DNA tests are becoming increasingly popular in Kenya. DNA testing is a process that involves analyzing an individual’s DNA to determine their genetic makeup. In Kenya though, DNA is quite simply a test to determine if a man is actually the father of a child and that tells you everything you need to know. Let’s talk about the rise of DNA testing in Kenya.
Types of DNA tests
There are different types of DNA tests:
- Genetic predisposition testing: used to determine an individual’s risk for developing certain inherited diseases or conditions.
- Forensic DNA testing: used to identify samples found in crime scenes
- Paternity testing: used to determine the biological father of a child
On the rising demand
DNA testing is extremely accurate in determining paternity. The accuracy of a paternity test depends on the type of test and the quality of the samples taken, but generally, DNA testing can provide a probability of paternity of 99.9% or even 100%. Let’s talk about DNA paternity testing and the societal changes that have led to a rise in the demand for DNA tests.
People have been ordering home DNA kits but the government has warned that these DNA kits are fake. The Ministry of Health through the Pharmacy and Poison Board (PPB) says it has not authorised the sale of DNA kits and told the public not to use the kits. It is important to do proper DNA testing if you suspect that the child is not yours to avoid mistakes which could rip apart your family and your marriage.
Press Release on the Unauthorized Home DNA Test Kits pic.twitter.com/vjIQYRxvMA
— Pharmaceutical Society of Kenya (PSK) (@PSofKenya) January 12, 2023
Advances in DNA testing technology have made the process faster, more accurate, and more accessible. This has made it easier and more affordable for individuals to obtain paternity testing which has led to more people using the service. It’s highly likely that men have always wanted to confirm paternity, but it was just too inaccessible and too expensive.
Changing societal views
This has to be one of the biggest factors at play. So much has changed in terms of social views about men and women and their relationships. So much has changed. In the past, men and women dated very briefly, if at all, then quickly got married and got on the business of having children with the woman sequestered in the home as the man went to work. They did this young and sexual relations outside of marriage was frowned upon. Now, people are getting married later and later, people are dating widely, sexual relations before marriage are par for the course and more women have joined the workforce.
The fact that women easily have multiple sexual partners which used to be something only men could do has increased men’s insecurity about the paternity of their children. Before, women were just stuck in the home so it was easy to assume the children were yours but now, women are working outside the home which has raised male insecurities.
Societal views about single parenting have also changed with these types of families increasing in number. Women being able to financially support themselves has led to higher divorce rates and a higher likelihood of leaving bad relationships. Women often leave and then pursue the man to meet his parenting obligations in supporting the child. In these scenarios, paternity testing has serious legal and financial implications.
The changing views about premarital sex and the rise of ideas like women are sexual beings apart from men and deserve to have sexual pleasure, as well as feminist ideas have made women look promiscuous. Just as promiscuous as men have always been. Which means the paternity of any children from the relationship is in question.
One comedian joked that there’s no man happier than one who’s heard the words, “You are not the father.” On those TV shows that do this kind of thing, once the men heard that, all hell would break loose. The men would lose all of their composure, they would jump and run around screaming and even crying with joy. This is what many men hope DNA tests will do for them. Men hope DNA tests will absolve them of the responsibility of parenting. This is why DNA test use has risen and will surely continue to rise. The men who hear that they are the father, do one of two things, they are visibly disappointed or they feign relief but none ever match the energy and joy exhibited by the ones who heard the good news that they are not the father. This is the biggest evidence that men go into it hoping to be absolved of responsibility, not to get confirmation that they are indeed the father.
Men have never had a difficult time walking away from their offspring without a care in the world, the only problem for them now is that women can go to courts to compel them to contribute, go to their employers or even if it all comes to a head, expose them on social media through salient hashtags like #DeadBeatDad. Society also frowns on men doing that now more than ever. Dodging fatherhood is harder than ever so men need the added benefit of a DNA test to hopefully absolve them of the responsibilities of parenting.
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