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Sun Oct 7, 2012, 02:45 PM

 

"Paternity can now be verified by a simple test – but that doesn’t mean it should be"

It’s a wise child, they say, that knows its own father. Nowadays, however, wisdom is hardly required; DNA tests can do the job with scientific certainty. For the entire course of human history, men have nursed profound, troubling doubts about the fundamental question of whether or not they were fathers to their own children; women, by contrast, usually enjoyed a reasonable level of certainty about the matter.


Now, a cotton-wool swab with a bit of saliva, plus a small fee, less than £200, can settle the matter. At a stroke, the one thing that women had going for them has been taken away, the one respect in which they had the last laugh over their husbands and lovers. DNA tests are an anti-feminist appliance of science, a change in the balance of power between the sexes that we’ve hardly come to terms with. And that holds true even though many women have the economic potential to provide for their children themselves.

The subject has resurfaced lately, courtesy of a story in the Daily Mail, about a married television presenter who for years had been paying for the support of a child conceived, as he thought, as a result of his relationship with a writer. It seems that after meeting the child for the first time, he asked for a DNA test; it duly turned out that he was not, after all, the father. Poor child.


. . .

The point is that paternity was ambiguous and it was effectively up to the mother to name her child’s father, or not. (That eminently sensible Jewish custom, whereby Jewishness is passed through the mother, was based on the fact that we only really knew who our mothers are.) Many men have, of course, ended up raising children who were not genetically their own, but really, does it matter? You can feel quite as much tenderness for a child you mistakenly think to be yours as for one who is. Piers Paul Read’s interesting new novel, The Misogynist, touches on just this issue.

A.C. Grayling, the philosopher, has written with feeling on this question this week, in an article for the Evening Standard. Noting that 4 per cent of men are, all unknowing, raising children who are not genetically theirs, according to a report in the Journal of Epidemiology and Human Health, he ponders the impact a DNA paternity test can have: ‘The result can be shattering, leading to divorce, marital violence, mental health difficulties for all parties including the children.’ Well, yes. Scientific certainty has produced clarity all right, and relieved any number of men of their moral obligations, but at God knows what cost in misery, recrimination and guilt.


http://www.spectator.co.uk/features/6391918/whos-the-daddy/

Poor child, because the father found out he was cuckolded. It's anti-feminist because women can no longer trick men in to financially supporting someone else's children. Who cares if men are tricked in to raising someone else's kid, that's their moral obligation anyway.

Wow.

Before running across this article I would not have thought anyone felt this way. At least not publicly. But she seems sincere in her belief that giving men some control of their reproductive rights (ie, not having to pay for someone else's choices) is anti-woman.

I am pretty surprised by this attitude.

Has anyone else seen this expressed before? I would like assurances that this is a fringe belief, in no way supported by any significant number of feminists so I could maintain some hope for humanity.

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Reply "Paternity can now be verified by a simple test – but that doesn’t mean it should be" (Original post)
4th law of robotics Oct 2012 OP
ElboRuum Oct 2012 #1
Warren DeMontague Oct 2012 #2
4th law of robotics Oct 2012 #3
Warren DeMontague Oct 2012 #4
4th law of robotics Oct 2012 #5
Warren DeMontague Oct 2012 #6
Hemp_is_good Oct 2012 #18
stevenleser Oct 2012 #8
Warren DeMontague Oct 2012 #9
stevenleser Oct 2012 #10
Warren DeMontague Oct 2012 #11
4th law of robotics Oct 2012 #15
Major Nikon Oct 2012 #13
Sen. Walter Sobchak Oct 2012 #7
MicaelS Oct 2012 #12
4th law of robotics Oct 2012 #14
Warren DeMontague Oct 2012 #16
Post removed Oct 2012 #17

Response to 4th law of robotics (Original post)

Sun Oct 7, 2012, 03:15 PM

1. I don't know if it is fringe or not.

But I know that, as a general sentiment, I don't believe people should be forced to accept responsibilities that aren't theirs by any right or fact regardless of the positive or negative nature of that outcome.

If they choose to, that's fine. It may even be the better part of our nature to be able and willing to raise children despite the fact that they may not be ours. I mean, the piece suggests that 4 percent of men are unknowingly raising children that aren't theirs, but what I would find interesting is how many men are KNOWINGLY raising children that aren't theirs? Moreover, if that 4 percent knew, would they run away from the situation (vague implication throughout the article is that they would) or would this have no effect?

The undercurrent of this is a thick reapplication of the erroneous idea in some circles that given the opportunity, men will run away from their children. Men are craven, shiftless bums, or haven't you heard?

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Response to 4th law of robotics (Original post)

Sun Oct 7, 2012, 03:38 PM

2. Is it me, or are there some kind of major gender battles going on in the UK that we don't have here?

I don't know. I just see all this extremist radfem yargle coming out of the UK, Australia, etc... women in the US seem to have (mostly) gotten past these ideas of Feminism being one big battle against the objectifying penis of doom that is always trying to sneak a peek at their boobs.

...and this, too. Does anyone in the US actually use the word "Cuckolded"?

I think in the US, the legal obligation for child support rests with the legal father- being, the legally married person to the mother. I could be wrong. Certainly, I could see divorces resulting from a discovery of different paternity; however, one glaring thing I would take issue with from this author is the notion that a paternity test can "lead to" "marital violence". Sorry, there's no excuse for violence, marital or otherwise. No matter who has been cheating on whom. An excuse for divorce? Absolutely.

Also, I find the notion of women 'tricking men into financially supporting someone else's children' to be a noxious and bogus notion. I just don't think it happens in reality, at least not like that, and it's a 2 dimensional phony boogey person, sort of like the "bon-bon eating welfare queen".. "Yes, I am tricking you into providing financial assistance to the spawn of another man's seed MUAHAHAHAHAHAHA"

Nah. Don't think it goes like that.

However, like I said, I think in the US if you are the legal father you are legally obligated for child support; I don't know, maybe I'm wrong. I would also say that if you're going to be in a family-creating, baby making sort of type situation with someone, all the more reason to make sure there is real trust and good communication involved in that relationship.

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Response to Warren DeMontague (Reply #2)

Sun Oct 7, 2012, 03:42 PM

3. I think in the US there is a lot of state-by-state variance

 

and family law is the most open to interpretation subsets of the law there is.

So I don't think there is any set standard. I've heard of people getting stuck paying for a child they can prove is not their's because they believed they were the parent for too long. Apparently you get a window.

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Response to 4th law of robotics (Reply #3)

Sun Oct 7, 2012, 03:52 PM

4. Here's the thing, though- I would take issue with "stuck".

I mean, look at the situation; say "Dad" takes care of kid for, what, 5 years then discovers that he is not the genetic father.

Okay, by all accounts, that's a shitty situation if we're finding out late in the game that someone was unfaithful, fine- but I would disagree with "Dad" being like, "fuck it, not my kid, I'm out of here". I understand being angry, hurt, etc. But it's not the kid's fault, that's the important thing- and presumably in this situation this is the only "Dad" -financially, and emotionally- the kid has ever known.

It's a crappy situation, but there are more people involved than just the guy who is "stuck paying".

See what I'm saying?


Off the subject, did you know you're apparently my sock puppet? Shit, the things you can learn in meta.

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Response to Warren DeMontague (Reply #4)

Sun Oct 7, 2012, 04:18 PM

5. If you choose to remain that is one thing

 

you have made a choice and great for you. I only take issue for those that are forced by law to provide for a child that isn't their's.


It's a crappy situation, but there are more people involved than just the guy who is "stuck paying".

See what I'm saying?


Of course. That's why family law is so . . . messy.

But I don't think that makes paternal tests a tool of oppression against women (as this lady claims).

Consider: the article cites that about 5% of fathers are unknowingly raising kids that are not their's.
Presumably they want to be fathers since they stuck around.

Alright well imagine if there were an IVF clinic that after helping thousands of women conceive it turns out well oops, every 5/100 was someone else's kid (they're really bad at labeling things).

I wouldn't expect thousands of kids to be placed up for adoption by these mothers. However I would expect them to be angry, to want to know, and possibly to sue the bajeesus out of the guy who screwed up.

I think that's an understandable reaction. And I suspect this author would entirely support that just as much as she gleefully supports *not* telling men when they're in a comparable situation.

Off the subject, did you know you're apparently my sock puppet? Shit, the things you can learn in meta


Of course I knew that Master. Was I supposed to pretend I'm not?

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Response to 4th law of robotics (Reply #5)

Sun Oct 7, 2012, 04:37 PM

6. Someone must think I'm just made o free time, if I'm going to do the elaborate charade of pretending

to discuss things with... myself.

Although honestly, in 8+ years I've seen weirder shit around here than that.

Okay- yes, messy. Although in the situation I described above, I do think that the "father" who provided emotional and financial support for, say, 5 years DOES have a responsibility to the kid. An emotional responsibility, and a financial one. That's not to say it's not a fucked up situation- it is- but I would take issue with someone turning around and saying "you're not mine, bye" after all that time, to a 5 year old.

Not to say they wouldn't have a damn good reason to be upset, pissed off, feel betrayed, etc.

Which is why I think the "time limit" laws are in place, and why I think they make a certain degree of sense.

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Response to Warren DeMontague (Reply #6)

Fri Oct 26, 2012, 08:45 PM

18. I strongly disagree, the man should be released of any legal responability... he was decieved

 

the moral aspect is different
and honestly the guy may say "fukit" and stay as the only father the kid's only known.
it doesn't change the fact his wife (soon to be ex?) cheated on him in a very serious way.
Also, I say that because if a divorce happens, and he WILL loose custody of the child, just how the system works 99% of the time, he should NOT be financially responsible IN ANY WAY INCLUDING ALIMONY!

after my divorce I found out my ex was sleeping with men unprotected while we were trying to get pregnant. so I could have been on the hook for a kid that wasn't mine (one of them was black so it would have been kind of obvious).

so yes, I would have fought tooth and nail because damned if i'm going to be responsible for someone else's kid. but still... if things had worked out differently, it would have been my kid and I would have stayed around and raised it.

at the end of a day, your children aren't blood as much as the people you raise and mold.

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Response to Warren DeMontague (Reply #2)

Mon Oct 8, 2012, 03:19 PM

8. "I find the notion of women 'tricking men into financially supporting someone else's children'..."

 

I seemed to remember hearing some stuff about how historically the number was fairly high but that it had come down in the last 40 years. Here is what I was able to find:

http://www.wisegeek.com/how-many-men-unknowingly-raise-children-who-arent-their-own.htm
A 2006 survey found that 1.7 to 3.3 percent of fathers are unknowingly raising children who aren't their own. The study found that dads who opt to challenge the paternity of a child are far less likely to be the actual father than fathers who are confident enough not to challenge it. The percentage of fathers who are highly confident of their child's paternity are not the actual fathers 1.7 percent of the time.

Here is a wiki on "Paternity fraud"
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Paternity_fraud

http://www.nytimes.com/2009/11/22/magazine/22Paternity-t.html?pagewanted=all
A NY Times article that suggests that for men who are not sure about paternity, as many as 30% of them are proven right by DNA tests.
--------------------------------------
I have no idea how accurate these are or the backgrounds of the authors.

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Response to stevenleser (Reply #8)

Mon Oct 8, 2012, 03:24 PM

9. I suspect many of those situations have more to do with infidelity and dishonesty than

A crafty plan to deceive, which is sort of what the orignal assertion makes it sound like.

That doesnt excuse it or mean its not a crappy, dishonest way to run a relationship, but its not quite the same thing as "I am going to play a genetic scam on this guy by forcing him to finacially support someone else's offspring"

I doubt too many people are going around thinking that way.

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Response to Warren DeMontague (Reply #9)

Mon Oct 8, 2012, 04:51 PM

10. I agree with you there, maybe I misunderstood.

 

I think women who do this find themselves in a bad spot after extremely poor decisionmaking and, well, there it is. I agree, they didnt set out to have a baby by one person and try to get another to pay for it.

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Response to stevenleser (Reply #10)

Mon Oct 8, 2012, 05:23 PM

11. and lies have a way of compounding upon themselves.

If she didn't tell him the truth when she got pregnant, or when the baby was born, it's gonna be that much more unlikely she's going to tell him when the child is 5.

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Response to Warren DeMontague (Reply #2)

Wed Oct 10, 2012, 04:07 AM

13. Yes it does happen just like that sometimes

The reason words like cuckolding fall out of use is because people generally don't like to discuss infidelity, even though it is quite common. I've heard those who study evolutionary psychology say that marital infidelity is more or less equal between the sexes, but the reasons why are considerably different. Men are predisposed to disperse their genetic material as widely as possible while women are predisposed to seek out a mate based on his ability to provide, but will seek out a lover based on genetic superiority. So while both sexes have a primary interest in seeking out the success of their genetic line, the manner in which it manifests is different.

So while women may not have a conscious desire for this, at some level and at some rate it will happen just that way, just as men will father children outside their own primary relationship for reasons that are also evolutionary. The only reason it doesn't happen more often is because of the availability of effective birth control.

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Response to 4th law of robotics (Original post)

Sun Oct 7, 2012, 04:58 PM

7. Yup,

 

When my ex was lobbying in support of the California Paternity Justice Act some of those lobbying in opposition were quite open about the collective punishment angle. She encountered one particularly horrifying woman from Berkley who was rambling about how it was a statistical certainty than men in "particular communities" had at least one unsupported child, so to which woman they paid support was largely a technicality.

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Response to 4th law of robotics (Original post)

Mon Oct 8, 2012, 09:45 PM

12. I'd like to see mandatory paternity tests..

On the birth of any and every child. No opt out. I'm not kidding in the slightest.

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Response to MicaelS (Reply #12)

Wed Oct 10, 2012, 10:27 AM

14. That would be interesting

 

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Response to MicaelS (Reply #12)

Wed Oct 10, 2012, 02:11 PM

16. Really? Why? Serious question.

Honestly I think thats an overreach, and a response to a problem that isn't a) that widespread and b) a concern for most new parents. My kid had to have a glucose level taken right after he was born, they did it by pricking the bottom of his foot. Watching him howl, I can definitely assure you that as a new Dad I wasn't going to support any tests that weren't totally necessary.

And, in the case of my kids, that test would have been totally unnecessary. Aside from having genuine mutual trust in our marriage (otherwise neither of us would be in it) I can state with absolute 100% certainty that my kids are mine. Some genetic stuff, not just physical characteristics but behaviors that appear which couldn't possibly be learned.. no, as sure as I am sure of anything. They're mine.

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