Well, I hate to use a cliché but it seems there might be something in the water. In most big cities, the levels of estrogens in tap water are higher than elsewhere. Traces of the female contraceptive pill are often blamed as the culprit.
While working at the London Royal Free Hospital, Dr. Jean Ginsburg focused on water quality and its health implications. Her research led her to conclude that lower sperm counts and odd looking sperm cells were the result of a cocktail of chemicals found in the river Thames. Not good news for the London bloke.
Not only is the reproductive quality of the urban male taking a battering: the physical appearance of some men has begun to mimic the female form.
According to the British Association of Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons, there has been an abrupt rise in the number of men popping in for a breast reduction procedure in recent years. It is now the second most common cosmetic procedure for UK men. Again, the offender seems to be alterations in hormone levels, notably an increase in estrogens.
This is not only bad news for human men – other species are being affected. Some fish populations who live close to sewage works have deformed reproductive organs. Male fish blood samples have also shown concentrations of vitellogenin, the female egg protein.
So it seems that men in cities have a higher intake of estrogens if they drink tap water, as they inevitably will. Serious news since we know that estrogens alter behavior, brain activity, aggression and physical appearance.