aimed at both the sexes, the representation of women in the sterilization program exceeded men. There was an element of gender bias observable in the enactment of the 1928 Act.
specifically for you
for only $16.05 $11/page
The reason for this was that these women were considered socially and mentally deformed and therefore were considered either potential deviant. These women were confined in mental hospitals to prevent them from reproducing and therefore prevent future birth of another ‘deviant’. Therefore, the goal of the act was to create a discrimination process against women based on the garb of mental health and social deviant. The act underwent subsequent amendments in 1937, 1942, and 1972.
The 1937 amendment established a difference in the categorization of a mentally defective individual and a psychotic individual. The criterion of extended mental illness to the progeny was included as the criteria for the legitimization of sterilization in the new amendment. Further, the consent of the person or that of a spouse, relative, or Minister was required. The 1942 amendment broadened the persons to be included in the sterilization program based on mental illness. 1972 a Bill was passed to repeal the Sexual Sterilization Act.
The act at its initial stage showed gender bias in its enactment where more women were sterilized than men. The basis for gender bias was the social oppression of women. The discrimination against women was acute due to the patriarchal structure of society that dominated the socially oppressed group.