The so-called maternal instinct refers to a built-in inclination that women have to be parents and take care of children. When people say this, they’re talking about the idea that women, and not men, are simply wired to be better parents.
This is inherently false, though, as studies have found. Men and women are both potentially great parents or potentially poor parents. They can both thrive. They can both fail. It depends not on some instinct but on their choices and their desire to parent well.
In fact, researchers are now suggesting that we come up with a new term and choose one that is fairer and more gender-neutral. For instance, it could be called a “paternal instinct.” It’s no secret that some individuals are more naturally inclined to be parents than others. The key is simply to realize that this applies to everyone and that gender doesn’t play a role.
What if society still doesn’t agree?
The problem here is that society still largely assumes that women are better parents. Despite studies like the one listed above proving that the idea of the maternal instinct is false, it’s something that has been repeated for so long that some people are going to find it impossible to shake that belief.
Such a belief, when held by the judge, can certainly hurt you in your divorce case. It could impact your parenting time and custody rights. It may limit the time you get to see your kids. As such, you need to know about all of the legal options you have to protect your rights.