Friday, October 27, 2006
A Low Sperm Count For The Masters Of The Universe?
It's been the image of junior executive virility for a decade now - a strapping young man in a suit, with a cell phone clasped to his ear. Clearly, here is a mover and a shaker, one who can not only hire and fire, but squire the loveliest ladies and move like a panther across the basketball court. Now it appears that men who use cell phones may be shooting blanks. According to a recent study conducted at Case Western Reserve, men who use cell phones four or more hours a day show a 30 percent drop in sperm motility in comparison with men who don't use cell phones at all. Even men who use cell phones for lesser periods experience increased infertility. Men who use cell phones for more than four hours show a median of 50 million sperm per milliliter, men who use them between two and four hours have a sperm count of 59 million per milliliter, those who use them less than two hours have a sperm count of 69 million, and those who don't use them at all have a sperm count of 86 million per milliliter. There have been rumors about the damage cell phones can do to one's health before. Some years ago, it was thought that cell phone use might be linked to brain cancer, but that has since been discounted. Some scientists are puzzled why a device held to one's head would affect the contents of one's gonads, and suggest that other factors are to blame. For instance, men who use cell phones excessively may spend longer periods in automobiles, exposing themselves to engine heat, that they may be under greater work stress, or that they are more sedentary, and therefore more overweight. Heat, stress and obesity can all affect sperm count either directly, or by lowering a man's testosterone level.
On the other hand, it may be that men who are attracted to the self-important culture of excessive cell phone use are naturally less fertile. You know what they say about guys who like sports cars, after all. (I recently saw a bright red vintage Corvette with a vanity plate that read "XTENDR".) Maybe the movers and shakers of the corporate world are as much overcompensators as they are go-getters.
"Warning to male mobile phone users: chatting too long may cut sperm count" from the Guardian-Observer (UK)