In an outlandish experiment that would have been considered off-limits just a few years ago, Chinese scientists have successfully forced male rats to give birth.
Researchers from Shanghai’s Naval Medical University reported how they castrated a male rat, connected him with a female rat, and then transplanted a uterus into him, from which they subsequently delivered a baby rat by caesarean surgery.
“Here we investigated the question of whether male pregnancy with livebirths can be achieved in a rat model if the speculative problems were solved by existing methods,” the study’s introduction states.
Years ago, Joseph Fletcher, an all-or-nothing utilitarian known as the “patriarch of bioethics,” wished for a time when males would give birth. In his book The Ethics of Genetic Control: An Introduction, published in 1988, he wrote:
“Transplant or replacement medicine foresees the day, after the automatic rejection of alien tissue is overcome, when a uterus can be implanted in a human male’s body—his abdomen has spaces—and gestation started by artificial fertilization and egg transfer. Hypogonadism could be used to stimulate milk from the man’s rudimentary breasts—men too have mammary glands. If surgery could not construct a cervical canal the delivery could be effected by a Caesarean section and the male or transsexualized mother could nurse his own baby.”
What seemed outlandish at the time is today pushed as an issue of human rights as part of the transgender movement and other advocacy agendas aimed at establishing new family structures. Indeed, a paper published in the Journal of Medical Ethics a few months ago stated:
“From a justice perspective, there is a moral imperative to ensure equitable access to UTx [uterine transplant]. In this case, arguments against providing UTx to genetically XY [transgender] women for reasons unrelated to safety and efficacy should be assessed carefully to address potential discrimination against genetically XY women as a social group.”
The researchers excitedly reported in a study published at bioRxiv.org, “The success rate of modeling was only 3.68%, but 10 pups could still be delivered from male [conjoined rat] and developed.”
“For the first time, a mammalian animal model of male pregnancy was constructed by us,” the scientists wrote.
“Our research reveals the possibility of normal embryonic development in male mammalian animals, and it may have a profound impact on the research of reproductive biology.”
The shocking experiment, which was purportedly carried out in the interest of science, allegedly improves work done in a prior study at the NYU School of Medicine, in which researchers looked at the potential of uterine transplantation in “women who are genetically XY.”