Male extinction: is this good news for the planet?

Believers in Gaia might say this is the Earth's revenege. I can't quote what my wife said.

Believers in Gaia might say this is the Earth's revenege. I can't quote what my wife said. And my ex-wife, well, fergeddaboutit. Scientists say it's simply biochemistry.

Men are becoming rarer, perhaps slipping slowly into extinction. Cryogenic sperm banks could become a huge growth industry. So could the export of male babies.

First, this Greenland village now produces only girl babies. The blame goes to PCBs and other man-made pollutants that get concentrated in the blubber of the arctic mammals the Inuit eat. That's not an isolatred case. From Alaska eastward around the North Pole to Siberia the trend is the same. And recent studies have shown a drop in male to female birth ratios in Japan and U.S. as well.

It's not just water-borne pollution lowering the number of male babies. Modern life is loaded in favor of girl babies as well. Another study in Europe found stress during pregnancy increases the chance the mother will have a girl baby.

So with fewer men it could reduce audience for Monday Night Football, reduce the size of armies eager to fight, nearly eliminate drag-racing entirely. Many golf courses could return to forest, and the market for beer would drop by about 5000%. But first we may see a new type of globalization. Both India and China have produced a huge surplus of young men because parents in both countries now use pre-birth gender tests to select whether the fetus will be born. Both cultures have a bias in favor of male babies, so girls are rare. Should we soon expect the reverse of the mail-order bride business?

If we guys do become extinct, I bequeath this columnn to Heather and her daughters.


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