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No More Our Father? | IVF, Sexuality and the Father Figure Clause

BoyI’m not one for ‘natural order’ arguments, but part of me is drawn that way over the news that the ‘father figure’ clause currently in British IVF legislation is potentially going to be dropped.

A government joint committee report “took issue with the proposal to remove the current requirement for IVF clinics to take into account the need for a father. They said it was right that lesbian couples should be considered for IVF, but said removing the father clause could encourage clinics to downgrade the importance of a two parent family.”

Absolutely. In my experience as a teacher I am absolutely convinced that it is the absence of proper father figures that is leaving children flailing around for meaning when they reach around 12 years old. It is then that, for boys, the move away from the maternal accelerates, and the move towards manhood begins. In the absence of secure father figures, boys struggle to form secure masculine identities. Many begin to violently reject the maternal, and their behavior becomes very poor. Others, unable to find security in the paternal, instead define them through the fraternal, and these immature groups of boys struggling toward manhood become gangs.

I seriously hope that the committee’s concerns are listened to. In our virtuous march towards a just and liberal society we must also make sure that freedom for one group does not impact on the lives of another. In this case I am worried that freedom for any woman to bear children is going to very seriously impact society in a few years time as the ‘crisis in masculinity’ gets worse.

Am I being too conservative here, or is it common sense that a child needs a mother and a father for a balanced upbringing?

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4 comments to No More Our Father? | IVF, Sexuality and the Father Figure Clause

  • I think it may be common sense that a child benefits from having both male and female role models. I’m not sure that necessarily means it must optimally be a mother and a father.

  • It’s not very popular to say it, but I agree with you. There is something about having a missing father that severely impairs many young men. I think the crisis is worsened by the fact that the “other” role models young men have to look to in the absence of a father are no longer uncles and other men of a community that they know. Instead they look to celebrities, with disastrous results, because the image that is portrayed is never an authentic reflection of the real person.

  • Dana Ames

    In agreement, but augmented: Loving, caring father and mother attuned to the good of one another and their children.
    Simply having a male person and a female person in the household isn’t the point, and I think you left that unstated because it’s “obvious”- but as a teacher you know that simply having two parents doesn’t guarantee the child will grow up to be a well-adjusted person, or be free from abuse as a child. And as an adopted person I would also say that good parents are good parents, whether they’re the biological ones or not.
    Sure wish I could get down to Ventura to meet you- so near -about nine hours driving time, but in California that’s not much :) -and yet so far… Have a great time at Soliton.
    Dana

  • Sternke (above) makes a good point that not just anyone will do.
    It seems recent developments in child psychology indicate that boys begin pulling away from socially defined “feminine” roles and behavior much earlier than 12. Even around 3-5 yrs. boys exhibit resistance to anything that might get them labeled feminine (e.g. “He throws like a girl.”). Research I’ve seen doesn’t suggest that boys with fathers in their homes or lives are any less likely to exhibit this behavior. In fact, most men are so emotionally stunted that they are unable to avail themselves to boys during this time of disidentification with anything feminine for the sake of healthy formation.
    Society does such a sound job identifying “masculine” and “feminine” behavior that the only thing that might help boys from becoming violent gang members and girls from becoming Suzie Homemaker are role models of both sexes to help guide them through the formation of a healthy gender identity.