“All sorts of computer errors are now turning up. You’d be surprised to know the number of doctors who claim they are treating pregnant men. ”

-Isaac Azimov


  1. #1 Stephanie Z
    April 3, 2008

    Hmm, I don’t know that GIGO is a computer error. Until we design computers that don’t take our word for this sort of thing, I think the doctors are to blame.

    Could you fix his last name (Asimov)? I know you have to type the name of a robot to do it, but it’s the sort of thing that makes me twitch every time I see it. (And now Greg knows how to make another reader twitch.0

  2. #2 Julie Stahlhut
    April 3, 2008

    Well, my mother and my uncle (her brother-in-law) are both patients of the same physician. In deference to their privacy, I’ll use fake names and birthdates instead of their real ones, but here’s what happened there once:

    Mom: Pauline Kozlowski, b. 12 April 1921
    Uncle: Paul Kozlowski, b. 26 October 1924

    When Mom was there for a routine appointment, one of the assistants pulled her chart, and then said in an offhand way, “Your birthdate is 10-26-1924, right?” Mom said no, and then a moment later realized that the birthdate was my uncle’s. She corrected the office folks with more than a little annoyance.

    I’d like to think that they’d quickly figure out which one had been treated for prostate problems and which one had had the hysterectomy, but still, it gave Mom a bit of a start.

  3. #3 Zeno
    April 3, 2008

    It’s Asimov, with an s. (Unless you mean someone else.)

  4. #4 Alan Kellogg
    April 3, 2008

    Funny thing, but Zoe Brain has written about pregnant men. Actual pregnant men. There is a catch.

  5. #5 Zoe Brain
    April 4, 2008

    Julie – I know people who have both had a hysterectomy, and have a prostate. And if anyone has a problem with me, a woman, being the father of my son, I refer them to my OB/GYN.

    1 in 60 people are Intersexed (technically). 1 in a few hundred have symptoms that you don’t need a lab to detect. 1 in a thousand or so have real problems. 46xy chromosomes and vagina, 47xxy chromosomes, that kind of thing. It’s not as unusual as most think.

  6. #6 the real cmf
    April 4, 2008

    Zoe, is it true that you actually are the father of your son, i.e., both his male and female gammete contribution( sperm AND egg) came directly from your own body?

    That would strike me as remarkable,and potentially hazerdous in the general sense of genetics–like side effects etc.

    However, if that is possible, good for you, and your boy–in contrsat to the woman who had a sex change and our US media is calling her a ‘pregnant man’ you would actually be a real story and not a manipulation of the truth.

  7. #7 Stephanie Z
    April 4, 2008

    CMF, to the extent that anyone is a story, they both are. No time for a real argument, since I’m about to unplug for the weekend, but the headline for a story about a pregnant transgendered woman who prefers to be called a man, and who most people know as a man, is necessarily going to be a simplification. Even without recourse to clothing, haircuts, hormones or surgery, gender is more complicated than genetics. Why would we expect it to get any easier to talk about when we add all those options in?

    (I will admit, though, that the scifi and science fan in me was a little disappointed by the mundane nature of the story.)

  8. #8 the real cmf
    April 4, 2008

    Steph,(BTW are you that writer editor in d-town MPLS? Old Loring denizen?…)
    I was extremely disappointed in that story as well, if for no other reason than that I am a journalism buff, and I am appalled at the trend in fluff-journ, and subjective fact selection– it cheapens the meaning of a real Zoe story (if in fact it is as stated) by adding socio-political euphimisms, and mis-statements of fact to ‘hard news’ stories.
    To me, a Zoe is a story; the pregnant ‘man’ is a circus sideshow, because it is not truthful.It diminishes the stories of the intersexed/intergendered/dual gendered, which are distinctly different than the transgendered, both politically, psychologically, and medically.

    “gender is more complicated than genetics” as are oversimplifications of political objectives to political realities. Here is one: intersexed babies get their parts lopped off/swn up before they can consent–their sexual functions are tampered with sans consent; transgendered individuals have mad a choice; moreover, to call that person who opted for that choice a man, is to bait and switch, rather than to just tell it like it is.
    “a transgendered person is pregnant.” That is not complicated to say at all, but adding ‘man’ to the sentence opens a can o’ worms–a deliberate manipulation of the main function of objective news gathering.

    In the end I think a cause succeeds on the merits of truth telling, not the little lies along the way.

  9. #9 Zoe Brain
    April 5, 2008

    I’m my son’s biological father, but NOT his mother. Any female reproductive tissue I had was removed when I was 20.

    I’d rather not discuss my genital configuration, past or present, but what the heck. I had functional male gonads for perhaps 5 years, before they atrophied. As for the rest, the usual genital reconstruction technique is penile inversion, and that requires something approximating normal male genitalia. That was out of the question in my case.

    Some of the details are in the Cosmos Science Magazine article on Intersex.

    A similar kind of thing in reverse happens to guys with 5 alpha reductase deficiency or 17BHDD. There things externalise, descend and grow.

    For what it’s worth, my body looks normal now. Just like any woman who’s had a radical hysterectomy. That’s mostly the result of natural change, with some surgery: the hormones have had no appreciable additional effect.