Slog Music

Music, Nightlife,
and Drinks

Friday, February 17, 2012

Who Is the Biological Mother?

Posted by on Fri, Feb 17, 2012 at 7:37 AM

I have to share this passage from a book, Mother Nature: Maternal Instincts and How They Shape the Human Species, by a sociobiologist, Sarah Hrdy, whose most recent book, Mothers and Others: The Evolutionary Origins of Mutual Understanding, provided a foundation for my own thoughts on human sociality....

It is profoundly incorrect to equate "genetic" with "biological," a term that covers far more than just genetic processes. It is also incorrect to treat nature and nurture as separable entities, as in saying "The genes interact with the environment," or "Nurture does not matter." This is why it is unfortunate to hear the label "biological mother" applied to a woman who has given birth to a child and given it up for adoption, or, worse, just provided the donor egg. Such a woman is more nearly the genetic or gestational mother. By contrast to a genetic donor, the biological mother nourishes, nurtures, and provides the environment in which the infant develops both physically and psychologically.
In this intelligent picture of things, care of a child is more biological than giving birth to a child. Perfect sense can be made of this with only a moment of thought; yet how uncommon it is to see things in this practical way. If you see human sociality (care, friendship, concern, cooperation) as the actual biological process, you will see even better how empty and worthless the concept of "pro-life" is.
Two young humans cuddling on the 48 bus.
  • Two young humans cuddling on the 48 bus.


Comments (11) RSS

Oldest First Unregistered On Registered On Add a comment
The Max 1

I've been saying for years that we need to stop using that term. Its use permits them to frame the debate favorably in their narrow, joyless perspective. Call them 'anti-choice' 'coochie fascist' 'vagina police' or come up with a better term to replace theirs with.
Posted by The Max on February 17, 2012 at 8:39 AM · Report this
Which explains why Chuckie's son is destined to be a complete retard by the time he fully matures. No genetic code will undo Chuckie's "nurturing".
Posted by Betaraybilly3 on February 17, 2012 at 8:39 AM · Report this
The Max 3
@2 It appears you've missed the memo. We don't use that term anymore. Using it just makes you look like an asshole. This convinces people of the doubtfulness of any credibility of any insight into the parenting techniques of the Mudede family.
Posted by The Max on February 17, 2012 at 8:45 AM · Report this
wingedkat 4
"Genetic mother" makes a lot more sense than "biological mother". I don't think we'll ever get "gestational mother" into common usage.
Posted by wingedkat on February 17, 2012 at 8:56 AM · Report this
The Max 5
Personally, I like "momlet". But too many people seem to think its demeaning.
Posted by The Max on February 17, 2012 at 9:19 AM · Report this
spaceapple 6
"If you see human sociality (care, friendship, concern, cooperation) as the actual biological process, you will see even better how empty and worthless the concept of "pro-life" is."

Charles, this might just be the best thing you've ever written.
Posted by spaceapple on February 17, 2012 at 10:53 AM · Report this
lark 7
I disagree. I believe "biological Mom" is necessary. I believe nature & nurture are components of life itself. Hence, "biology" the "study of life". Mothers are the natural progenitors of human life. I think the term makes perfect sense.

Regarding, the term "pro-life" vs. "anti-choice". I first heard that term, anti-choice about dozen years ago. Seems it was replaced by pro-choice advocates in the abortion debate. I like what Naomi Wolf once remarked "I'm pro-life & pro-choice".
Posted by lark on February 17, 2012 at 11:21 AM · Report this
Oh this is great, since the crucial thing is human sociality then an unsocialized new-born is also empty, worthless and disposable.

This view could help create a progressive final solution for those anti-social homeless as well, and the sociopaths; in fact any of the leeches on our big co-op of biological driven, only a moment of thought required, progressive society.

It's the biological imperative that the unwanted, unloved, uncooperative, unconcerned get D&Ced - at any stage of development from 0 to 85.

I think this will catch on!

Posted by mt on February 17, 2012 at 11:34 AM · Report this
onion 9
i like both the writing and the photo in this post.

the photo is really cool. the cuddliness of the couple contrasts so starkly with the hardness and non-biological essence of the floor and the plastic seats and the metal. the cuddlers are so biological while the bus is not.
and of course, it makes me smile.
Posted by onion on February 17, 2012 at 12:38 PM · Report this
venomlash 10
@4: A gestational mother would be a surrogate who allows someone else's zygote to be implanted into her uterus.
Posted by venomlash on February 17, 2012 at 4:13 PM · Report this
@7 i think that the idea here is to redefine or sharpen the meaning of the word "biological" by7 taking out the genetic component. a fetus in a womb is an genetic object in development. when the genetic development is sufficiently complete birth happens and the object becomes a creature ready to develop biologically.
Posted by crasher on February 17, 2012 at 5:26 PM · Report this

Add a comment


Want great deals and a chance to win tickets to the best shows in Seattle? Join The Stranger Presents email list!

All contents © Index Newspapers, LLC
1535 11th Ave (Third Floor), Seattle, WA 98122
Contact | Privacy Policy | Terms of Use | Takedown Policy