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Old September 19 2010, 09:31 PM   #1
Brannigan
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Crewmember Children on the Enterprise?

I was thinking about this the other day and thought I'd ask: What if two crewmembers had a child? We know that the 1701-D is meant to house families, but Kirk's Enterprise is more militaristic, and meant only to house those crew that were needed for the mission. However, at the beginning of "Balance of Terror" Kirk is presiding over a civil union between two crewmembers. Now assuming that the male had not died (I believe he is killed right, its been a while since I have seen this episode), and he impregnates his wife, what becomes of the child? Are these two crewmembers assigned positions at a Starbase? Do they remain on board the Enterprise through the duration of its five year mission and convert their small quarters to house a child, or even a family?
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Old September 19 2010, 09:35 PM   #2
Warped9
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Re: Crewmember Children on the Enterprise?

Although it was never discussed onscreen it's mentioned in TMoST that crew members are expected to practice some form of birth control. And if a woman were found to be pregnant then she could rotate to a starbase for the duration of her pregnancy. I'd assume after that she has choices to make.
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Old September 19 2010, 11:06 PM   #3
Nero's Shadow
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Re: Crewmember Children on the Enterprise?

With kirk aboard I hope all the female crew used some birth control !!! Lol
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Old September 19 2010, 11:10 PM   #4
Galileo7
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Re: Crewmember Children on the Enterprise?

Nero's Shadow wrote: View Post
With kirk aboard I hope all the female crew used some birth control !!! Lol

Kirk's Enterprise was a singles cruise ship.
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Old September 20 2010, 02:56 AM   #5
Timewalker
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Re: Crewmember Children on the Enterprise?

Brannigan wrote: View Post
I was thinking about this the other day and thought I'd ask: What if two crewmembers had a child? We know that the 1701-D is meant to house families, but Kirk's Enterprise is more militaristic, and meant only to house those crew that were needed for the mission. However, at the beginning of "Balance of Terror" Kirk is presiding over a civil union between two crewmembers. Now assuming that the male had not died (I believe he is killed right, its been a while since I have seen this episode), and he impregnates his wife, what becomes of the child? Are these two crewmembers assigned positions at a Starbase? Do they remain on board the Enterprise through the duration of its five year mission and convert their small quarters to house a child, or even a family?
Why do you refer to the wedding ceremony as a "civil union"? It took place in the chapel, and there is no reason whatsoever to say that Angela and Robert weren't intending to be MARRIED.
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Old September 20 2010, 05:12 AM   #6
Captain Robert April
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Re: Crewmember Children on the Enterprise?

She even said, "I'm gonna marry you, mister, battle or phaser weapons notwithstanding."
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Old September 20 2010, 06:49 AM   #7
scotpens
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Re: Crewmember Children on the Enterprise?

Regarding birth control on starships, here's the complete quote from TMOST:

Man-plus-woman-plus-time very often equals babies. It would be a trifle awkward having a bunch of toddlers around a Starship, and it is therefore natural to assume that some type of birth control will be required. This point has never been discussed in the series, since the censors won’t allow it. But if the subject could be discussed, the consensus is that birth control would closely parallel the military practices of today.

Birth control would be mandatory for unmarried females, voluntary for married females. In keeping with the advanced state of the medical arts as practiced aboard the Enterprise, a single, monthly* injection would be administered. A woman found to be pregnant would be given her choice of a medical discharge or rotation to a shore base for the remainder of her pregnancy.
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*Medical science at this point states that to go beyond this point would risk interfering with metabolic cycles fundamental to the life-form itself.
Interesting that no mention is made of a male birth-control pill or injection. In the 1960s, that was too wild an idea even for science fiction!

Timewalker wrote: View Post
Brannigan wrote: View Post
. . . However, at the beginning of “Balance of Terror” Kirk is presiding over a civil union between two crewmembers. . .
Why do you refer to the wedding ceremony as a “civil union”? It took place in the chapel, and there is no reason whatsoever to say that Angela and Robert weren't intending to be MARRIED.
And we're talking about a TV show from the 1960s. The very concept of “civil unions” didn't even exist until the late 1980s.
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Old September 20 2010, 12:51 PM   #8
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Re: Crewmember Children on the Enterprise?

scotpens wrote: View Post
The very concept of “civil unions” didn't even exist until the late 1980s.
Correct me if I'm wrong but Star Trek has never (non-ambiguously) shown a civil union. People are single, casually co-habitat or are married. Again, no civil unions. Even after the late 1980's.

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Old September 20 2010, 12:54 PM   #9
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Re: Crewmember Children on the Enterprise?

scotpens wrote: View Post
Timewalker wrote: View Post
Brannigan wrote: View Post
. . . However, at the beginning of “Balance of Terror” Kirk is presiding over a civil union between two crewmembers. . .
Why do you refer to the wedding ceremony as a “civil union”? It took place in the chapel, and there is no reason whatsoever to say that Angela and Robert weren't intending to be MARRIED.
And we're talking about a TV show from the 1960s. The very concept of “civil unions” didn't even exist until the late 1980s.
Hey guys, maybe I'm nuts here, but I believe my husband and I had a civil union, and we married in 1982 and they had been around for quite a long time. We called it a civil ceremony in those days because the marriage was performed by a civil authority and not a minister of any religion (in our case, a justice of the peace). In the case at hand, the starship captain would be the civil authority just like supposedly maritime ship captains had the authority to marry people. I imagine the term civil union came into use for gay marriages because these were marriages that were going to take place before civil authorities because religious authorities were refusing to do the ceremonies.

As far as the birth control, I always assumed that far in the future, there would be something simple and semipermanent a woman could do, and then simply and easily have undone.
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Old September 20 2010, 01:52 PM   #10
T'Girl
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Re: Crewmember Children on the Enterprise?

scotpens wrote: View Post
Interesting that no mention is made of a male birth-control pill or injection.
Problem there is than a male's reproductive system is fairly simple while a female's is complex. The complex system offers multiple avenues to interfere. In the future something that temporarily constricts the plumbing (vas deferens or epididymis) is a maybe, but outside of that the only other possibilities are barriers and (reversible?) sterilization.
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Old September 20 2010, 02:17 PM   #11
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Re: Crewmember Children on the Enterprise?

It shouldn't be chemically difficult to simply kill all the sperm when they exit - they are on the verge of dying anyway, so a bit of suitable poison in the general penile area (far enough down the tract that it doesn't seep into the testicles themselves) might do the trick easily and efficiently enough. One could then have a normal, physically unhindered ejaculation that stands no chance of impregnating anybody.

I'm far from convinced that Kirk's ship wasn't designed for children. For his first televised mission, Kirk was about to leave the galaxy - a trip that would later be established as standing no chance of reaching any interesting targets until several years, decades, perhaps centuries, into the mission. It's quite possible that one of Starfleet's youngest skippers was given this mission because he had the best chances of surviving its considerable length - and that his crew was expected to spend physically and mentally acceptable decades aboard. Family amenities might be part of that setup, then.

We did see young people in civvies aboard Pike's ship already - people who didn't even seem to recognize Pike, let alone acknowledge him in a traditional military fashion. And Kirk often took civilian passengers of various kinds aboard his ship. Facilities for accommodating them did seem to exist; facilities and personnel for accommodating young children shouldn't be an impossibly complicated addition.

The bit about only married women being allowed to carry sounds a bit out of place in Trek. Because the subject would never be allowed to arise in TOS, we don't have to pretend that 2260s people would have the same hang-ups about it as the 1960s ones, since evidence does not and cannot exist either way. And ENT would seem to establish that the world didn't get stuck in 1960s thinking, but proceeded through our late 20th and early 21st century morals before reaching the TOS era. So it would take extra effort to think that the 2260s suddenly went uptight again, against the flow.

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Old September 20 2010, 03:32 PM   #12
Brannigan
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Re: Crewmember Children on the Enterprise?

OK, FIRST since it seems a lot of people are getting hung up on my choice to use the words "civil union" (why? is this a negative term I'm not aware of?) I used that term because of its neutrality. If they were getting married then they were getting married, it just didn't seem like an overly religious affair anyway.
Secondly, thanks for the insight from TMoST book. It seems that the writers thought of these things, but didn't show them for obvious reasons. However it also seems like a sexist notion (understandable given the show's time period of the 60's) that the woman would either get a medical discharge or have to be transferred to a starbase. A medical discharge makes it sound like a negative thing to have children.
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Old September 20 2010, 03:34 PM   #13
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Re: Crewmember Children on the Enterprise?

Timo wrote: View Post
For his first televised mission, Kirk was about to leave the galaxy - a trip that would later be established as standing no chance of reaching any interesting targets until several years, decades, perhaps centuries, into the mission. It's quite possible that one of Starfleet's youngest skippers was given this mission because he had the best chances of surviving its considerable length - and that his crew was expected to spend physically and mentally acceptable decades aboard. Family amenities might be part of that setup, then.

Timo Saloniemi
I think it highly unlikely the intent was to spend years beyond the galactic rim since there was really no where to go. Even the Magellanic Clouds or the Sagittarius Dwarf (if it was even known of in the 1960s) would have been a lengthy trip. I suspect it's more likely they wanted to just survey what could be seen or found from just outside the edge and then returned to report.
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Old September 20 2010, 04:09 PM   #14
kkozoriz1
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Re: Crewmember Children on the Enterprise?

Perhaps looking for the galactic equivalent of the heliopause/
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Heliopause#Heliopause
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Old September 20 2010, 04:12 PM   #15
scotpens
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Re: Crewmember Children on the Enterprise?

T'Girl wrote: View Post
scotpens wrote: View Post
The very concept of “civil unions” didn't even exist until the late 1980s.
Correct me if I'm wrong but Star Trek has never (non-ambiguously) shown a civil union. People are single, casually co-habitat or are married. Again, no civil unions. Even after the late 1980's.
Yes. I was talking about civil unions in the real world, not Star Trek.

skylark14 wrote: View Post
Hey guys, maybe I'm nuts here, but I believe my husband and I had a civil union, and we married in 1982 and they had been around for quite a long time. We called it a civil ceremony in those days because the marriage was performed by a civil authority and not a minister of any religion (in our case, a justice of the peace). In the case at hand, the starship captain would be the civil authority just like supposedly maritime ship captains had the authority to marry people. I imagine the term civil union came into use for gay marriages because these were marriages that were going to take place before civil authorities because religious authorities were refusing to do the ceremonies.
Maybe we're arguing semantics. There's civil marriage, as distinct from a marriage performed by religious authorities. Civil unions, on the other hand, are a recent concept that was first given official recognition in Denmark in 1989.

Civil Union -- Wikipedia

Timo wrote: View Post
I'm far from convinced that Kirk's ship wasn't designed for children. For his first televised mission, Kirk was about to leave the galaxy - a trip that would later be established as standing no chance of reaching any interesting targets until several years, decades, perhaps centuries, into the mission.
In the second pilot, “Where No Man Has Gone Before,” the Enterprise was about to venture beyond the galactic rim* to find out what happened to the S.S. Valiant, which had disappeared 200 years earlier. There was no intent of an extended mission beyond our own galaxy. Such a mission would be quite beyond the capacity of a TOS-era starship.

EDIT: Or, what Warped9 said.

The bit about only married women being allowed to carry sounds a bit out of place in Trek. Because the subject would never be allowed to arise in TOS, we don't have to pretend that 2260s people would have the same hang-ups about it as the 1960s ones, since evidence does not and cannot exist either way. And ENT would seem to establish that the world didn't get stuck in 1960s thinking, but proceeded through our late 20th and early 21st century morals before reaching the TOS era. So it would take extra effort to think that the 2260s suddenly went uptight again, against the flow.
Well, of course, when Trek TOS was made, no one could have predicted the changes in social and sexual mores that would occur in the next few decades: the increasing acceptance of relationships not blessed by church or state, the loss of the stigma associated with unmarried women having babies, the acceptance of gay relationships and so on. It's like pretending there were female starship captains in the TOS era, even though we never saw any.

*As David Gerrold remarked in The World of Star Trek, the idea of a definable “edge” to the galaxy is like “trying to bisect a sneeze.”
Brannigan wrote: View Post
OK, FIRST since it seems a lot of people are getting hung up on my choice to use the words “civil union” (why? is this a negative term I'm not aware of?) I used that term because of its neutrality. If they were getting married then they were getting married, it just didn't seem like an overly religious affair anyway.
I don't think anyone sees “civil union” as a negative term -- just an anachronism. For the 1960s when the show was made, that is -- not necessarily in-universe.

it also seems like a sexist notion (understandable given the show's time period of the 60's) that the woman would either get a medical discharge or have to be transferred to a starbase. A medical discharge makes it sound like a negative thing to have children.
Getting pregnant most definitely is a negative thing for active-duty military personnel, who have to be available to do their jobs whenever and wherever they're called to do them.

Last edited by scotpens; September 20 2010 at 04:31 PM.
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