The Pregnant Man
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The paper opens with the story of Thomas Beatie, a female who changed her gender to male and then became pregnant. She became pregnant because the natural body chemistry existed for Beatie to carry the child. The paper uses this backdrop to discuss the categories of gender and especially the loss of fluidity of the notion that females should carry children.
From the Paper:"The discrimination Beatie and his wife encountered demonstrates society's attempt to "fragment the individual's bodily and social experiences," (Lorber p. 47). Fragmenting a human being's bodily experiences precludes Beatie from being treated equally in the American health care system. Gender fragmentation also prevented Beatie from telling his in-laws about his sex reassignment surgery. The fragmentation also carries over into social experiences and social roles. If Beatie wants to be accepted as a male, he must do "male" things: activites that do not include carrying children. One doctor told Beatie to shave his facial hair: as if shaving off his facial hair would make him better able to carry a child, or somehow mark him as being more suitable to the job of parenting.
Beatie's story raises pertinent issues about defining motherhood. Motherhood is defined in terms of reproduction and also in terms of social status and role fulfillment. Biological females who adopt children are "mothers" even though their bodies did not carry the child. Their role as mothers is a socially constructed one: mothers may be expected to offer nurturance and emotional support. Fathers, on the other hand, may be expected to tease and play with their children. Gender neutral parenting is a relatively new concept."
Sample of Sources Used:
- Beatie, T. (2008). Labor of love. The Advocate. Mar 26, 2008. Retrieved April 11, 2009 from http://www.advocate.com/exclusive_detail_ektid52947.asp?page=2
- Lorber, J. "Night to his day": The social construction of gender.
- West, C. & Zimmerman, D.H. Doing gender.
Cite this Descriptive Essay:
The Pregnant Man (2011, September 15) Retrieved January 16, 2021, from https://www.academon.com/descriptive-essay/the-pregnant-man-148160/
"The Pregnant Man" 15 September 2011. Web. 16 January. 2021. <https://www.academon.com/descriptive-essay/the-pregnant-man-148160/>