A review of the literature suggests that the term “sperm bandits” refers to women, aged from around 35 to 40, who are usually single, attractive professional women, who have not found a man with whom to have a child.
Such women apparently, will actively choose to have a child without the knowledge or consent of the father involved, usually by means of one night stands or brief relationships. She chooses her man carefully, in terms of good looks, attractiveness and health, then when the time is right, she will seduce him and utilise his sperm. Even if a condom is used, some women have been known to artificially inseminate themselves with sperm from a disused condom.
It now seems that the hitherto reproductive oppression of women by men may be changing.
A number of recent court cases in America and in the UK have drawn attention to this issue whereby men find themselves caught up, on the basis of genetic parentage, in a financial liability which they cannot sustain and would not have chosen. Under the Child Support Act 1991, such men will automatically be liable to make financial provision.
In these cases, it is usual for men, in an attempt to avoid 18 years liability for child support, to sue for breach of contract, insofar as they claim to have been led to believe that the woman was using the contraceptive Pill. However, if genetic parentage is shown, the courts are loathe to place responsibility for child support for illegitimate children onto the taxpayers irrespective of the circumstances of conception. The view taken is that men should either use contraception or ensure that their partner does, otherwise they have to pay for the consequences.
The argument continues that where fraud is established, if the woman is in a financial position to care for the child herself, then she should do so.
Even some feminists take the view that perhaps feminism has gone too far. Germaine Greer’s book “The Whole Woman” (2000) and other writers set out to take on these themes of male disempowerment, and of a growing number of women who deliberately set out to “steal” sperm.
Contextualising the debate as part of the historic battle of the sexes whereby women have now gained an unfair advantage is misleading.
It is reasonable to assume that these issues would not have reached the media but for the more recent enforcement of liability by the Child Support Agency.
It helps to remember that in the main the world is full of decent men and women, and it always pays to take time to get to know each other before hopping into bed!