Posted on 18 September 2010.
Over the years, innumerable researchers and doctors have carried out experiments on humans and animals with the aim of finding cures to certain diseases or tapping in to the human psyche. While some were acceptable, others were grossly unethical. The following fall into the second category.
1. Stanford Prison Experiment
This experiment was carried out at Stanford University by Philip Zimbardo. A mock prison was created and volunteers were asked to live in it for a while. However, the guards soon went out of control and their behavior became sadistic and vicious while the prisoners developed severe emotional problems.
2. Speech Therapy
The subjects of this experiment were over 20 orphan children in Iowa. The supervisor of the project, Tudor, divided the children into two groups- one group was given positive and encouraging speech therapy but the other group was not as lucky. The children in the second group were made fun of if they stuttered or made mistakes and they grew up with speech problems.
3. The Marshall Islands Experiment
Marshall Islands residents were forcefully exposed to radioactive substances in 1954. Over the years, several results were seen- women went through miscarriages, stunted growth was noticed in children and some developed thyroid cancer.
4. The CIA Experiment
This project was carried out by the CIA during the 1950s. Drugs like LSD were surreptitiously given to employees, prostitutes, those who suffered from mental problems and the general public. The motive here was to keep a track of their reactions to the drug.
5. The Removal of Homosexuality
Homosexual soldiers were forced to go through sex-change operations by the army in South Africa. Many of them were given electric shocks and subjected to chemical castration. The aim was to ‘remove homosexuality’ from the army.