I have immense respect for Odent, he is usually a very wise man. But i disagree with him on this issue.
I wonder if the couples who are more likely to see him (access or require obstetric care) are naturally more tense than those who went UC or had only a midwife or two. I wonder if HIS presence in the birthing room, as a "rival male" in that situation is what makes the men he described act as they did.
I had to comment b/c my DH actually used that term "rival male" and I saw it in a father's blog post on UC, too. The blogger said something like, "Men, what is your first instinct when you see another man under the sheets between your wife's legs?"
DH read Moran's husband/wife book and really agreed with it. He said it would feel weird to have another 'rival male' at our birth. He compared it to having another male in the room for sex. DH is a laidback person so I was surprised to hear the strength in his voice...he said, "You're my wife and my baby." It was kinda cute in a knight in shining armour way lol.