Like many educated people of her time, Emily Murphy believed
that science held the answers to most problems. Scientific
knowledge had undergone great advances, and many people
looked to science to provide answers for social problems.
During the early 20th century, many prominent social leaders
believed that social problems, such as alcohol and drug
abuse and crime, were the result of "mental deficiency."
In the 1932 article, "Overpopulation and Birth Control,"
Murphy identifies "over-population" as "basic problem of
all," and claims that "none of our troubles can even be
allayed until this is remedied."
A common theme of the time was that of the "yellow
peril." China was the most populated country in the world,
and some people feared that if British people started having
fewer children, eventually China would rule. The large
volume of Chinese immigrants entering Canada compounded
these fears. Murphy takes on these "social alarmists" who
were "wont to alarm us with what they are pleased to call
'the yellow peril,' just as is a deeper pigment of the skin
precluded the Chinese, Hindus and Japanese from the benefits
of civic rights and the Christian religion."
As the world built up to fight another war, Murphy, as a
pacifist, felt that only when populations ceased to grow,
and nations stopped needing more land for their population,
then war would cease.
Although she objected to the claims of those who linked
birth control with "race suicide," Murphy did believe that
there was such a thing. It happened when the poor and
mentally and socially inferior reproduced at a much faster
rate than what she deemed the "human thoroughbreds." In
order to prevent what many at the time believed to be
disaster, Murphy supported the practice of eugenics, or