MASCULINITY, A Moot Point?

Holy-wood (or so it thinks) and some misguided academics are peddling the concept that fathers, classical male-female families, and masculinity itself are interchangeable with female only units. In fact, in some circles, gender itself is to be considered moot. Somehow we are to ignore that gender differences exist. We have plenty of celebrities that are thusly confused, but portray this as correct and appropriate. They influence our youth and society to come. An acceptable role of the male in their Orwellian nightmare is simply as a sperm donor. I believe the ancient myths of the Amazons supported this as well. Bees and Black Widow Spider also hold this view. Perhaps, soon we will hear unspecified proponents spout forth that test tube babies show that mothers are also unnecessary. We will have sperm and egg donors. God help us, please save us from our ignorance, and the manipulated desire to do right by being politically correct.

An article written by W. Bradford Wilcox, published in the Wall Street Journal on June 18th cites recent movies like “The Switch,” coming later this summer, where Jennifer Aniston plays a forty-year-old professional who has given up on Mr. Right (basically on men) and marriage, but decides her life is incompletely accessorized without a grown-up’s doll (aka: child). For Ms. Anniston, perhaps art is following life. The movie explores, no make it propounds as acceptable, this egocentricity. She will have a baby without a father for the child simply by procuring some crème. At least she is willing to buy it, not trick some poor unwitting fool into ‘naturally’ donating it and being shackled into a lifetime of financial responsibility; a job that they did not sign up for. The movie celebrates donor inseminated single mother families, similar to the “The Back-up Plan” and the soon to be released “The Kids Are All Right.”

NO, they’re not ‘All Right,’ but Hollywood’s holier-than-thou agenda is pushing this perception. This would be an understandable position for an angry woman that blames men for everything, especially failed relationships.

Of course, a child raised by a mother with a ‘sperm-donor’ for a father will survive and most likely be glad to be alive, but the lack of a strong loving father to guide them will be felt. Equally, a child reared solely by their father, with an ‘egg-donor’ for a mother, will fair equally as well, and this child will be equally as thankful. HOWEVER, both mother and father are important factors in the development of a child. DUH! To think otherwise is pure egocentricity. Coming from Hollywood that would makes sense.

I consider the decision to have a child by a donor (male or female) to be completely and totally immature and egocentric. It is nothing more than “it’s all about me.” This is devoid of consideration for the affects of this decision on the child. There are tons of justifications, but none will be really valid for the child, but many will be born anyway. You want a child adopt one from foster care.

How are decisions like this possible? My first book, Men – The Gods of Love, discusses men’s inability to balance their rational mind, the masculine, with their emotions, the inner feminine. My second book, Women – The Goddesses of Wisdom, discusses women’s inability to balance her emotions with the rational mind, their inner masculine. For today’s woman, they difficulty is see in the masculinized woman. As an example, taking decisive action (masculine) to create a child based on emotions (feminine) is the situation in choosing a sperm-donor dad. The true goal for a woman, discussed in my second book, is the paradoxical need to remain feminine, incorporate the inner masculine power and using reason to balance the two. This is having the wisdom to know correct action, not just feeling-based action. The preposterous idea that a dad is not an important factor may be OK for an unfulfilled egg donor (mother), but is wholly unreasonable. This is a premeditate abuse of the offspring. It is based in narcissism, plain and simple. “I feel I am not complete without a child.” “I can’t figure out how to have a healthy relationship (it’s all men’s fault anyway), so I will just create this accessory to my life.” This bypasses the all-important learnings about relationship and self.

Of course, a mother that has not matured her relationship skills will not be able to teach correct relating to her children, but she doesn’t give it much thought. It’s all men’s fault anyway she believes. While honoring people’s feelings is important, acting on them without reason as a guiding factor, or supporting another’s actions without regards for the consequences of their actions, in this case the children, is unwise.

Anger is inherent in this idea. Considering men as sperm donors is the same as marrying one for money. In both cases the men are not seen as humans, or related to, only for how they can be ‘milked’. Women seem to be able to get what they want materially, why can’t they get it emotionally? My above-mentioned book delves into this predicament and it I not all men’s fault. Relationship is a dance, both can change it or stop it at will. Many women think they are wise and men are clueless.

‘Newsflash!’ Both men and women are clueless, yet it has become fashionable to blame men. Ladies, take off the war paint and look deep, you are no better at relating than men. You may be more emotional, but it is egocentric and therefore destructive. This is not a healthy basis for relating, or child rearing. I consider child rearing ‘job one,’ not an addition to one’s lifestyle, or something to get so one can feel fulfilled. Consideration for what is best for a child must be the first thought, not an afterthought. So providing the proper role models on which to base life is tantamount.

Academics from New York Universities, like sociologist Judith Stacey or Cornell’s psychologist Peggy Drexler have propounded these unisex families. They proclaim that mothers do as well with child rearing with donor fathers as they can with real ones. The feminist movement has been teaching emotional entitlement to women, a form of egocentricity, instead of healthy empowered self-care, blended with care of others. Hollywood celebrities are aggrandized for their egocentric actions, instead of being corrected. This harms relationships and perpetuates the concept of entitlement. Entitlement, the concept that I am owed everything, is prevalent in the U.S. and it has hurt us. It prevents gratitude and giving. Just watch a teenager for a demonstration of what becomes adult behavior.

Ms. Drexler wrote a book that declares that what she calls “maverick moms” (a masculine label), includes single women who chose donor insemination. Rather than tackling the task of creating a normal working male-female relationship, they say a woman can raise boys equally as well as mothers who went the ‘old fashioned way’ with, per her thinking, the outdated notion of father. The idea of fatherhood and motherhood in partnership as models for the children is considered unnecessary and therefore moot. Supposedly, only a “caring and supportive” model of mothering is necessary. I guess these academics didn’t have a great relationship with their fathers. Sorry to hear that, but don’t diminish fatherhood as your personal coping mechanism. Especially, as your academic status places you in the roll of authority figure.

These academics’ view ran into a major roadblock this month, with the release of the report, “My Daddy’s Name is Donor,” by the Commission on Parenthood’s Future. The report is a study comparing random samplings of four hundred eighty-five young adults; ages eighteen to forty-five, conceived through donor insemination to five hundred sixty-three young adults conceived the ‘old-fashioned way.’

Mr. Wilcox reported, “Significantly, the single women who chose to have a child by donor insemination were better-educated and slightly better off than the parents who had biological children together. So the study’s results cannot be dismissed on the grounds that affluent married couples were being compared to poor single mothers.” This was an excuse many have cited to dismiss the idea of two parent families. Those that support the sperm-donor father as acceptable, ignore God, nature, universal intelligence or the like who created masculinity and femininity. To them it is just luck, cosmic Three-Card-Monty.

The above study points to a different understanding. It shows that children conceived by single mothers who chose donor insemination are not as “All Right,” as the pundits would have us believe. “Young adults with maverick moms and donor dads report a sense of confusion, loss, and distress about their origins and identity, and about their inability to relate to their biological father and to his kin.”

Our fathers and mothers are our first role models of masculinity and femininity. What sort of model of masculinity would a child learn about a sperm donor? It doesn’t matter if the child is a boy or girl. Both need to learn from a healthy father. No question, there are unhealthy ones, or ones that were absent, just as there are now more unhealthy absent working mothers.

The predicament for the children can be compared to that of adopted children. Many have an inner sense of confusion about who they are, where they really fit in, and why their biological parents didn’t want or care about them. The above-mentioned study says that seventy-one percent of the mother/donor progeny report: “My sperm donor is half of who I am,” and seventy-eight percent wonder, “What my sperm donor’s family would be like.” Half report that they “feel sad” when they see “friends with their biological fathers and mothers.”

OF COURSE THEY DO! Donor offspring are similarly much less likely to report that they can rely on their family. Fifty-six percent report depending more on peers than on family, compared to twenty-nine percent of young adults born to two biological parents. You can’t count on a sperm donor to be there for you, guide you, protect you, set boundaries, or discipline you like a father would. Further, inside these children know something is not quite right with how they were created. “Why would mom choose not to have a husband who would be a father for me?” they might naturally think. “They didn’t have a fight and get divorced, she just chose for me not to have a dad.” Would it be any wonder if a child thought this? Resentment would be a bi-product. This would produce rebelliousness.

I have witnessed families where the mothers resort to bullying by screaming, withholding, and manipulating. They may get what they want including their kid’s attention, but are resented and ultimately ignored. This diminishes what they wish to teach and devalues femininity, as well as masculinity, and the family. In fact, looking at many divorced households without a father present to discipline, one will see an inordinate percentage of discipline problems.

The loss felt by many sperm-donor offspring contributed to the above study’s statistic that one hundred seventy seven percent of them are more likely to have trouble with drugs and alcohol than children born into NORMAL, read that, two biological parent families. Yes, normality is not wrong or bad, no matter how hard you wish to twist it. I think people should be able to do what they wish as consenting adults, but where it affects others, especially kids, I draw the line. Children need male/female role models and peer groups are not a replacement for that learning.

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  1. Wendy

    BioNews July 19, 2010
    ‘My Daddy’s Name is Donor’: Read with caution!

    09 July 2010
    By Eric Blyth and Wendy KramerEric Blyth is Professor of Social Work at the University of Huddersfield and Visiting Professor in the Department of Applied Social Sciences, Hong Kong Polytechnic University. Wendy Kramer is co-founder of the Donor Sibling Registry (www.donorsiblingregistry.com)
    Appeared in BioNews 567

    The ‘My Daddy’s Name Is Donor’ report is co-authored by Elizabeth Marquardt, director of the Institute for American Values (IAV)’s Center for Marriage and Families, who produced IAV’s previous report highly critical of donor conception (1), Norval D. Glenn, of the University of Texas at Austin, and Karen Clark, of FamilyScholars.org, and published by the Commission on Parenthood’s Future, a New York-based Christian think tank, in association with the IAV, in May 2010 (2).

    At the outset we should declare our alignment with the authors’ desire to acknowledge donor-conceived people’s right to access their ancestral, genetic and biological background.
    Nevertheless, we have serious misgivings about the report, which is based on an online survey utilising Survey Sampling International’s SurveySpot web panel drawn from more than one million American households (3). 1610 adults aged 18-45 years took part, of whom 562 were adopted as infants, 563 were raised by their biological parents, and 485 conceived as the result of sperm donation. The authors claim that their sample is ‘representative’ (p. 5) or ‘very nearly representative’ (p. 6), although a more accurate claim would be that it is representative of the ‘millionplus American households that had signed up to receive web surveys on, well, anything’ (p. 20) – and who are offered cash and other rewards for their participation, rather than of the US population as a whole.

    Representativeness apart, the first thing to be said about this report is that it eschews all deference to modesty. In a single sentence, its claim to be ‘the first effort to learn about the identity, kinship, wellbeing, and social justice experiences of young adults who were conceived through sperm donation’ (p. 5 – our emphasis) discounts every previous research study in this field, and may well explain the absence of reference to any existing studies (except for a cursory end-note [pp. 123-124]). It also probably explains why there is no evidence that the specific questions posed in the study are grounded in existing research involving donor-conceived people. What is less easily explained is why ethical review for this study was not obtained – an essential pre-requisite for all serious research involving human participants. Dissemination of the report via IAV, rather than through an academically credentialed institution, also suggests a lack of competent peer review at any stage.

    Somewhat incongruously, the authors intersperse their own findings with comments from other people totally unconnected with the study, but known to be opposed one way or another to donor conception. Whilst we are not claiming that there is a one-size-fits-all approach to reporting research, this unorthodox approach serves to obfuscate rather than illuminate.
    However, the major concern with the report is the authors’ extensive misrepresentation of their own data so as to best promote their message that donor conception is ‘bad’, even when their own evidence doesn’t support it. Space limitations mean that we can provide only illustrative examples here:

    1) The authors report the following findings: 65 per cent of donor-conceived participants agree that ‘My sperm donor is half of who I am’; 45 per cent agree that ‘The circumstances of my conception bother me’; 47 per cent report that they ‘think about donor conception at least a few times a week or more often’ – and draw from these the exaggerated claim that ‘donor offspring experience profound struggles with their origins and identities’ (p. 6 – our emphasis). The one statement that might suggest any sort of ‘struggle’ – ‘the circumstances of my conception bother me’- generated the following responses from donor-conceived participants: 19 per cent ‘strongly agreed’; 26 per cent ‘somewhat agreed’; 20 per cent ‘somewhat disagreed’; 30 per cent ‘strongly disagreed’ and five per cent ‘didn’t know’. In other words, more than half didn’t care.

    2) This strategy is repeated when discussing payment to donors. The authors assert that ‘nearly half [of donor-conceived people] are disturbed that money was involved in their conception’ (p.6) and ‘with donor conception… the growing child struggles with the dawning realization that his or her biological father or mother sold the goods to make the child without even a look back to say goodbye’ (p. 72). But what do their participants say? Twenty per cent ‘somewhat disagreed’ and 33 per cent ‘strongly disagreed’ with the statement ‘it is wrong for people to provide their sperm or eggs for a fee to others who wish to have children.’ Added to the six per cent who ‘don’t know’, then 59 per cent of donor-conceived participants had no strong concerns about ‘donor’ payment (p.84).

    3) They make a big deal of the ‘fact’ that donor-conceived people feel that ‘no one really understands me’ – repeating this on no less than three occasions (pp. 7, 39, 45). However, once again, the participants themselves tell a somewhat different story. As many ‘strongly disagreed’ with the statement ‘I don’t feel that anyone really understands me’ as ‘strongly agreed’ with it, although overall, slightly more agreed (either somewhat or strongly) as disagreed – 53 per cent vs 46 per cent (p. 104). Of course, this statement is pretty vague and doesn’t necessarily have anything to do with donor conception. In contrast, when the study focused on very specific issues about donor conception itself, the level of support from donor-conceived participants is high. For example, 56 per cent disagreed with the statement ‘If I had a friend who wanted to use a sperm donor to have a baby, I would encourage her not to do it’ (p. 82). However, this does not sit easily with the authors’ agenda. Instead, in order to emphasise their anti-donor conception message, on two occasions (pp. 14 and 65) they focus on the observation that 37 per cent of the donor-conceived participants agreed with the statement.

    4) The data are again misrepresented when reporting participants’ agreements with various ‘expert opinions’: 44 per cent agreed that ‘Donor conception is fine for children so long as parents tell children the truth about their conception from an early age’; 36 per cent agreed that ‘Donor conception can be hard for children, but telling children the truth early on makes it easier for the children’ (our emphasis), and 11 per cent agreed that ‘Donor conception is hard for children even if their parents tell them the truth’ (p. 100). These findings are distorted in the summary soundbite: ‘About half of donor offspring have concerns about or serious objections to donor conception itself, even when parents tell their children the truth’ (p. 57).

    The report has highlighted issues that warrant further serious study. For example, we were surprised to read that 20 per cent of donor-conceived participants claimed to have acted as gamete/embryo donors or surrogates and that 52 per cent would consider being a donor or surrogate (pp. 35-36) – a finding that does not accord with our years of experience of working in this field. Nevertheless, it needs to be investigated in future studies. However, judged on its own merits, this report is seriously flawed and the authors’ analysis should be treated with extreme caution.
    SOURCES & REFERENCES

    1) E. Marquardt (2006) The Revolution in Parenthood: The Emerging Global Clash Between Adult Rights and Children’s Needs
    New York: Institute for American Values |

    2) E. Marquardt, N. D. Glen and K. Clark (2010) My Daddy’s Name Is Donor: A New Study of Young Adults Conceived Through Sperm Donation
    New York: Institute for American Values |

    3) Survey Sampling
    |

    4) SurveySpot
    http://www.surveyspot.com/OW/index.aspx |
    http://www.bionews.org.uk/page_65970.asp

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