The Tuskegee Syphilis Study

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African Americans were not always viewed with equal opportunities that they might be able to receive today. Historically, they have experienced a myriad of multicultural and multiethnic challenges, making it difficult to pursue psychology as a traditional practice. For several years, African American psychologists had limited job opportunities and other psychologist often held broad assumptions about African American’s intellectual “deficits". This oppression and dehumanization of African Americans psychologists generated a movement towards equality and a future of African American progression.
Prior to the 1960s and the Civil Right’s movement, racial and gendered segregation was thought of as natural and justifiable within American Academia.
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It symbolised the Eurocentric sense of superiority white americans held over minorities by dehumanizing study participants. Conducted by the U.S Public Health Service, the study examines the progression of untreated Syphilis in African Americans for 40 years. These citizens were mainly from rural areas of the south like Alabama. A total of 600 poverty-stricken African Americans participated in the study with the promise of food, shelter and burial insurance at no cost. 201 of the participants had never experienced Syphilis while a massive 399 had previously contracted the disease. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, “After funding for treatment was lost, the PHS continued the study without telling their participants.” None of the infected men were informed they had the disease nor were they told that the men were not being treated adequately with penicillin. The men were misled into believing they were being medicated and therefore provided consent. No evidence that the men were ever given the choice of quitting either. African Americans were dehumanized in this controversial study and treated …show more content…
Whether it be the exhaustingly limited occupational opportunities within psychology or the prejudice encounters they faced on a daily basis. Like the White psychologist who would hold false assumptions about the intellectual properties of African Americans. The Tuskegee Syphilis Study shows the appalling ways African Americans were mistreated and dehumanized. Although, acknowledging the problem existed was part of the solution. These unfortunate events have helped create the movement towards equality and shaped our society into what it is

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