Elmer Pendell

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Elmer Pendell (1894–1982) was an American sociologist.

In the tradition of Malthus,[1] he focused on population issues. He was a eugenicist and a social Darwinist, holding the hypothesis that as civilization advances, the less intelligent members tend inevitably to numerically outbreed the more intelligent.[2] He was associated with the Population Reference Bureau and with "Directors of Birthright, Inc." [3] He was once fired from the University of Nevada for circulating among his students a paper about sex and birth control.[4] In his work, he weighed different theoretical approaches to inducing a higher average IQ in the population particularly of the United States and Europe. He was also concerned about population growth in the Oriental and Northern African countries.[5] In addition to points surrounding licensing marriage, he suggested limits to migration from countries that fail to maintain population control measures.[6] He also believed that banning abortion would be harmful to both population numbers and societal problems.[7] Pendell edited a textbook for undergraduates, An Introduction to Sociology, about which a reviewer stated that "Each chapter is excellent and covers a wealth of material...."[8]

Biographical Data

Elmer Pendell studied population issues, and acquired his B.S. at the University of Oregon, M.A. at the University of Chicago, LL.B. at George Washington University and Ph.D. at Cornell. Pendell's teaching career has included posts at the Universities of Nevada, Arkansas and Oregon, as well as Jacksonville State University and Cornell. He is the holder of a Purple Heart and a Distinguished Service Cross. He served with the 168th Aero Squadron in France during World War I.[9]


He is the editor of the textbook, Society Under Analysis: An Introduction to Sociology published in 1942.[10]

He is also the author of the books

  • Population on the Loose
  • Why Civilizations Self-Destruct
  • Sex Versus Civilization (a novel published by Noontide Press[11])
  • The Next Civilization[12]

and coauthor of

  • Population Roads to Peace or War with Guy Irving Burch
  • Human Breeding and Survival, Population Roads to Peace or War with Guy Irving Burch


  1. ^ Dykstra, J. W. (1958). "The Population Problem of the Netherlands". American Journal of Economics and Sociology. 17: 287–294. doi:10.1111/j.1536-7150.1958.tb00256.x. William Vogt, Guy Burch, Elmer Pendell, Fairfield Osborn and others have repeated, with various contemporary modifications, the basic Malthusian concern that the depleted resources of the world will be shortly unable to provide for these ever increasing numbers of humans.
  2. ^ For example, see Why Civilizations Self-Destruct, 1977, pp. 116-119
  3. ^ Instauration, July 1982, p. 17.
  4. ^ The Tuscaloosa News, 18 November 1977, p. 4.
  5. ^ Eugen Rev. 1948 July; 40(2): 88–89.
  6. ^ The Spokesman-Review, (Spokane, Washington, USA) September 23, 1946, p. 6.
  7. ^ The Tuscaloosa News, 29 April 1981, letters to the editor, p. 4.
  8. ^ Social Forces (1943) 21 (4): 486-487. doi: 10.2307/2571191
  9. ^ The Tuscaloosa News, 25 March 1982, p. 5
  10. ^ OCLC 001337893
  11. ^ The News and Courier, (Charleston, South Carolina, USA) 4 August 1968, p. 14-A
  12. ^ The Spartanburg Herald, (Spartanburg, South Carolina, USA) 12 May 1972, p. A4
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