Sunday, December 7, 2008

Hermaphrodite Polar Bears; Not That's There's Anything Wrong With That! On Second Thought...

The Independent reports on an alarming new study.

"Evolution is being distorted by pollution, which damages genitals and the ability to father offspring, says new study."

Highlights from the story:

* The research – to be detailed tomorrow in the most comprehensive report yet published – shows that a host of common chemicals is feminising 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.

* Fish, it says, are particularly affected by pollutants as they are immersed in them when they swim in contaminated water, taking them in not just in their food but through their gills and skin. They were among the first to show widespread gender-bending effects.

* Research at the University of Florida earlier this year found that 40 per cent of the male cane toads – a species so indestructible that it has become a plague in Australia – had become hermaphrodites in a heavily farmed part of the state, with another 20 per cent undergoing lesser feminisation.

* At the other end of the world, hermaphrodite polar bears – with penises and vaginas – have been discovered and gender-benders have been found to reduce sperm counts and penis lengths in those that remained male.

* Indeed, new research at the University of Rochester in New York state shows that boys born to mothers with raised levels of phthalates were more likely to have smaller penises and undescended testicles. They also had a shorter distance between their anus and genitalia, a classic sign of feminisation.

Apparently some scientists think there's something bad about this.

The study gives new meaning to the old saw - If you can't beat 'em, join 'em.

(Note to regular commenters: Undescended testes and small penis jokes will be smirked at and promptly deleted. And yes, those include such jokes directed at the blog administrator.)

UPDATE: Hey there's one of those freaky polar bears now.

20 Comments:

Anonymous Bob said...

BIG GIL - With Sarah Palin heading back to Alsaka, I'm thinking that these gender bender Polar Bears are in for a rough time. This does bring up an entirely new topic for our weekly discussions on human sexuality, and new meaning to the saying "go **** youself" Do hermaphrodites get a pass on the gay marriage, gay rights issue? Can't wait to hear the C.Scott, Randal take on this issue.

December 7, 2008 at 10:43 AM 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Apparently some scientists think there's something bad about this.Apparently some scientists think there's something bad about this."

Apparently?? Any scientist (or even non-scientist) should be concerned.

December 7, 2008 at 12:39 PM 
Anonymous r said...

I guess Mrs. Spencerblog will be censored as well. :-)

December 7, 2008 at 2:53 PM 
Blogger steve mcdonald said...

COME ON GIL! Why even post this one if you're not going to let us have some fun with it!

I always wanted to make a joke on a blog using the word "undescended". I'll wait for a Social Security Debate to catch you off guard.

December 8, 2008 at 9:17 AM 
Anonymous Aaron Proctor said...

Steve McDonald is the man.

December 8, 2008 at 2:00 PM 
Blogger steve mcdonald said...

Aaron, Gil has placed the most delicious, warm, rich Chocolate Cake in front of me, yet he has placed enough security around it to make Gitmo officials blush. Seriously, this is not fair, I'm jumping up and down in my seat for this opportunity with thoughts of the many immature statements that could flow from my fingertips to the screen! Denial comes in the form of comment moderation!!!

December 8, 2008 at 3:30 PM 
Anonymous r said...

That wasn't me up there.


I see nothing surprising here. With the proliferation of gays and emasculated feminine Lib males, who didn't see this coming?

December 9, 2008 at 11:16 AM 
Anonymous r said...

just kidding, it was really me. i have learned to love the ways of liberalism and thrash the demons of the neo-con underground. i love our new president-elect - barack obama - and look forward to eight years of promise, production and stability.

December 9, 2008 at 1:03 PM 
Anonymous r said...

Gays deserve equal treatment in society, we should respect them and understand their lifestyle as a normal part of society. I also believe that gay couples should be afforded the right to marry anywhere they please - denying this natural right is simply unethical.

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