STUDY: Describing Breastfeeding as ‘Natural’ Reinforces Gender Roles

Hum... maybe because "gender roles" are a thing?

If you thought that you'd seen it all, rest assured you haven't until you read about a new study conducted by Jessica Martucci and Anne Barnhill and discussed in Pediatrics which scolds governments and hospitals for describing breastfeeding as "natural," because it's “ethically inappropriate” to reinforce gender roles.

“Coupling nature with motherhood… can inadvertently support biologically deterministic arguments about the roles of men and women in the family (for example, that women should be the primary caretaker,” the study says.

Guess who has been guilty of this atrocious slight over the past few years? The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, the World Health Organization, and the American Academy of Pediatrics. All of these organizations have said that bottle-feeding was inferior to the more "natural" breastmilk.

“Referencing the ‘natural’ in breastfeeding promotion… may inadvertently endorse a set of values about family life and gender roles, which would be ethically inappropriate,” the study says.

Martucci and Barnhill are annoyed by those public service announcements that use the word "natural," unless there is a disclaimer that "makes transparent the ‘values and beliefs that underlie them.'"  What would that disclaimer say, exactly? "Warning: This public service announcement was made by people who know female breasts lactate after childbirth."

This is a fascinating read, because it's obvious that Martucci and Barnhill care less about the health of the babies and more about the emotional well-being of some transgender man who hopes his kid will grow up to call him "Mom." Enough is enough! The well-being of children should take precedence over the identity politics of who-gets-to-lactate. In fact, there is no authentic "identity politics" angle on the matter. It's basic science and common sense -- neither of which is a strong suit for Progressives. 

Image Credit: Pexels

​h/t Heatstreet