Theology of The Office: Michael Scott on Sex and Having Children

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Theology, Office, Michael, Scott, Marriage, Procreation, Sex

Even Michael Scott gets it! But in this clip, our culture’s got him second guessing himself…

Michael: My whole life, I have known two things: I love sex, and I want to have kids. And I always thought that those two things would go hand in hand, but now, I think it might be one or the other.

Mike, don’t second guess yourself. God made things to work a certain way and when we start to mess with that obvious and natural plan, we undoubtedly get into trouble. It’s sad that it often takes the naïveté of a Michael Scott to point out a simple truth like this to all the enlightened, progressive folk. Oh if he could just overcome his simple mindedness, then he would understand.

As the episode and season go on, we see first-hand the chaos that ensues due to Jan’s (the mother’s) warped manipulation of the power to procreate. We also see Michael’s confusion compounded as this all unfolds in the context of his past sexual relationship with Jan that occurred outside of the commitment and covenant of Marriage.

Anytime we separate sex, procreation and Marriage we are abusing their purpose – which is a sure way of messing things up. There is something deep inside of us that knows better. But, like Michael Scott, we’re second guessing ourselves.

A recent study confirms, at least one aspect of what Michael “always thought” – that sex and procreation should go together. And this is particularly true in the case presented in this episode where Jan uses a sperm donor. The study I’m referring to is called “My Daddy’s Name is Donor.” Here are 15 of the key findings:

  1. Young adults conceived through sperm donation (or “donor offspring”) experience profound struggles with their origins and identities.
  2. Family relationships for donor offspring are more often characterized by confusion, tension, and loss.
  3. Donor offspring often worry about the implications of interacting with and possibly forming intimate relationships with unknown, blood-related family members.
  4. Donor offspring are more likely to have experienced divorce or multiple family transitions in their families of origin.
  5. Donor offspring are significantly more likely than those raised by their biological parents to struggle with serious, negative outcomes such as delinquency, substance abuse, and depression, even when controlling for socioeconomic and other factors.
  6. Donor offspring born to heterosexual married couples, single mothers, or lesbian couples share many similarities.
  7. At the same time, there appear to be notable differences between donor offspring born to heterosexual married couples, single mothers, and lesbian couples.
  8. Donor offspring broadly affirm a right to know the truth about their origins.
  9. About half of donor offspring have concerns about or serious objections to donor conception itself, even when parents tell the children the truth about their origins.
  10. Openness alone does not appear to resolve the complex risks that are associated with being conceived through sperm donation.
  11. While a majority of donor offspring support a right to know the truth about their origins, significant majorities also support, at least in the abstract, a strikingly libertarian approach to reproductive technologies in general.
  12. Adults conceived through sperm donation are far more likely than others to become sperm or egg donors or surrogates themselves.
  13. Those donor offspring who do not support the practice of donor conception are more than three times as likely to say they do not feel they can express their views in public.
  14. Donor conception is not “just like” adoption.
  15. Today’s grown donor offspring present a striking portrait of racial, ethnic, and religious diversity (including lots of Catholics).

Each of those has further explanation accompanying it, but you’ll have to go here to read it in detail. But they are very interesting – many of them ones I have never even considered. Overall, it gives a small glimpse of the confusion we introduce when we go to these extremes and remove procreation from the natural, marital union.

3 comments Add comment

Jason July 5, 2010 at 11:47 am

Steve Carell is Catholic.

Brett October 31, 2010 at 7:12 pm
Raphael May 4, 2011 at 9:39 am

the office is often satirical in its approach to humour, if the episode was about michaels stuggles and confusion then i think the point of the episode is to show the consequences of IVF etc…im not trying detract from your article but i am trying to point out that this episode is probably a good thing (i say probably because i haven’t actually seen the episdoe)

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