Sociobiologists and anthropologists have warned that the human male might not survive–and some feminists hope for such a development. Now, scientists in the United States have found that exposure to some common chemicals can harm the development of boys during gestation, leading to what some researchers have called physical “feminization.” Shanna Swan of the University of Rochester, lead researcher for the study, indicated that chemicals known as “phthalates,” commonly found in plastics, cosmetics, and packaging have already been found to disrupt the physical development of male animals. Now, this study suggests that baby boys are now also affected.

According to The Guardian [London], “Tests showed that women with higher levels of four different phthalates were more likely to have baby boys with a range of conditions, from smaller penises and undescended testicles to a shorter perineum, the distance between the genitals and the anus. The differences, say the authors, indicate a feminisation of the boys similar to that seen in animals exposed to the chemicals.”

Fred vom Saal, profsssor of reproductive biology at the University of Missouri-Columbia, took the argument even further: “Every aspect of male identity is altered when you see this in male animals,” he said, suggesting that levels of aggression, parenting behavior and learning ability could be altered.

The scientists believe that the chemicals may seep into the mother’s bloodstream from plastic food wrapping and chemicals.

This news should be sufficient to prompt further research and careful analysis. After all, the feminization of males is no insignificant matter. For years, some environmentalists and medical researchers have warned that hormonal imbalances caused by environmental factors have be leading to the phenomenon of early puberty in children, especially young girls.

All this should serve as a cogent reminder that God’s creation is delicately balanced in terms of both physical and social realities. This research is likely to attract political attention.

SAVE THE BOYS LINKS: Science News, BBC News, The Los Angeles Times, USA Today, and ABC News. On early puberty: ScienceDaily, TeenTopics [Christian site in Australia].