Men: The Weaker Sex?
According to a new study, men are fast becoming the weaker sex. In recent years, some 100,000 chemicals have entered the atmosphere and are wreaking havoc upon masculinity. Apparently, “gender bender” chemicals are messing with hormones, resulting in a “feminisation of the males.” In male animals, symptoms include testicular dysfunction, smaller penises, and reproductive challenges, and some species are experiencing an uptick in hermaphrodites, among them polar bears born with male and female genitalia. These evolutionary “red flags” don’t bode well for humans: “If we are seeing problems in wildlife, we can be concerned that something similar is happening to a proportion of human males.” Some polluted countries are experiencing a surge in female births over male births, male children of women exposed to certain chemicals are exhibiting feminization, and in Rotterdam “boys whose mothers had been exposed to PCBs grew up wanting to play with dolls and tea sets rather than with traditionally male toys.” With sperm counts dropping “precipitously” around the world, women may transform from the fairer sex to the stronger one. [The Independent]