Racial superiority was often defined in terms of an "Aryan race." The "Aryans" grew into a mythical race of people whose traits were embodied in an idealized stereotype. The true "Aryan" was held to be tall, blond, blue-eyed, strong, industrious, and pure in spirit. Although the term is still widely used, it is used incorrectly to refer to a biological unit. However, Aryan is a linguistic term that refers to an ancient language group that was ancestral to the Indo-European family of languages (Jurmain 2000:437). While eugenics had only recently gained support as an institution, the concept of eugenics isn't new. It can be traced back to ancient Greece and Plato's Republic, which can be interpreted as eugenically motivated. Even before Germany began its official eugenics movement, in Germany and America criminals and the mentally deficient were surgically sterilized, while in Britain they were institutionalized and segregated to prevent reproduction.