How women are affected by male headship rules

It’s a good chance that you might know more than your pastor about how women are marginalized and treated by everyday living and society in general. This week I had my eyes opened further by a 30 year old woman regarding discrimination that women are still going through. I learned that men can have vasectomies at any age after 18, but that women are treated as if they are children when it comes to their birth control decisions.

This young woman said to me, “I keep hearing from women your age how you were discriminated against when you were young. But women are still being treated as if they are children by doctors and health clinics.”

There’s no legal requirement for spousal consent and no minimum age for vasectomy other than the minimum age of consent. But while it’s not necessary to have spousal consent, it’s a really good idea, and involving the spouse in the decision is encouraged.

For women, it is a different story regarding tubal ligation and other surgical birth control procedures:

Despite federal court rulings against spousal consent laws, some hospitals still have policies against performing the procedure without the signed consent of both spouses. Publicly owned hospitals are not legally allowed to maintain such a policy, but private hospitals are. Despite the illegality of spousal consent policies at public hospitals, doctors may still refuse to perform the procedure, especially if the woman requesting it is young or has not yet had children.

It is 2017. Join me as we explore other ways that women are affected by male headship rules.

About bwebaptistwomenforequality

Shirley Taylor writes with humor and common sense, challenging the church body to reclaim equality for Christian women.
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4 Responses to How women are affected by male headship rules

  1. For such an important decision, I think both spouses should always be involved. I am not sure what the legal requirement should be, but it should be the same regardless of sex.


    • I agree, but the law was not for equality and a good marriage. It was for husbands to have their rights. Husbands had to sign for their wives to have such a procedure, but wives have never had to sign for their husbands to have a birth control procedure. Apparently today, while he doesn’t have to sign, she can be denied the procedure based on being too young to make such a decision or not having had children yet even if she is 30 years old. And maybe in some hospitals, he still has to sign for her.


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