Moral defective was a term used in the twentieth century to describe people who had intellectual disabilities. The Minister for Public Health in Western Australia defined five classes of 'defectives' in 1929. The fourth class was moral defectives, who were 'persons in whose case there exists mental defectiveness coupled with vicious or criminal propensities or habitual delinquency, and who require care, supervision and control for their own protection or the protection of others' (Hansard, 17 September 1929, p.742).
Sources used to compile this entry: 'Bill - Mental Deficiency. Second Reading [Hansard p739-747]', in Hansard Archive 1870 to 1995, Parliament of Western Australia, 17 September 1929, https://www.parliament.wa.gov.au/Hansard/hansard1870to1995.nsf/83cc4ce93b5d4e0b48257b33001cfef6/341F55B19BB020C248257A5300146E79/$File/19290917_Assembly.pdf. p.742..
Prepared by: Debra Rosser
Created: 25 April 2013, Last modified: 2 March 2015