Today’s Independent contains a classic science scare story. It alleges that, because of certain types of chemicals that have been commonly used in recent times, the male gender is under threat, throughout the animal kingdom. Some of this is doubtless traditional journalistic scaremongering, but some of the studies on animals are quite startling, for example:
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.
Fish are apparently the worst affected types of animals, but the effects have been noted all through the animal kingdom, including in otters, deer, antelope and polar bears. The report on which the story is based concludes:
Feminisation of the males of numerous vertebrate species is now a widespread occurrence. All vertebrates have similar sex hormone receptors, which have been conserved in evolution. Therefore, observations in one species may serve to highlight pollution issues of concern for other vertebrates, including humans.
Hard line feminists will doubtless continue to suggest that there is no biological component whatsoever to gender identity, and I’m not qualified to pronounce one way or another. However, here is an article by a qualified doctor who also happens to be a male-to-female transsexual and who was exposed to one of these “gender bending” chemicals in the womb.
I should note, by the way, that exposure to chemical pollutants is by no means the only possible cause of gender confusion. However, if it happens then it provides firm proof that biological mechanisms can be a contributory factor. And if that is the case then it is further reason to give short shift to those who prefer to believe that all gender variance is a form of sexual perversion.