By Greg O’Brien, Codfish Press
In some circles, the question of men universally asked is: If a man speaks in a forest with no woman to hear him, is he still wrong? Today, the query has a new twist: If a man is not needed to reproduce, will he be missed in the bedroom?
Thanks to the British, of all people, the answer may be a resounding: no!
British scientists at the University of Newcastle announced recently the creation of sperm cells from a female human embryo. “British scientists who had already coaxed male bone marrow cells to develop into primitive sperm cells have now repeated the feat with female embryonic stem cells,” science editor Roger Highfield writes in the Telegraph. “It raises the possibility of lesbian couples one day having children who share both their genes as sperm created from the bone marrow of one woman could be used to fertilize an egg from her partner.”
Consider also the potential opportunities for all women who at times have no use for us men, and we’re suddenly flirting with “Homo erectus extinctus,” as The Sunday Times ponders. “Senior scientists believe that woman may evolve as humanity’s sole representatives—and social and political trends are lending weight to their theories,” the paper suggests.
“A world without men,” contemplates About.com. “The story is a familiar one…No men are needed, even in the creation of children. While once relegated to the world of fiction, the possibility of an all-female society may soon become a reality.”
Yikes, say it ain’t so! It’s enough to keep males up at night watching reruns of “Father Knows Best.”
The biology books tell us that men and women differ over sex chromosomes—men and women both have an “X” chromosome, but only males have the “Y,” carrying the required codes, scientists have long suspected, to create sperm. Perhaps us men have been spending too much time wandering aimless about life without asking for directions that we’ve taken our collective eye off the “Y.” Are we now on the verge of irrelevancy?
“The Y chromosome has scant function other than the production of sperm, and in many men it is not performing well,” The Times reports. “Male infertility is already surprisingly common.”
Back to the gym, boys! Parthenogenesis (virgin birth), an asexual form of reproduction in certain plant and animal life, is also on the rise, and occurs now in water fleas, aphids, some bees and scorpion species, parasite wasps, certain fish, birds and sharks. Expect the list to grow.
Moral and family issues aside, before men toss in the towel on self-worth, consider the following: Who’s going to take out the trash, who’s going to rent the shoot-‘em-up movies, who’s going to buy the beer, who's going to overreact? and who’s going to be wrong all the time?
Relax. There is still a place for us! For now.