The Horrors of MPreg

MPreg, also known as male pregnancy, is one of the scourges of the fanfiction world, second only to the Mary Sue. It generally involves a male canon character becoming pregnant through means that are by definition improbable and illogical and usually impossible. Although its origins may be understandable to the female mindset (my own excluded), to those without maternal instincts, male readers and those who find mpreg to be a 'squick', mpreg will forever be one of the most bizarre and disturbing plot elements a fanfiction can contain.

The origins of mpreg are quite obvious; since most fanfictions about two male characters in a romantic and/or sexual relationship are written by girls for other girls, the female mindset automatically presents the characters with the opportunity they have secretly desired all along: a baby. Note when I say the 'female mindset', this is a generalisation of female maternal instincts that most females have, at least subconsciously. Although it may sound sexist, it is applicable in this situation. These fanfiction authors have also overlooked one of the greatest male fears – pregnancy. To a man, the process of bearing and delivering a child look disgusting and painful – the body is literally stretched and physically altered into a seemingly unnatural state, accompanied by screams and blood and pain. You only have to look as far as the cinema to see this fear in action; 'Alien' is a film entirely about male rape and male pregnancy, and it highlights that fear perfectly. I would imagine that most men, fictional or otherwise, that discovered they were pregnant would be completely terrified beyond reason. This is not the reaction most of the stricken characters exhibit; they show a more female reaction – a brief period of denial, a calm acceptance, a great attachment to the lifeform they will spawn imminently. The very origin of mpreg is twisted enough to be horror material.

The basic biology of the human male by definition renders them unable to bear children. Obviously, they have no vagina, uterus or ovaries and ova, no mammary glands and the wrong hormones, not to mention the wrong pelvic structure and even different arm shapes. The shape of the pelvis makes it impossible for the baby to be delivered without great difficulty, especially when one considers what orifice the baby will come out of. Fanficion writers often combat this by some kind of alien experiment, magic, science, or some kind of bizarre sexual dimorphism. A prime example of this is Naruto in 'Naruto' becoming pregnant because the Kyuubi somehow manages to distort his basic biology beyond that of a normal human. However, the question arises, if he can bear children, does that still make him male? Does he have a menstrual cycle similar to that of a female? Does he have a maternal instinct? Did he have an ovum cell to fertilise? How will he give birth? Writers often rebuke this, saying that it isn't Naruto himself who is pregnant, but the Kyuubi, who either has no gender or is female. This raises the question, then why is Naruto the one exhibiting the symptoms of pregnancy? And why does the baby look like him? The very nature of the human body shows that fans of mpreg don't know enough about fundamental human biology to pass a high school biology class.

Another excuse for mpreg is the overriding rule that 'True Love conquers the rules of basic human biology'. Let me just get this out here: no, it doesn't. The fact that you/your character can feel an emotion does not make your/your character's body suddenly able to do something it physically cannot. Just because your male character and your other male character have overcome the adversities facing them, killed the bad guy, saved the chick in a platonic way, become king of their castle and saved the innocent villagers from a tyrant doesn't mean they have to complete their lives by getting married and living happily ever after, plus two children and dog. Think about the moral implications; in said village that they saved from an evil tyrant, there are probably quite a few orphans. Why not adopt one of those, rather than spawn something that is genetically a combination of the two heroes? Why do the orphan children have to live a life of despair without parents while the heroes somehow encounter some kind of improbable situation that allows them to multiply?

The process of giving birth from mpreg is questionable. Since neither the urethra nor the anus were 'designed' to stretch, and since both are far too small to provide a suitable exit for the baby/spawn/thing, where does it come out of? One answer is a caesarean section or c-section, cutting the baby from the body, but this raises the question of where the baby was actually growing in the first place. If it was growing in a place similar to that of a woman's uterus to give the characteristic 'baby bump' of pregnancy, then what organ allowed the male to become pregnant? No other human organ can sustain a pregnancy. When a pregnancy occurs outside of the uterus in a woman, it is called an ectopic pregnancy and can seriously endanger the woman's life and almost always results in an abortion. Surely a similar scenario would apply to a male. The question is also raised on how quickly the foetus develops. Is it the typical nine months, or is it faster or slower? If the male cannot give birth, then when should the caesarean take place? What other organs may be compromised during the caesarean? Once again, basic male biology proves that the male body is incapable of giving birth, thus mpreg is impossible.

In conclusion, the very concept of mpreg is flawed. It stems from the female imagination that all couples must have a baby to be happy, thus is inapplicable to the male psyche it is inflicted upon. The very nature of the male body – the lack of appropriate cells, organs and hormones – makes it physically impossible for male pregnancy, and any alterations make the character either female or a hermaphrodite, ergo it is no longer 'mpreg' by 'fpreg', which makes it perfectly logical. The moral implications of mpreg are also questionable; surely there are children already in existence who deserve a loving and caring life without the arguably unnecessary creation of yet another life. Outside of morals and biology, becoming pregnant is a great fear for men, and why any male, fictional or otherwise, would agree to bear a child is unknown. Thus, mpreg is disgusting, impossible and morally questionable. Don't write it.