Google the words “DNA testing,” and the first thing you will see after hitting “enter” are ads for online paternity testing services. For as little as $79, a man facing the unwanted news that he is going to be a father can make sure that the mother is telling the truth.
The same technology that has helped set wrongly-convicted prisoners free can also be used to help men evade responsibility for their actions. It’s an irony for which we have the Sexual Revolution to thank.
Feminist writer Melanie McDonagh in the London Spectator newspaper is troubled that “a cotton-wool swab with a bit of saliva, plus a small fee” can take away the “one thing that women had going for them.” The “one thing” she is referring to is the ability to “select for their children the father who would be best for them.”
By “father,” McDonagh means the man who will financially support the child. Thus she calls DNA testing “an anti-feminist [application] of science.”
Previously, you see, a modern feminist could, in theory, sleep with one man for the romance, another for his genes, and the third for his ability to support the child. Uncertainty concerning paternity helped women have the “last laugh over their husbands and lovers.” Now DNA testing has removed the uncertainty and ended the laughter.
At National Review Online, Andrew Stuttaford's reply to McDonagh was straightforward: “Words fail me.”
They shouldn’t. Both McDonagh’s reasoning and the DNA testing she laments are the logical outcomes of the Sexual Revolution.
Ironically, McDonagh is correct when she writes that the certainty provided by DNA testing might be a bad thing. In the old days, just a couple of generations ago, a man who slept with a woman was not only liable to support any child born of that liaison, but also any child that could have been born of that liaison. No doubt you’ve heard the expression “shotgun wedding.”
This uncertainty helped restrain male promiscuity and reinforce the link not only between sex and procreation but sex and PARENTHOOD.
The Sexual Revolution severed these links. It turned sex from something whose meaning was derived from the larger purposes it served—that is love, the permanent union of a man and woman, and bearing and raising children—to an activity whose only end was the pleasure of the participants.
More specifically, the Sexual Revolution set men free to do what millennia of tradition and social practice have restrained them from doing: gratifying themselves without regard for the women they used and offspring they helped produce.
What the sexual revolution didn’t do, however, was liberate women from the constraints of biology and the moral order.
All of this was exactly what Christian thinkers prophesied would happen. That’s because Christians recognize that just as there are physical laws of the universe, there are moral laws of the universe as well, both of which were established by the Creator. Just as God’s physical laws hold the cosmos together, so His moral laws protect the moral order—and human societies—from chaos.
And you don’t need a DNA test to prove that.
Further Reading and Information
DNA Sayer Andrew Stuttaford | National Review Online | October 27, 2010