Who’s Your Daddy?

Steph is on a baby-related newsletter, and occasionally redirects them to me so I can get the facts. (This week, my baby is about the size of an avocado.) On one of these recent emails, they had a link to an article called Seven fears expectant fathers face. I can definitely feel the “security fears” (e.g. “Will I be able to protect and provide for my family?”).

I don’t mean to mock anyone here, but there’s one that really sticks out to me that I can’t identify with: “paternity fears.” The article says, “About half the new and expectant dads I interviewed eventually came around to admitting they had fleeting thoughts that they weren’t really the baby’s father.” I kept waiting for them to drop the punchline with, “The other half admitted to fathering the first half’s kids.” But no, men really fear this, I guess. It never even occurred to me to fear this.

But since announcing the baby’s existence recently, I’ve had some light shed on this fear. Two different guys I know each asked “Who’s the father?” when they heard the announcement. I know they were just making a joke (in poor taste, I might add, so don’t say this to your friends when you find out they’re expecting a baby). No women said it, just two guys. It struck me that they’re probably some of the ones who would actually posses this fear in the first place. When they asked this question, they were probably just voicing their own internal fears without knowing it.

I never realized how psychological having a baby would be. And it probably just gets deeper and stranger from here. Interesting stuff!

5 Comments

  1. Mark
    Posted April 4, 2007 at 1:45 pm | Permalink

    I was in a genetics class the other day and this stat came up and I was floored, but as it turns out when they were doing large genetic testing, which can trace back family trees, they found 1 in 20 family members were not so much “family” as they thought. I thought that was a blown up number, so I just looked it up…here’s a figure that supports 1 in 25. Close enough. It’s a big ethical issue in genetics also due to the question of do you tell the parents, or children who are getting unrelated testing that they are not the children or parents of who they think they are.

    In other news…congratulations.

    http://society.guardian.co.uk/children/story/0,1074,1546809,00.html?gusrc=rss

  2. Posted April 4, 2007 at 3:28 pm | Permalink

    1 in 25??? I’m guessing that the guests on Maury Povich help inflate that number, right?

  3. Posted April 4, 2007 at 3:29 pm | Permalink

    Nuh-UH! Nuh-UH! You don’t know me! I do what I waaaaaunt!

  4. Posted April 4, 2007 at 3:49 pm | Permalink

    Well I’ll tell you who it’s not, and in this case I’m sure it’s no surprise…

    Howard K. Stern nor Larry Birkhead.

  5. Posted April 7, 2007 at 5:32 pm | Permalink

    Just think of all the psychological damage you can do to your own kid–never mind the fears and what not that you get to go through simply from becoming a parent. 😉