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The answer to this seem obvious to me, but maybe I'm missing something. What are your thoughts?

Should a man be allowed to relinquish all rights to absolve all responsibility for a child?

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JeffMurray 7 May 11

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In a world in which all women had easy, affordable access to birth control, and women could easily access abortion without restrictions, I would be inclined to say that men should be able to opt out - assuming that they did so early.

This is not the world we live in. If men wish for this to be the world we live in, they are welcome to join the fight.

Well, I'll have to fight a little on the 'did so early' part. What if they were not made aware? What if circumstances changed significantly where the woman could still opt out. Why couldn't the man still be able to opt out? What is 'early'?

That aside, I agree that all black people should have easy, fair access to voting, but just because they don't doesn't mean I don't also think or wouldn't support Native Americans having easy, fair access to voting. I'll always support women being able to abort, and I fully support free reproductive care/hygiene for women, furthermore, I never vote for anyone who is against these things, thus I'm not the one putting in roadblocks, nor is it even men in general. There are TONS of evangelical or otherwise religious women that support taking away all women's right to choose, so why should men specifically and indiscriminately be punished for this?

@JeffMurray We don't have much to fight over; I agree that men should be made aware of a pregnancy early on - though, really, that's the last in a series of conversations that should have happened. I wonder how many unplanned/unwanted pregnancies occur between people who speak openly and honestly with one another? I would guess very few.

@AmyTheBruce You're right, few if any. If there was open, honest communication, I imagine there'd be a lot less sex happening. Years ago I was seeing a woman who was willing to have honest communication on the topic and stated she would keep a resulting pregnancy were we to sleep together. (She also described herself as "a fertile Myrtle".) The result was that I declined the offer for sex.


Well, if men would stop being irresponsible with their ejaculations unwanted pregnancies wouldn't occur... so no.

100% of pregnancies that are not wanted by the men are the result of men being irresponsible??

@JeffMurray Did you want me to repeat my statement?

@Paracosm No, I just forgot that no man has ever been raped.

@JeffMurray That is a different conversation that has nothing to do with what you posted... but nice spin.

@Paracosm That is absolutely included in the realm of what I asked. If you read the comments, you'll see that the basis for this is that judges have consistently ruled that it doesn't matter how a sperm impregnates a woman, the man is responsible.

What part of, "Should a man be allowed to relinquish all rights to absolve all responsibility for a child?" suggests I'm excluding rape and other such circumstances?

@JeffMurray Most of these comments weren’t here when I replied so that is moot. You deliberately pulled a bait and switch by posting about pregnancy and responsibility using a video concerning consensual sex then turning it around to play gotcha by talking about male victims of criminal acts (such as rape) getting trapped into being responsible for children. That is a different subject than men being irresponsible and is so statistically insignificant that it doesn’t actually help your original argument. Now we could actually discuss the legalities, ethics, and social repercussions of both scenarios but you don’t really seem interested in hearing anything other than that women are unfairly taking advantage of men for child support… which is mostly inaccurate.

@Paracosm The question posed to those two women says nothing about consensual sex, it simply asks, "If we give women the right to opt out of motherhood, should we give men the option to opt out of fatherhood and 18 years of child support?" There's no bait and switch. Women get the right for ANY reason. Should men be afforded that same right?

And no, I'm not saying women are unfairly taking advantage. If a man wants to be a part of raising the child he absolutely should share in the financial responsibility. I'm simply asking if men should be afforded the same right as women, the ability to opt out of rights and responsibilities for any reason.


I suggest an a prori (before sex) contract (both agree) with consideration (money).
Not sure if it would stand-up in court. 😛

I doubt many if any of the scenarios where a man wanted to sign away all right and responsibilities would be solved with a contract prior. It might result in less sex though...


The man should have thought about the risk beforehand. He should be held responsible.

Before his wife gave her friend a used condom of his?

@JeffMurray Details don't matter... taking responsibility does. Ignorance is not an excuse.

@floWteiuQ Ignorance? So if someone stole your semen and impregnated themselves, you'd be cool with taking responsibility for that child?

@JeffMurray of course not, but it's still his responsibility to pay for child.

@floWteiuQ I guess I'm looking for the reasoning why it's his responsibility no matter the circumstances.

@JeffMurray I think you're asking the wrong question. The question is "how" is it his responsibility. IMHO he was careless. Nothing happens in a vacuum. Well ok, maybe the universe LOL 🤣😂🤣

@floWteiuQ We agree that a man who donates semen to a sperm bank isn't/shouldn't be financially responsible for any offspring that result (I hope), so how do you think someone who's semen is stolen/used without consent/used without knowledge should be financially responsible?

@JeffMurray I don't agree that sperm donors should not be responsible. But, that is the decision a sperm donor recipient lives with. This is not the same thing. You roll the dice you pay the piper. It's as simple as that to me. You have a different opinion; that's fine.

@floWteiuQ Just trying to figure out why you don't think men should have the same rights/options as women?
To put it another way: if it's so important for mothers to be financially supported that if men through no fault or sometimes even knowledge of their own should be held financially responsible for children they may not even know or see, why should it even matter if it's technically theirs? (Imagine in this scenario we never discovered DNA paternity testing.) Should there be a general fund from all men paying a special man-only tax that can pay out benefits to mothers?

@JeffMurray oh stop this nonsense. Women are discriminated against regularly. Ffs agree to disagree and move on

@floWteiuQ I never said they weren't. I'm just asking why your proposed solution isn't even equitable for all women. I mean, if that's what this is really about. Maybe there should be a general fund that all mothers are paid from funded by all the oppressive men, that way women who were impregnated by men who subsequently died or men who don't make much or any money can still get the funds they apparently need from a man?


If the man doesn't want the child but the woman insists on having it, then yes, the fathers obligation should be much reduced (90%?). The father still has some responsibility for not using birth control. The woman may have simply used the man to get impregnated.

Mothers have critical social responsibilities that when violated, deserve severe consequences.

Are there circumstances where a man could be completely absolved? What if the man's semen was stolen? Should it matter considering you couldn't prove it? What if he was tricked and the woman said she was on the pill or had a tubal ligation or hysterectomy?

@JeffMurray You gave a good example for your first point, although that seems improbable. If she's not willing to get an abortion, she has to assume much more or all responsibility.

@racocn8 It's rare, but we know it can happen because it already did. The judge ruled against him stating that it doesn't matter how a man's sperm comes to fertilize a woman's egg, only that it did.
I just don't really see why women can have 100% of control over whether or not the fetus is aborted (as she should) but men get no autonomy on the only possible thing they can control in that situation.

@JeffMurray It appears that society will sometimes take the position of imposing inequities to redress past grievances. Then it depends on which side of the fence you happen to be on. Imposing inequity should be regarded as bad policy in search of a better solution.

No-fault divorces are another example where the courts simply decline to get involved in he-said-she-said, and simply impose a one-size-fits-all solution. Inequity is imposed to be expeditious.

As in the case of Affirmative Action, other students regard the quota student as unqualified. And yet, many colleges would be overwhelmed with Asian students if only certain aspects of academics are used to qualify applicants. Maybe policy should be randomly chosen annually?

@racocn8 Those are tough questions to be sure. I tend to think that "quota students" may not necessarily be unqualified because of the inherent bias that exists in even the testing of intelligence and knowledge.
But I don't think that really applies here. All women are able to reduce their responsibility to 0% at any point in the process. Why shouldn't the men have the same recourse? And it doesn't have to be an either or. Certainty we're not saying that a woman needs a man to be able to raise a child are we? That'd be awful sexist, no?

@JeffMurray Of course quota students may well excel. Removing bias from intelligence testing is its own test of intelligence!

As to why men aren't given the same option as women, I'll say again that is how it shakes out in a system that is forced to deal efficiently with inequities. The cost of efficiency is more inequity.
As to saying a woman needs a man to be able to raise a child, I will claim that having two parents is closer to ideal than having one. Not always or in every situation, merely as an approximation of seeking the ideal. It would be the height of idiocy to say that children SHOULD be brought up by single women.

Our particular society is awash in both misogyny and misandry. So, adults have children in all combinations, and have the attitude that that is a freedom. Combine that with the prevalence of mental illness and rank incompetence. We'd be so much better off if some entity could intervene, but again, it is a matter of expedience and more than a little juvenile naivete that intervention almost never happens. Or happens after the damage has been done.

@racocn8 I don't know what the "need" for efficiency is here, or why you think preventing men from opting out and potentially increasing the number and frequency of court battles over custody and child support is more efficient.

There are plenty of conditions that more closely resemble what we think is ideal. But what you've done here is create a straw man argument. You've replaced 'forced cold support' with 'being raised by two patients' and then concluded that is the better option. Furthermore, I submit that that is not necessarily better, especially when one of those parents doesn't want the child and prefers it be aborted or adopted out. And if it's all about closely approximating ideal, and we agree two parents is ideal, should single women be barred from using sperm banks? Seems like there are some holes in this argument...

Are people dumb and selfish? Yes. Do we have a million problems? Yes. Not sure how any of that or the rest of your last paragraph invalidates the notion that men should be afforded the same opportunity to 'opt out' that women have.

@JeffMurray I must have been unclear in my reply. Don't mistake my understanding of how things actually are with what I believe would be fair. When I say policy is set by efficiency, I mean that the legal industry and legislators developed the existing framework, mainly for their own convenience and at the expense of the general population. I don't endorse their framework at all. I acknowledge its existence.

As I said above, I believe that If the man doesn't want the child but the woman insists on having it, then yes, the fathers obligation should be much reduced (90%-100%). Ideally, men should be able to opt out, but I believe the lawyers and legislatures prevent men from opting out to compensate women for their history of oppression. I do not agree with that tactic in this case.

So when I used the phrase -juvenile naivete, I meant that allowing anyone to have children regardless of their competence was juvenile and naive, but that's freedom in the US. However, this freedom results in a populace of maladjusted idiots.

I also have a problem with single women going to a sperm bank. Now they can always shop around for a man to impregnate them, and it would certainly be especially wrong for them to do so with the hope that they can also get financial support. If and only if a woman is mentally healthy should she have a child by herself. Many women have a pathological hatred of men. Such women are NOT fit to raise a child. Many women are unfit to raise a child because of assorted mental illness or simple lack of mental acuity. Again, my definition of fitness relates to MY ideal. What actually happens is closer to a free-for-all of moral irresponsibility.

@racocn8 I know you said you don't agree with the tactic, but couldn't the compensation for oppression of women come from taxes instead of individual men? Compensation for the history of oppression of African Americans doesn't come from individual white people. I think it would be much more efficient if there were standard compensation rates instead of millions of court battles over custody and child support.

No argument from me; people are stupid. Not sure what that has to do with a better, fairer solution. What if the women who need funds who slept with a guy who subsequently died or lost his job/makes almost nothing? Those kids are less deserving of stuff they need?

So if you don't agree that women should be having babies to get financial support, why don't you endorse the idea that men can opt out of providing it? Wouldn't that singularly eliminate any women doing such a thing? Wouldn't that promote only mentally healthy women who want a child because actually want the child instead of any other (non-healthy) reason? You talk of ideals, and I can't imagine one condition that better aligns itself with the ideal than a parent who is having a child because they truly desire being a mother.

@JeffMurray Compensation to women for past oppression could come from taxes. The same for Blacks and slavery. However, the US has so many white supremacists that the proposition is problematic. Likewise, the level of animus between the sexes is great enough that compensating women with tax money is also unlikely. Yes, women have been oppressed, but they have oppressed men back in their own ways, and that subject is taboo.

Various welfare programs exist to help people in need, even though they often brought their distress on themselves.

Men should be able to opt out; I do agree on that. However, society's sympathy for women (again, only looking at the oppression of women) has kept the burden on men. A major part of that attitude comes from the nutty values of Judeo-Christianity. As example, Catholics seek to stop divorce unless the man can bribe the priest.

I don't believe the desire to be a mother has very much to do with the actual competence in maintaining that responsibility. Motivation is great, but that is instinct, and has little bearing on mental health issues that can thwart a loving child rearing. Look at what happens when the desire for motherhood generates five more kids than the family can afford.

@racocn8 I think we're on the same page on most everything. And I wasn't suggesting desire is the only factor; you are absolutely right that desire without other attributes won't get you very far. What I was kind of leaning toward was an analogy to my thoughts on sandwiches: 'You can have a bad sandwich with good bread, but you absolutely cannot have a good sandwich with bad bread.' You can be bad for a child you do want, but how good can you really be for a child you didn't and still don't want?

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