Sperm Counts Are Declining. Apparently That’s a Problem.
I say we just let the human race slowly die out and put ourselves out of our misery, but epidemiologists don't seem to agree
The world is facing a sperm shortage, and apparently that is bad news. While I, a woman who has sex with men and does not wish to bear their children, don’t happen to think a spermless future sounds like such a bad thing at all, it would seem a lack of sperm is a problem from a “survival of the human species” standpoint.
That seems to be what Shanna Swan, an environmental and reproductive epidemiologist at Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai in New York, is worried about, anyway. In the her new book Count Down, Swan traces the rapid decline of sperm counts, a fertility crisis she claims could pose as dire a threat to the human race as climate change. In fact, according to Swan, “the current state of reproductive affairs can’t continue much longer without threatening human survival.”
The warning follows a 2017 study co-authored by Swan that found sperm counts among western men have fallen by a drastic 59 percent between 1973 and 2011. If things continue in this direction, Swan warns the median sperm count is projected to reach zero by 2045. This, naturally, poses a bit of a problem for anyone with a vested interest in the future of human life on earth.
According to Swan, various aspects of modern life are to blame for dwindling sperm counts, including the ubiquity of harmful chemicals found in everything from plastic and makeup to pesticides. Swan also points to “unhealthy lifestyle practices,” such as smoking and obesity, which are “causing various degrees of reproductive havoc.”
Swan’s reproductive warning comes as birth rates around the world continue to plummet. Between 1964 and 2018 the global fertility rate fell from 5.06 births per woman to 2.4, and in the U.S., birth rates have been on a steady decline since 2007, with the most recent data reflecting a 35-year low. While the birth rate decline has largely been attributed to cultural changes and the financial strain burdening younger generations now coming of childbearing age, plummeting sperm counts are likely playing a role as well.
Personally, I remain in favor of simply allowing that sperm count to dwindle on down to zero. The human race has gone on long enough; we had a good run. Let’s just run those sperm counts down and live out our last days on earth in an idyllic, sperm-free society, where no one has to worry about birth control, Plan B, abortion access, or even pulling out. Some may say lack of sperm is a problem, but it seems to me sperm creates far more problems than it solves. Let’s just do away with it.
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