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Study: Describing Breastfeeding as ‘Natural’ Is Unethical Because It Reinforces Gender Roles

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Study: Describing Breastfeeding as ‘Natural’ Is Unethical Because It Reinforces Gender Roles

A new study says that describing breastfeeding as “natural” is  “ethically inappropriate” because it plays into the stigma of gender roles. This is derived from a new study in Pediatrics.

Nope, I’m not kidding. It’s a legit study.

“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.

The study is concerned that the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, the American Academy of Pediatrics, the World Health Organization, have all pushed breastfeeding over bottle feeding due to it being “natural,” which apparently marginalizes women as primary caretakers.

“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.

According to the study, unless these organizations “make transparent the ‘values and beliefs that underlie them,’” they should cease using the term “natural” to describe breastfeeding.


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The study’s authors are two women named Jessica Martucci and Anne Barnhill whom we can only assume to be bored, bitter and largely illogical. This study sounds like something that was run by The Onion, but it is in fact, very real. And very terrifying. Liberal movements such as this tend to get groundswells of support even when we think they are too illogical to garner any traction. In other words, don’t be surprised if this becomes “a thing.”

Photo by Yachichurova

Author: Jim Satney

PrepForThat’s Editor and lead writer for political, survival, and weather categories.




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