The miracle of childbirth is fairly straightforward: The baby is forced out of a screaming woman's nether parts in a moment of bloody, agonizing ... beauty? But when it comes to just how the baby got in there in the first place, people throughout history and around the world have come up with some really creative theories. We like to think we've got a pretty good handle on how it works at this point (it has something to do with a stork and a turkey baster, right?), but to be honest, we'd have paid way more attention in sex ed class if they'd told us that ...
6Men Get Head-Pregnant First
Here's what they'll teach you about the birds and the bees if you're taking a sex ed class in Malaysia:
Before a baby can be born, a man has to get pregnant. Nobody knows exactly how this happens, but through some mysterious force that we're going to call invisible facehuggers, an itty bitty proto-baby is implanted directly into his brain. There, the baby marinates for a while, soaking up all of its father's forces of reason and rationality -- because they figure all that stuff couldn't possibly come from the mother.
"No offense -- we just kind of agree with first act Jack Nicholson in As Good as It Gets."
Over the course of the next 40 days, the brain-baby migrates from its father's head to his chest to his belly to ... well, you know where this is headed. Once the baby has reached its father's junk, there's a period of a little more than a week where he's a loose cannon, ready to shoot a tiny baby into any willing female companion. This is when the sexy happens, and the baby takes a ride through its father's dong and into its mother's body, just like that tunnel in Space Mountain.
You'll note that the male pregnancy ends with an orgasm, while the female pregnancy ends with hours of labor. This proves that life isn't fair, and class is now dismissed.
"This is BULLSHIT!"
So Why Do They Believe It?
If we're going to look at these weird-ass beliefs from various cultures around the world, we should take a moment to figure out why anyone believes them. After all, most weird beliefs exist because, well, they work.
In this case, it solves a problem that the actual scientific understanding of pregnancy brings: that the responsibility for a pregnancy is on the woman alone. Women have to take prenatal vitamins, avoid alcohol, eat responsibly, give up smoking ... while guys could squirt and bolt, and it wouldn't affect the baby one bit. Physically, anyway. Whereas the Malay belief says to the man, "You also carried this baby for over a month."
And after so long, it just doesn't fit back in. So no refunds.
The man is said to even have cravings during his part of the pregnancy, just as his wife does after he passes the baby to her. And after his 40 days are through, he's still involved in the fetus' well-being -- he's not just moral support, but actually part of the pregnancy. Malay pregnancy rituals require just as much fastidious behavior from the man as from the woman. That's right: There's no wham, bam, thank you ma'am in Malay pregnancies. Instead, it's baby-making as a team effort. It's almost sweet, in a bizarre brain-baby sort of way.