As the Independent reports:
The research – to be detailed tomorrow in the most comprehensive report yet published – shows that a host of common chemicals is feminizing males of every class of vertebrate animals, from fish to mammals, including people.
Many have been identified as "endocrine disrupters" – or gender-benders – because they interfere with hormones. These include phthalates, used in food wrapping, cosmetics and baby powders among other applications; flame retardants in furniture and electrical goods; PCBs, a now banned group of substances still widespread in food and the environment; and many pesticides.The article lists a number of studies pointing to animals either changing their gender or seeing their maleness evaporate. Humans are not immune:
And a study at Rotterdam's Erasmus University showed that boys whose mothers had been exposed to PCBs grew up wanting to play with dolls and tea sets rather than with traditionally male toys.Already the business world is starting to cater to the new breed of male. E-mancipate sells pantyhose for men.
Communities heavily polluted with gender-benders in Canada, Russia and Italy have given birth to twice as many girls than boys, which may offer a clue to the reason for a mysterious shift in sex ratios worldwide. Normally 106 boys are born for every 100 girls, but the ratio is slipping. It is calculated that 250,000 babies who would have been boys have been born as girls instead in the US and Japan alone.
We need a new bumper sticker: "Save The Males!"