Mormon Women and Motherhood, Fatherhood and Coparenting

As some of you may know, I’m editing an issue of “Sunstone” devoted to Mormon women and motherhood. As work for this project, I’ve been reading a book I picked up over two decades ago, “The Reproduction of Mothering” by Nancy Chodorow. There are some really boring chapters on psychoanalysis and Freudian ideas of infancy, but the second chapter is really great. In particular I was struck by these observations:

Mothers are women, of course, because a mother is a female parent, and a female who is a parent must be adult, hence must be a woman. [Of course that's not true; ten-year-olds have given birth.] Similarly, fathers are male parents, are men. But we mean something different when we say that someone mothered a child than when we say that someone fathered him or her.(11)

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