Gender Equality Is Not Achievable - Ever



Angry Harry
Guide To Feminist Nonsense

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Shame and Scandal

Mummy’s Little Secret

James Hickey

Up to 2 in 5, Politicians and Family Court Judges may not be genetically related to some of their children. 

“Ignorance is bliss for happy husbands” wrote reporter Adele Horin. The recommendations of the committee into DNA testing aims to keep the status quo, by making it illegal for alleged fathers having their assumed children DNA tested without the consent of the mother or a court order. 

In 1965 well before the advent of DNA technology the song Shame and Scandal was released. 

Found a young girl, who suited him nice
Went to his papa to ask his advice
His papa said son, I have to say no
That girl is your sister but your mama don't know

Wohohoho, it's real, shame and scandal in the family

“Went to his mama, and thought what he said
And told his mama, what his papa had said
His mama she laughed she says, go man go

Your daddy ain't your daddy, but your daddy don't know...”

(written by – traditional, lead vocals - Peter Tosh, 1965 produced by - Coxone Dodd) 

A 500-year-old English Law declared that any children born into a marriage are the prodigy of the husband. It has not been until recent times have tests become available to prove or disprove paternity. 

Researchers conducting a study into inheritance of blood groups in America in the mid 1900’s discovered that 1 in 10 babies blood types could not be explained by hereditary factors alone. The results of this research were kept secret for many years. 

“In the early 1970s, a schoolteacher in southern England assigned a class science project in which his students were to find out the blood types of their parents. The students were then to use this information to deduce their own blood types (because a gene from each parent determines your blood type, in most instances only a certain number of combinations are possible). Instead, 30 per cent of the students discovered their dads were not their biological fathers. 

"The classroom was, of course, not the ideal place to find out this information," said Prof. Dickens, who is often consulted on ethical issues by geneticists at the Hospital for Sick Children

(Mommy's little secret By CAROLYN ABRAHAM The Globe and Mail. December 14, 2002) 

A study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association in 1995, “Blood Grouping Tests in Undisputed Paternity Proceedings”. Using the A-B-O blood typing system it was found that 18% of the men who had voluntarily admitted paternity, were not the actual fathers of the children. 

The use of blood groups for testing for paternity is not very accurate, as O and A blood groups are the most common. 

In Australian Maternity wards, it is standard procedure to only test the blood groups of the mother and the newborn infant. When the infant’s blood type is different to the birth mothers it is assumed that this is the blood type of the alleged father. The father's blood is never tested.  

If the alleged father of the child asks about the child’s blood group just out of interest or curiosity. He will not be given that information. The obvious reason as to why the father's blood group is not tested is to prevent the accidental discovery of non-paternity in unsuspecting assumed fathers. 

The discovery of DNA and its use in the treatment of hereditary diseases and genetic counseling created an ethical dilemma for doctors. The medical journal The Lancet in 1993 published an article called “"Non-paternity rate and screening in genetic disease analysis". 

“Geneticists have stumbled upon this phenomenon in the course of conducting large population studies and hunting for genes that cause diseases such as cystic fibrosis. They find full siblings to be half-siblings, fathers who are genetic strangers to more than one of their children and uncles who are much closer to their nieces and nephews than anyone might guess. Lumped under the heading of "pedigree errors," these so-called mis-paternities, false paternities and non-paternities are all science jargon for the unwitting number of us who are chips off someone else's block”  

“In the research world, when scientists come across a father in a mismatched family, they toss the sample. If pedigree errors are not caught, Dr. Scherer said, they can wreak statistical havoc with a study: "People have made careers designing software to catch these kinds of things." 

Sample mix-ups can skew results, as can an extremely rare condition discovered in 1989 in which a child inherits two copies of the same chromosome from one parent, obscuring the contribution of the other. But as the number of gene hunts and diagnostic tests has grown and grown, the leading cause of these anomalies has proved to be mistaken fatherhood” (Mommy's little secret by Carolyn Abraham, The Globe and Mail. December 14, 2002) 

A widely publicized story on the accidental discovery of non-paternity through screening for genetic disease is that of Morgan Wise.  

“Wise’s fateful discovery, several years after his divorce, was prompted by the desire to help treat his 6-year-old son for cystic fibrosis: When he took a blood test to find out which cystic fibrosis gene he carried, it turned out that he didn’t have the gene at all. Both parents have to be carriers for a child to inherit the gene. 

Subsequent genetic tests showed that of the four children born to Wise’s former wife during their 13-year marriage, only the eldest was his. ‘I never experienced a heart attack, and I can tell you, I had one that day," Wise told Dateline. "I mean...a part of me died.’” (NBC Dateline) 

For a child to inherit the genetic disorder of cystic fibrosis. Both parents must carry the recessive gene for cystic fibrosis. Genetic DNA testing for the recessive cystic fibrosis gene showed that Morgan Wise did not carry the recessive gene for the inherited disorder of cystic fibrosis as this unsuspecting man did not carry the recessive gene, there was no possible way he could have been the biological father of 3 of the 4 children. 

“Keeping secrets can backfire. In one case, a father who tested negative for a gene that his sick child had inherited wrongly believes himself to be both a carrier of a genetic disorder and the child's natural father. 

Ms. Shuman said counsellors have never told him otherwise, even after his marriage broke up. But recently, he contacted the hospital again to say he has a new partner and wants to come in for further testing. He assumes that any child produced in his new relationship also may be at risk. 

Telling him there is no risk would reveal the truth about his first child. Going ahead with the test denies him the truth about his own DNA.”

(Mommy's little secret by Carolyn Abraham, The Globe and Mail. December 14, 2002) 

Data from the American Blood Banks Association shows assumed fathers requesting the use of DNA that 30% are found not to be the child's biological father. 

(Also see In Genetic Testing for Paternity, Law Often Lags Behind Science.)

A research paper “Prenatal paternity testing with deoxyribonucleic acid techniques” published in the American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology in 1996 found in postnatal testing 37% of alleged fathers were excluded from being the father of that child. Prenatal testing excluded 53% of alleged fathers. 753 postnatal paternity tests were performed and in the study each mother admitted that the paternity of her baby was ambiguous. 

The accidental discovery of non-paternity can happen through genetic testing or in some cases fathers after years of believing that the child was theirs contributing to child support payments only to be told by the child’s mother that they are not the child’s natural father. 

The child, he said, "was not just a part of my life but was my life . . . someone I felt I would die for," said Demby, now 33. When contact with her stopped, "I was forced to view it as pretty much a death in the family," he said.”

(DNA tests mean more in deciding who's dad, some say, Pam Louwagie, Star Tribune Published Dec. 30, 2002) 

One of the arguments for making DNA testing by father’s illegal is that fathering is more than donating some chromosomes. Fathers who choose this option do so by making an informed decision by adopting children or in the case of infertility, parenting children by donor insemination from a fertility clinic. For some alleged fathers the choice is not an informed decision. In fact they may be blissfully unaware of the fact that some of the children born may not be genetically related to them at all. 

Another argument for not DNA testing the children of a marriage is because it may cause harm to the child as the child had already bonded to the assumed father.  

Fathers can lose contact with their children for a number of reasons; 

1. Death or suicide, separated and divorced men have the highest suicide rate in Australia and overseas.

2 .The Court orders that the father not to have contact with the child.

3. The Mother decides that the father can not have contact with the children. The Mother can do this in a number of ways, by hiding the whereabouts of the children. By moving away so that contact becomes difficult and expensive. An article by Bettina Arndt, many mothers put a barrier of distance between their children and their father by relocating on average by 141 kilometres in Australia.

4. Failure to enforce contact orders issued by the Family Court

5. Some men give up the battle to have contact with their children and try to walk away.

DNA testing of siblings can create further complications when one or more are shown not to be the genetic offspring of the assumed father. Some alleged fathers will be prepared to raise these children as their own regardless of the paternity of the child. Other Fathers will not be able to consider children they didn’t father to be their responsibility. In both these cases the alleged father will be able to make informed decisions on the choices he makes.  

Central to the debate on DNA testing and child support, is responsibility. Firstly there is the financial responsibility. Built into the child support formula is what is known as hidden alimony. The ideology behind this is that the children should not experience a fall in the standard of living after divorce or separation. In order for this to happen then the mother herself must not experience a fall in her standard of living. So whilst women can divorce their husbands, men can never divorce their wives whilst they continue to be the provider (pay packet). In the United States one of the justifications given for not relieving alleged fathers from paying child support is "what if the child's biological father cannot be found or if he's on welfare? Who will support the child?" 

A dilemma caused by the DNA paternity debate is should alleged fathers support financially non-biological children? In England, husbands were once held responsible for the debts incurred by their wives and they were jailed in what was called the debtor’s prison if they could not pay the debts of their wife. In the 1950's 60's the father's role was little more than that of the sperm donor and pay packet. Today the separated father is still regarded as a sperm donor and pay packet.  

"If mum lied about who dad is? What else has she lied about", wrote one young boy who discovered his dad wasn't who he thought he was. Not only is it unsuspecting men but children as well, who are hurt by the choices and decision made by women who choose to conceive children to different men. Research also shows that a significant number of children would not have been born with inherited genetic disorders if the man they think is dad, was really their dad. 

Fathers who request DNA testing and the results confirm that the child is actually theirs express a sigh of relief and joy as the doubt over paternity is removed. 

The fathers who discover they are not the biological parent of their children are confronted with feelings of loss and grief.  

A part of me died!” said, Morgan Wise when it was confirmed that 3 of the 4 children born during his marriage.  
"I was forced to view it as pretty much a death in the family," said, Eric Demby Jr when it was confirmed the child he thought was his daughter wasn’t. 

Men who are confronted with not being a child’s biological parent also have to grieve as well for a relationship, which they erroneously believed, existed. That their relationship with the child’s mother was a sham and that they had been lied too and deliberately deceived and exploited sometimes for many years.  

The issue of non-paternity will not go away despite the efforts being made by governments to make DNA testing without the mothers consent a criminal offence, it confronts all of us with a number of moral dilemma's. For many years researchers have shown that women are biologically programmed for monogamy and it utterly shakes the assumption that women are biologically driven to single-mate bliss. Justifications for the high percentage of non-paternity include things like, revenge over an affair, seeking better quality DNA. Feminist advocates often promote women as victims of male desire. The reality of non-paternity confronts our perceptions and beliefs.  

In a society which increasingly points the finger at the behaviour of men and seeks to criminalize and punish male behaviour whilst denying men reproductive choices. To make DNA testing by alleged fathers illegal without permission makes fathers again dependant on the goodwill and decisions of others.  

Unsuspecting fathers are secretly being exploited by unknowingly supporting non-biologically related children they erroneously believe they have fathered. Recently a woman was convicted of fraud in obtaining child support payments for a child that didn’t exist.  

Is paying child support for non-biological children another form of sexually transmitted debt? 

Copyright 2003 James Hickey


DNA tests mean more in deciding who's dad, some say, Pam Louwagie

Star Tribune Published Dec. 30, 2002 

Mommy's little secret By CAROLYN ABRAHAM The Globe and Mail. December 14, 2002 

MG Le Roux, O Pascal, A David, and JP Moisan

Non-paternity rate and screening in genetic disease analysis. Lancet, January 2, 1993; 341(8836): 57. 

Prenatal paternity testing with deoxyribonucleic acid techniques” published in the American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology in 1996 

Sex, lies and DNA, Sarah Henderson, Herald Sun 

Blood-Grouping Tests in Undisputed Paternity Proceedings", Sussman and Schatkin, Journal of the American Medical Association, Vol. 164, No. 3, page 249. 

Dad Blood, If DNA tests prove that you’re not your children’s father, do you still owe child support?

November 6, 2002 by Cathy Young




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