Re: Some Like it Hot

David H Weinlick (wein0079@MAROON.TC.UMN.EDU)
Fri, 31 May 1996 17:08:24 -0500

>> Men who are unaware of how many children they've fathered predate the
>> "women's liberationists" by, oh, however long there have been humans.
>> It's only recently that men have become aware that they're *not* aware of
>> how many children they have.
>> Carolyn Martin
>OR . . . semper incertatus [sp] . . . if the children their wife has
>given birth to are actually their (from the male viewpoint) own.
>Marie Conrad

It is also relatively recently that technology-such as ovum and sperm
donation, artificial insemination, in vitro fertilization, and so on-have
made it possible that not only the men, but the women, and perhaps neither
parent, knows who the biological parent(s) may be. Anonymous reproduction
is reaching new heights these days, and it's time that we make the
distinction between one's offspring and one's children more clear.
A man who is unaware of his offspring is not a "father" nor is a
woman who is unaware of what has become of her ovum a "mother." It is a
cultural assumption that these two are synonymous, which the practice in
many societies of widespread adoption should attest to. There is certainly
some significance of the genetic contributors to a child, but this is not

David Weinlick
University of Minnesota