AuthorHall, Barbara Jean, 1956-
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PublisherThe University of Arizona.
RightsCopyright © is held by the author. Digital access to this material is made possible by the University Libraries, University of Arizona. Further transmission, reproduction or presentation (such as public display or performance) of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.
AbstractIn this dissertation, I have analyzed some of the problems associated with male reproduction. I discuss basic notions regarding the origin of parental rights concluding that whatever rights parents have regarding their children arise because of the biological connection between the parents and child. A biological parent has prima facie rights to his child because that parent has property-type rights to his own body. I suggest that parental responsibilities automatically incur whenever the conception of a child is intentional or voluntary, or when conception is the result of negligent or reckless sexual activity. Only when procreation is involuntary does automatically delegating parental responsibilities to a male seem morally problematic. The category of acts which would constitute involuntary procreation, however, is very narrow. I discuss morally problematic issues that arise when a child is born against the wishes of the male progenitor. Focusing specifically on the issue of child support, I conclude that the father should have some responsibility for the support of the child. The only time for which the imposition of parental responsibilities upon a reluctant father is morally questionable would involve the fraudulent misrepresentation of the female regarding her use of contraceptives, combined with some affirmative action by her to undermine the male's attempted effort at contraception. Finally, I discuss the moral and legal implications of a woman's decision to obtain an abortion against the wishes of the potential father. I conclude that her abortion could seriously harm the male's procreation interests. But, given the vital role women have in the reproductive process, women should possess rights (regarding their bodies and reproduction) superior to those males might possess. The evolution of reproductive technology, however, has made these greater rights a contingent fact.
Degree ProgramGraduate College