A midwifery workbook given to students at Edinburgh Napier University in Scotland asserted that males can give birth to children through their penises, according to a recent report at the website Reduxx.
The workbook’s original section on catheterization made reference on how to handle male genitals, with specific instruction on catering to male “birthing people.”
“It is important to note that while most times the birthing person will have female genitalia, you may be caring for a pregnant or birthing person who is transitioning from male to female and may still have external male genitalia,” the workbook counseled.
In two separate sections, the workbook reminds students “birthing people” can be either female or male, and it contains a section noting students will need to be familiar with both female and male anatomy.
After an edit meant to correct a number of errors, the workbook added the suggestion a female to male transgender person could give birth through a surgically constructed “penis.”
Reduxx spoke with Elaine Miller, a Fellow of the Chartered Society for Physiotherapy, who expressed concern about the factual inaccuracies in the workbook.
“It is not possible for a male person to get pregnant,” Miller told the website, saying that even the edits were rife with misinformation.
“A [female] with a gender difference can become pregnant but will not have male genitalia,” she said, “expressing concern that even if instruction was given on serving female-to-male transgender patients, the information was still both incomplete and unrealistic.”
“Most [females] who use testosterone, at the doses used for ‘transition,’ will develop vaginal atrophy. The fragile tissue of an atrophied vagina may be unable to stretch to accommodate a baby’s head,” Miller said.
She further noted that female-to-male transgender men who wish to naturally deliver are risk new types of birth injury that have not yet been diagnosed or investigated.
“Examining this potential risk is probably more important than learning to remove a catheter from a non-existent prostate gland.”
Dr. Susan Bewley, an emeritus professor in Obstetrics and Women’s Health at King’s College London, agreed, suggesting the original workbook may have been a hoax.
“There are no circumstances whereby qualified midwives can possibly be asked, or be expected, to catheterize a penis as part of their professional work,” she told Reduxx. “The writers seem to have left school remarkably ignorant about basic biology, sex and anatomy.”
Reduxx lists itself as a “pro-woman,” “feminist” website. “Reduxx is dedicated to offering truthful, pro-woman news and commentary by covering the issues that matter to you without the bullsh*t,” the site reads.