The First Male Pregnancy
I choose this site because I am a nurse educator and I thought it would be a fun site to check out. I knew already that it is next to impossible (I have learned to never say “never”) for a man to carry a fetus to term without the aid of the right mix of female hormones.
When I opened this site, the first thing I noticed was the presentation and graphics of the site. It appeared professionally done. There are links to media coverage. In the upper left hand corner, the name of the hospital RYT Hospital, Dwayne Medical Center.
Let’s begin to look at this site a little bit closer. We will begin with the idea of a male becoming pregnant. This is a fantasy of some but the reality of none to date. Yes, there was a woman named Tracy from Oregon, who had her breasts surgically removed and received testosterone injections to become Thomas Beatie (who kept her female reproductive organs) becoming pregnant and carrying a baby. However, she was a woman with had a working uterus and stopped receiving testosterone injections and returned to producing female hormones in order to carry the child (http://advocate.com/issue_story.asp?id=52664). .
This site, malepregnancy.com is about a completely male pregnancy. It showcases Mr. Lee Mingwei as a male carrying a fetus implanted into his abdomen. On the web it discusses the fact that Dr. Mingwei is fully and completely male. In order to appreciate this site and the idea one must understand basic anatomy.
According to Alto, W.1990, “Abdominal pregnancy is a rare and life-threatening variant of ectopic pregnancy. It occurs when the gestational sac is implanted outside the uterus, ovaries and fallopian tubes. Approximately 1 percent of all pregnancies are extrauterine, and 1 to 3 percent of these are peritoneal implantations. The reported incidence of abdominal pregnancy ranges from one in 2,200 to one in 10, 200 pregnancies (http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_m3225/is_n1_v41/ai_8773331).” So, as we can see for a woman, a “completely femle” woman with the aide of a natural womb and naturally occuring hormones this is at best a dicy situation. Although, “in fact, it would be theoretically possible for a man to bear a child by means of an ectopic pregnancy (and taking female hormones), but due to the high risks involved, no one has ever attempted such a procedure” (http://www.museumofhoaxes.com/birth/birth.html).
Now, let’s look at the name of the hospital, RYT Hospital, Dwayne Medical Center. I have searched high and low on the internet for the location of a hospital by this name. This is suppose to be a top notch medical center with the most advanced medical and technological advances known to man and they do not have an address. I suppose it is possible, but I really don’t think so.
Let’s now move on to Mr. Lee Mingwei. Put his name into a search engine and numerous sites pop up. Mr. Lee Mingwei has a Masters of Fine Art (MFA) degree from Yale University. His home page http://www.leemingwei.com/mingwei-web/mingweiFrameset-1.htm covers his scores of exhibitions. The site also illustrates the numerous grants and awards that he has won for his works including “Male Pregnancy in 1999.”
According to “The Gallery of Birth Hoaxes” (http://www.museumofhoaxes.com/birth/birth.html) “This website (MalePregnancy.com) documented the case of Mr. Lee Mingwei, supposedly the first man to bear a child. A variety of documentary evidence was provided to allow visitors to track the progress of Mr. Mingwei's pregnancy, but in fact all of the evidence was false. The site was really created as an art project by the conceptual artist Virgil Wong.”
That brings us to Virgil Wong. “Virgil Wong's concurrent careers as an artist/filmmaker, Web Center director, MFA faculty member, and Nia teacher all revolve around his interests in medicine, technology and the human body” (http://www.virgilwong.com/bio/index.shtml). A few of Virgil Wong’s many accomplishments include the RYT Hospital-Dwayne Medical Center, The First Human Male Pregnancy, and GenoChoice. All are wonderfully complete and believable web sites. However, they are just that, beautifully done artistic web sites. Snopes.com, a web site that seeks out the truth on web sites, etc. states, “Perhaps some day these concepts might indeed become reality, but for now they exist only within the realm of fiction” (http://www.snopes.com/pregnant/malepreg.asp).