I’ve been reading a few stories around the place over recent months about a trend of declining male births in the USA, Japan and a few other countries. There’s been lots of discussion about the topic interspersed with scientific gobbleydegook that I readily profess not to understand (I dropped out of school before I was 15); but I’m thinking that this is a perfectly logical phenomenon given the current state of our planet.
Our species is under all sorts of stress for a variety of reasons, environmental and otherwise. In many organisms, stress causes a variety of reactions when it comes to the continuation of the species. Kangaroos are an interesting example. If conditions are tough, a doe (female kangaroo) can arrest the development of a foetus, slowing down its development in the hope that conditions will improve. There’s no stop/start switch the doe flicks, its an inbuilt mechanism called embryonic diapause.
In relation to our own species, and without trying to be crude – one male can impregnate many females. There doesn’t need to be so many males kicking around if a disaster of biblical proportions should strike. In fact, we’d be better off with less people around if competition for resources were to become that severe. In many ways, in that situation, the female of the species is more valuable to the survival of same. Cull the species, but leaving enough “stock” for breeding until balance is restored.
Ok, so it’s a theory, one that may be severely flawed.. but nature is incredible in how it works; always trying to maintain the fine balance that makes our planet capable of supporting such a diverse number of species. Sometimes it does this subtley, sometimes very harshly. Is the declining male birth trend yet another subtle tap on the shoulder from Mother Nature we should take notice of before it becomes a mighty slap?
I feel we’ve been having so many of these nudges lately, but then again, whatever you focus on expands in your awareness.
Nature is such an awesome force – I think it really hit home with me just how inconsequential I am when faced with such a force when I was at sea caught in a very nasty storm with little to no hope of rescue if things went really bad. I remember thinking “wow, I am totally expendable, the earth won’t miss a beat”.