By Chris Wilson, Head Strength Coach
Specialist in Sports Nutrition
The last few decades have seen a dramatic increase in the feminization of young boys and men.
As men become more and more effeminate, society portrays the feminization of men to be normal, which, we know is anything but normal.
There is a growing body of evidence that sperm counts have been cut in half in the last 50 years, incidences of male infertility has radically increased, rates of testicular cancer have doubled in the last 20 years, while cases of gynecomastia (the development of male breast tissue) are on the rise.
Today, a typical college age man produces half the sperm his father did and up to 85% of it is abnormal.
The question is… WHY?
Scientists now believe that certain man-made chemicals are to blame which are interfering with the male hormonal system, and are wreaking havoc on the building blocks of male sexual development, which in turn, can promote more effeminate behavior in males.
These gender bending, estrogen-mimicking chemicals that are causing this phenomenon, such as BPA’s and Phthalates, can be found in plastics, which, as we know, are in just about every consumer product you can think of and are an everyday part of lives from the day we are born.
BPA’s help to make plastics hard and unbreakable, while Phthalates make plastics soft and pliable.
The irony of this is that in the past 50 years, man has created chemicals to help simplify our lives and provide conveniences for everyday life, however, tests were never performed as to the lasting effects these chemicals would have on humans.
Many of these chemicals are known to be estrogen mimicking endocrine disrupting chemicals.
We are just now becoming aware of the profound and permanent damage these chemicals are doing to growing bodies and fetuses and are just beginning to understand that some of these synthetic chemicals are far more damaging to boys than girls.
These chemicals are robbing boys and men of living up to their innate potential.
A Brief Lesson In Biology
To get a clearer picture of the impact synthetic chemicals can have on a male, let’s take a basic look at how the male endocrine system works.
The testes are part of the male endocrine system. The endocrine system is made of a network of glands that regulate many of the body’s functions. They stimulate growth, regulate our metabolism, and control reproduction.
This network of glands release hormones that is the body’s chemical messenger.
The sex hormone, testosterone, is a chemical messenger that plays a central role in male sexual development.
Some synthetic chemicals can disrupt, or block, the functioning of testosterone, permanently damaging the sexual development of boys. This disruption of the human body’s own system may be the biggest unintended consequence of the 20th Century’s chemical revolution.
The Revolution of Plastic In Our Lives
Even though the chemical industry is only 100 years old, it has transformed the world.
By the 1950’s, the chemical industry was turning out thousands of new compounds. One product in particular, plastic, has revolutionized the way we live, making modern life, possible.
BPA’s, Plastic and Estrogen
BPA was first synthesized by chemists in 1891. In the late 1930’s, scientists discovered that BPA acted as an artificial estrogen and was being developed for hormone treatment.
BPA would have been used as a pharmaceutical hormone, but a more potent synthetic estrogen called DES was invented, precluding the use of BPA for hormone treatment.
It was later discovered that BPA could be used to make plastics hard and shatter-proof and was also used in the production of lining canned goods.
In recent years, Independent researchers and scientists have identified BPA as a known endocrine disruptor.
How Exposure to Phthalates and BPA’s Affect The Development of Boys
Those most threatened by exposure to these chemicals are fetuses because they have very few defenses against these chemicals. It is during this time that cells are developing into organs.
Sex hormones determine whether the fetus will be a boy or a girl. It isn’t until the 7th week of pregnancy that the male reproductive tract begins developing.
Chemical exposure in the womb is likely behind a 200% increase in male genital birth defects. After birth, an infant is further exposed to chemicals in the mother’s breast milk.
Phthalates and BPA’s found in the mother’s body and breast milk has been linked to the disruption of normal sexual development in male babies.
Infants are further exposed to BPA’s and Phthalates at alarming rates within their environment.
Many soft toys, nipples used on baby bottles and plastic baby bottles contain BPA’s and Phthalates which can leach out of the plastic and end up in the bodies of infants.
Phthalates and BPA’s are also found in hospitals, particularly in neo-natal wards and is used to make medical devices such as IV Tubing, Catheters, Blood Bags, Incubators, etc., exposing newborn babies to many of the plastic chemicals that can leach into the body in staggering amounts.
Brain Altering and Behavioral Effects On Boys
Researchers from The University of Rochester found that chemicals in many common household plastics may be altering male hormones in the brains of baby boys.
The researchers have noted that boys begin to play more like little girls. This may be related to the fact that phthalates cause male hormones to behave more like the female hormone, estrogen, and therefore may reduce the male drive to “play rough.”
The damaging effects BPA’s and Phthalates have on developing boys impacts behavioral and cognitive patterns which includes the demasculinization of male behavior.
Are We Risking Extinction?
Researchers are beginning to question if these endocrine disrupting chemicals that fetuses are exposed to while in the womb are affecting the ratio of male to female births.
Studies show that there appears to be a disproportionate amount of female babies being born over male babies.
World-wide there are normally about 106 boys born for every 100 girls. Recent studies have shown a decline in the proportion of male births, in the US, Canada, Denmark and the Netherlands.
These declines have been very small but over time, are statistically significant. Fewer boys are being born than would be expected on the basis of the recent historical worldwide average.
The writing’s on the wall. It is clear that through chemical exposure we are altering the sexual development and birth rate of male children.
We know that there are chemicals that can be transferred from a mother to her child that affects how her child will develop and if we don’t do something about the production of these chemicals, we will see widespread dysfunction among the human population and the possible extinction of man.
1. The Disappearing Male (http://topdocumentaryfilms.com/the-disappearing-male/)
2. What is BPA | BPA Facts (https://www.baumhedlundlaw.com/bpa/what_is_bpa.php)
3. Our Stolen Future: Changes in sex ratio (http://www.ourstolenfuture.org/newscience/reproduction/sexratio/sexratio.htm)