How Lesbian Couples Can Become Mothers Together

SCIENCENSEX

Written by Joseph Dunsay. After earning a Masters of Science in Ecology and Evolution, Joseph Dunsay became a science writer for international audiences. Find more Jewrotica writing by Joseph here.

Rated PG-13

The Israeli Family Court affirmed the rights of LGBT Israelis to become parents when it ordered the Ministry of Interior to list two biological mothers on the birth certificates of children born to lesbian couples. The court reasoned that a bond between a mother and an infant which starts at birth is sufficient to make that woman the baby’s biological mother even if she was not biologically involved in creating the baby. This logic emphasizes shared time over shared biochemicals.

Lesbian couples who want to biologically connect to their offspring as a couple before birth have an option, because a woman’s biological role in the baby making process goes beyond contributing a gamete. After conception, a woman maintains a pregnancy for nine months. Gestational surrogacy is a medical procedure that takes an egg from one woman, fertilizes it, and implants it in the womb of another woman. It enables one mother to contribute DNA to a fetus and the other mother to interact biochemically with the fetus while she carries him to term.

Gestational surrogacy requires hormone injections so that the egg donor releases an egg when the womb of the surrogate mother is ready to receive it. It would be easier if women had a way to naturally synchronize their fertility cycles instead of relying on injections. Another cycle, the circadian rhythm of bees, will synchronize when individuals have enough social interactions. Could spending time together make women synchronize their monthly menstrual cycles?

The McClintock effect is named after its discoverer, Martha McClintock. Her research found that women’s menstrual cycles will synchronize if they spend enough time together. Proponents of the McClintock effect theorize that airborne chemicals, called pheromones, let one woman influence the timing of another woman’s monthly cycle. Many factors, such as taking the birth control pill, can prevent menstrual cycle synchronization.

Although the McClintock effect has become famous worldwide, not everyone is convinced that the phenomenon is real. University of California lecture notes consider the evidence for and against the McClintock effect. They cite experiments in mice that show many cases of pheromones affecting menstrual cycles. A mouse’s cycle will lengthen, and even stop, when she lives closely packed with many other female mice. Their cycles will gear up for breeding again if they encounter urine from a male mouse.

The notes go on to say that an anatomical similarities between rodent nervous systems and human nervous systems makes it theoretically possible for humans to experience similar phenomenons, but that biologists have yet to discover them. Despite evidence of pheromones in other mammals, the data suggesting that humans have such pheromones is weak. When McClintock published her results in 1971, she found a small synchronizing effect. Two decades later, problems with statistical methods in papers that support the McClintock effect came to light. More rigorous statistical checks debunked the McClintock effect.

The debate over the McClintock effect means lesbian couples cannot depend on it to facilitate gestational surrogacy, however temporary hormone injections have a proven track record. The injections can insure that one wife’s womb is ready when the other wife releases an egg. Thanks to modern technology lesbian relationships and procreation can go hand in hand. Given Judaism’s traditional emphasis on procreation, this process may eventually become the norm among Jewish lesbian couples.

After earning a Masters of Science in Ecology and Evolution, Joseph Dunsay became a science writer for international audiences. His LGBT erotic e-book launched in the summer of 2015.