All women have maternal instincts.
First of all, if you’re one of those people who actually sincerely believe that, I have a public service announcement: for the sake of all that’s holy, people, do not trust your children to just any animal on two legs possessing two X-chromosomes. Humans don’t have genetic memory, folks. Neither women nor men are born with the knowledge that babies can choke and die on peanuts.
Nor do women know squat about childbirth until they’ve done it or seen a video or had it explained. We’re as in the dark as guys on that one. If you’re a guy, imagine someone explaining to you that it’s perfectly natural for you to experience a ten-pound person squeezing up your throat and out of your mouth. Now you know how we girls feel the first time someone tells us that our bodies are designed for one of those to come out of that.
Whatever instincts humans may have had at some point, they’ve been bred out of us by our multiple fork top of the foodchain lifestyle. Sure, some people seem to have a knack for dealing with babies and kids. And some people have a knack for singing, or fixing cars. That’s not instinct, that’s talent. And it’s not gender specific.
In recent years, we have finally seen a few examples of women who haven’t the first clue what to do with a kid. I remember an episode of Roseanne in which someone handed a baby to the teenage daughter, Darlene, in a way that suggested Darlene would know what to do with it. If I remember correctly, Darlene’s boyfriend had to tell her how to hold the kid comfortably, and Darlene just grimaced through the whole scene until she was able to pawn the little bundle of joy off onto somebody else. Another example comes from Stargate SG-1 (from before Sam got turned into a walking stereotype). A traumatized little girl latched onto Sam because she looked like the girl’s mother, and Sam’s lack of familiarity in the Ways of Kids was accutely apparent. (Ironically, probably any of the lead males would have been better suited to the task.)
Examples like these are becoming more common, and so long as the female character in question doesn’t suddenly develop maternal instincts as soon as she gives birth, we may be in business. But what we still only rarely see in TV or film is a male character with an exceptional knack for parenting. In reality, there are a lot of them out there, and it’s a pity they’re underrepresented.
But that’s what happens in an unbalanced society. Eventually everyone loses.