January 13, 2014

What If Men Gave Birth? ~ Paige Vignola {Video}

I’m not usually and advocate of perpetuating the “war of the sexes,” but sometimes I hear comments that practically demand I address them.

Any man who comments generally on the experience of childbirth is likely to catch my ire.

Don’t mistake me—I know there are many men out there who are supportive, caring and understanding of our birthing experiences and I praise them. However, far more common is the man who likes to tell jokes about how his wife became demonic during labor.

It is my guess that this is the same variety of male who enjoys making PMS jokes.

Here are two such men. They undertook and experiment to experience simulated labor pains in order to demonstrate that “women exaggerate everything… everything.” What they discovered, however, was not quite in line with their boasts.

Highlights of the video for me:

  • 0:47 – Arrogant boasting about getting a 6-pack from the ab-machine.
  • 1:20 – Shock (and a little horror) that the contractions they felt were simulating early labor, a mere 2 on a scale of 1-10 .
  • 1:30 – “Don’t talk to me right now,” said during a contraction measuring no more than a 4 on the 1-10 scale.
  • 2:30 – The doctor explains that during normal labor another contraction would be coming very soon. The response? “Ok, but I don’t want that yet.” Ya think?

I’d like to point out two things here:

  1. This experiment lasted no more than an hour. According to the Mayo Clinic early labor can last six-12 hours and active labor is typically eight hours in duration. Of course there are babies who come more quickly and some who take their sweet time about it. Mind you, even a woman who chooses and epidural will experience labor pains for longer than this experiment lasted.
  2. At the end of this grueling and exhausting exercise height man had to actually push a child out of his body.

I have heard the rebuttal, on occasion, that men can understand the physical pain of child birth because they experience something similar, if not worse, when they get “kicked in the balls.” Luckily for us, ASAP Science thought that this was a fascinating comparison to question.

They call it a tie, primarily because pain is subjective and is nearly impossible to measure.

And yet, I have a friend (male) who once made the bold statement that “If men were responsible for bearing children, our race would be extinct.”

Where do you stand on this great divide?

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Editor: Bryonie Wise

Photo: via Flickr

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