Male pregnancy

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Arnold Schwarzenegger as a pregnant cisgender man in Junior.

Male pregnancy is a trope popular in many fanworks and some genres of romance novels, especially m/m paranormal romance. It also occasionally makes an appearance in other genres, such as fantasy or sci-fi (Star Trek: Enterprise includes a canonical example of male pregnancy, for example) and comedy (e.g. Junior). It involves male-bodied characters - usually, but not always, cisgender men - becoming pregnant through various means, including but not limited to magic, alien or Omegaverse biology, and laboratory experiments.

It occurs most commonly in m/m and slash fanworks and romances, but occasionally in m/f works. For example, it is possible for alpha female characters to impregnate omega males in some Omegaverse universes.

Controversy and Public Perception

The existence of the mpreg trope is controversial even among fans of slash fanworks and m/m romances, and it is often mocked by people outside its limited fan community, but it has received some eloquent defense arguments by fans of the trope. For example:

It is just so much easier to mock something than to really engage in it. Like, how easy to point out the mpreg trope and be like, “Look at this crazy thing these crazy people are doing.” But mpreg is a really poignant commentary on how the biological fact that women carry children influences every aspect of female life in society. Tweak it so that men can get pregnant, too, and watch how things change: watch how the men are the ones now struggling with the questions that society so seldom demands of them. It breaks my heart, what so many mpreg fics reveal about how girls feel about their place in society. I mean, in Omegaverse, frequently the pregnancy-bearing gender is literally a prisoner of its reproductive function, lamenting the inability to ever lead a life with full freedom of choice, and, in fact, tasked with limiting exposure to the impregnating gender because, hey, they are not to blame if they’re tempted by the irresistible invitation of a baby-depository in their vicinity.[1]

In the Real World

Though there have been rare cases of successful uterine transplants for cisgender women, as of September 2016 there have been no successful examples of a uterine transplant to allow a transgender woman or cisgender man to become pregnant and give birth, though there have been occasional attempts at least as far back as the 1930s, when transgender pioneer Lili Elbe (whose story was fictionalized in The Danish Girl novel and subsequent film starring Eddie Redmayne) died after complications from an attempted uterine transplant.

Some transgender men choose to retain functioning ovaries and uterus and there have been a number of cases of transgender men becoming pregnant and giving birth. The most famous case, Thomas Beatie, gave birth to three children after discovering that his wife was infertile and wrote an article about the experience for The Advocate[2].

Fempreg

The concept of fempreg is frequently mocked by people unaware of the correct definition. It does not refer to a female-bodied person experiencing a pregnancy. Rather, it involves a female-bodied person who has been impregnated by another female. An omega female character impregnated by an Alpha female character in an Omegaverse universe is an example of fempreg. Fempreg is much rarer than mpreg.

Related Links

References

  1. http://fanlore.org/wiki/If_You_Want_to_Talk_About_Something_Weird,_Let%27s_Talk_About_Geoducks,_Not_Fanfiction
  2. http://www.advocate.com/news/2008/03/14/labor-love


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