A noted social researcher in Australia has deemed pregnancy “masculine” after new statistics reveal that 22 men gave birth in the nation last year.
The figure comes as part of a larger statistic released by Australia’s Medicare agency, which says that 228 men gave birth in the nation over the past ten years.
Lauren Rosewarne of the University of Melbourne also affirms that, for some men, pregnancy is a masculine experience. “Masculinity means different things to different people,” she says. She also puts forward the idea that the international community needs to “confront some the conceptions we have around pregnancy, parenting and childbirth.”
Rosewarne also dismissed the idea that transgender men are any less male than cisgender men. “In this case, gender is something that is thought about in less binary terms than most of us,” she said. “They may not have necessarily had an operation, but they now identify as male. For them, they consider their entire identity wrapped up in the identity of a male, therefore they refer as males.”
Roswarne’s remarks as well as the new statistics surrounding transgender men giving birth come at a time when the societal conversation around transgender parenting has gained new urgency. Earlier this year, director Jeannie Finlay’s documentary Seahorse–which continues to play the festival circuit–examined the cast of Freddie McConnell, a transgender man who decides to give birth. At present, McConnell is suing in a British court to be listed as the father on his son’s birth certificate.