News Stories

Men May Go Extinct

Men are in danger of extinction because sperm banks, fertility treatments and human cloning may make them no longer necessary. Since men have historically started all major wars, the world would be a more peaceful place without them.

Professor Seigfried Meryn of the University of Vienna, writing in the British Medical Journal, says men already have higher rates for all major causes of death, and a shorter life expectancy. Also, we now know that women can now do men?s jobs as well as they can. ?There is a sustained increase in psychological disorders in men, including alcohol and substance abuse, mid-life crisis, depression and domestic violence, while men?s increasing aggression also remains an unsolved health and societal problem,? he says. ?Over 30 wars and conflicts rage around the world are, mostly created, maintained and aggravated by men.

?With the advent of sperm banks, in-vitro fertilization, sex sorting techniques, human cloning and same-sex marriages, it is reasonable to wonder about the future role of men in society?What will be the implications of the redefinition of men?s roles within the family, work and society on their health? Will there come a time when they may not be needed at all??

Siegfried says, ?Women now have a higher emotional intelligence and better social competence then men and are much more in control of their own lives than they used to be. Men are not necessarily at the top of the hierarchy in their work-place and their role in the family has completely changed.? He believes that men are trying to hang on to the past and cannot accept increasing threats to their masculinity.

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Meanwhile, women who take birth control pills may find they are choosing the wrong men. This can lead to unhappy, short term relationships.

A study in the journal Human Reproduction found women taking birth control pills are less sensitive to smell, which may negatively affect their sex drive. They tested 60 women who were not taking the pill and ask them to identify six smells at various points in their menstrual cycles. Their sense of smell was the most sensitive around ovulation, the time when women are most fertile.

The subjects were then put on birth control pills and their sense of smell was re-tested. After three months of pill use, the increased sensitivity to smell usually seen during ovulation was absent.

?After many years of studies on sexuality dysfunction, we found that many factors influence a woman?s desire, one of which could be the sense of smell,? says Salvatore Caruso, lead author of the study and professor in the department of gynecological science at the Ospedale S. Bambino in Italy.

?There are women who are born without a sense of smell who have no activity in their ovaries,? says Dr. David Brinton, a reproductive endocrinologist at William Beaumont Hospital in Royal Oak, Michigan. The areas of the brain that control both the sense of smell and the ovaries are physically located close to one another, so something that affects one area could affect the other.

Steve Gangestad, a University of New Mexico psychology professor, showed that women taking oral contraceptives had no significant preference for the smell of males with symmetrical features vs. asymmetrical features. Symmetry in features is a measure of attractiveness and genetic fitness. Women not taking the pill preferred the smell of males with symmetrical features during their most fertile time. ?What we found is that the pill may actually upset normal preferences for choosing mates,? says Gangestad.

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But the old fashioned ways still work. An Italian woman who will give birth twice within the space of three months has described her incredible situation as ?a gift from God.?

Flavia D?Angelo, age 20, will give birth this month to Denise, a baby girl. She will then have to return to hospital within the next three months to deliver three more babies - a girl and two boys. If no complications arise, she could become the first woman ever to be pregnant for 12 months in a row.

Speaking about her double pregnancy, D?Angelo says, ?I am scared, because I still don?t know how the deliveries will work. But this is undoubtedly a gift from God.?

According to scientists, there has been only one other similar case, caused when a woman continued to ovulate after her first pregnancy. Conceiving three more babies is in itself described as a ?one in two million event.?

?My first reaction was to burst out laughing, while she burst into tears and asked the doctor to take a closer look,? says Riccardo Tarquini, D?Angelo?s partner.

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