The Varying Behaviors of Fathers in the Prenatal Experience of the Unborn: Protecting, Loving and "Welcoming with Arms Wide Open," vs. Ignoring, Unloving, Competitive, Abusive, Abortion Minded or Aborting

By Sonne, John C. Md | Journal of Prenatal & Perinatal Psychology & Health, Summer 2005 | Go to article overview

The Varying Behaviors of Fathers in the Prenatal Experience of the Unborn: Protecting, Loving and "Welcoming with Arms Wide Open," vs. Ignoring, Unloving, Competitive, Abusive, Abortion Minded or Aborting


Sonne, John C. Md, Journal of Prenatal & Perinatal Psychology & Health


ABSTRACT: In this paper the author explores varying behaviors of fathers during the prenatal life of the unborn from a psychoanalytic and family system perspective, enriched by studies from the field of prenatal psychology. He suggests broadening the meaning of behavior to encompass communications that are not clearly visible, audible, or tangible, and emphasizes the importance of the communication of affect in assessing whether an expression of caring and love is genuine and sincere. This is not only important to adults, but especially so for the unborn, who cannot speak or understand adult language, and who are especially sensitive to picking up on affect. The threat of being aborted is discussed, and the consequences of this in the creation of abortion survivors. It is essential that therapists be alert to the possibility that prenatal dynamics are operative in patients' symptoms and transferences. The use of and understanding of metaphors, polysema, synesthesia, and similes as a measure of the creativity involved in having meaningful relationships is stressed, and note is made of the remarkable change of speech in this direction that occurs when abortion survivors recover. After exploring positive and negative behaviors of men, the author also deals with the phenomenon of depreciation of men in today's society, which makes it difficult for men to find support, respect, and encouragement, particularly in their roles as fathers and husbands. The overall dehumanization of our culture and society has reached a point where love and responsibility have taken second place to narcissism and materialism. This also has affected the relationship between men and women, and their relationship with the unborn. In the closing section suggestions are made for making positive changes to remedy this situation, and in particular to improve the behaviors of fathers - and mothers - in their relationship with the unborn, with each other, and with their families in a rewarding, committed marriage.

KEY WORDS: fathers, prenatal psychology, abortion trauma.

INTRODUCTION

Most studies of the behaviors of parents during prenatal life, and their effect on the unborn, have focused on the behavior of the mothers of the unborn. Almost none have focused on the behaviors of fathers. Even the relatively recent psychoanalytic and family systems work on the role of the pre-oedipal father in early childhood development, have usually stopped short of examining the importance of the father during the prenatal period. To begin to do this is an important step, but even here, the focus must be broader than to look only at the father-unborn dyad. It is necessary also to consider the father's behavior in the dyadic relationship with the mother - and hers with him - as well as his behavior in the father-mother-unborn triad during the prenatal period, or even before conception. If something is awry in this triad, the unborn will be deprived of the ingredients that are necessary for them to construct a family image1, i.e. an internalization of the father-motherunborn relational triad of which they are a part, and within which they must have their appropriate position. Therefore, a triadic communication system perspective is necessary if we are to fully appreciate all that is involved in the unborn's development, and I shall use this perspective in examining and illustrating varying behaviors of fathers in the prenatal experience of the unborn. These behaviors not only affect a person's life in the womb; they have consequences in their entire lives, where derivatives of prenatal trauma - often consisting of the threat of being aborted - are expressed in individual symptoms, social interaction, and in transferences during psychotherapy.

In addition to describing some positive and negative behaviors of fathers, I shall also discuss the effect on men of the current social climate in which demeaning of men by women has become prevalent, their role as fathers under-appreciated, and love between men and women seems to have decreased. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Note: primary sources have slightly different requirements for citation. Please see these guidelines for more information.

Cited article

The Varying Behaviors of Fathers in the Prenatal Experience of the Unborn: Protecting, Loving and "Welcoming with Arms Wide Open," vs. Ignoring, Unloving, Competitive, Abusive, Abortion Minded or Aborting
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen
Items saved from this article
  • Highlights & Notes
  • Citations
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Search by... Author
    Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.