Wednesday, March 1, 2006

More comments on Carl Djerassi

Last week, I mentioned contraception pill innovator, Carl Djerassi. He has some interesting things to say about changing ideas of what constitutes a family in today's society. In an article announcing a play he wrote about lesbian lovers who conceive invitro using each others' brothers' sperm, Djerassi said:

Assumptions that marriage must be heterosexual and that a child cannot have two parents of the same sex were never even considered assumptions, because they were beyond questioning. All of these terms have become destabilised, their meanings blurred, their range extended.

Some would blame technology during the past three decades for these developments, but in actual fact major social and cultural changes were even more responsible for the monumental shift that has caused so much fear and antagonism, especially among the ever increasingly strident fundamentalists in the USA. So why not write a play about a situation where family and parent have assumed disturbingly fuzzy meanings.

Might I argue that perhaps it is the very invention of these birth control technologies that allowed people to divorce in their minds the idea of procreation from sexual or married relationships? Chemical birth control could very well have caused these "major social and cultural changes." This certainly seems like a likely correlation to me.

Stephanie Coontz agrees, and in an article she said this:

Heterosexuals were the upstarts who turned marriage into a voluntary love relationship rather than a mandatory economic and political institution. Heterosexuals were the ones who made procreation voluntary, so that some couples could choose childlessness, and who adopted assisted reproduction so that even couples who could not conceive could become parents. And heterosexuals subverted the long-standing rule that every marriage had to have a husband who played one role in the family and a wife who played a completely different one. Gays and lesbians simply looked at the revolution heterosexuals had wrought and noticed that with its new norms, marriage could work for them, too.

Read my article "Did contraception lead to homosexuality?" on No Room for Contraception- click here.


  1. i understand what you're saying, but i just don't see anything resembling a "homosexual revolution."

    they've been here and they've been queer for thousands of years.

    homosexuality has been in and out all throughout history, no pun intended.

  2. She's saying that through contraceptives, heterosexuals have set the stage for the current marriage debate.