Sperm count among men in North America, Europe, Australia, and New Zealand has halved in 40 years. A review of data collected from nearly 43,000 men in 185 previous studies from 1973 to 2011, found a significant decline in sperm concentration. The research team found no significant decline in South America, Asia, and Africa, where fewer studies had been conducted.
Apart from fertility risks, reduced sperm count could be an indicator of underlying health problems caused by environmental factors such as pesticide poisoning, or stress, smoking, a poor diet and other lifestyle factors.
The topic is a controversial one, as numerous studies in the past have contradicted one another — some showing a sperm count decline, and others not. The latest work seeks to address some potentially confounding factors. It excluded data from men recruited for studies because of fertility problems, and used only studies in which sperm concentration was measured with a hi-tech tool called a haemocytometer. This sidesteps the problem of comparing samples measured with incomparable technologies — older tests tended to overestimate sperm count.
The work had other limitations. It compared samples from different individuals from different countries and laboratories. The best way to confirm changes in sperm count would be through long-term surveillance, known as a prospective cohort study, of a group of healthy males.
There’s literally nothing you can do that’s better for the environment than to not produce another resource-sucking, waste-making human being. I am now 72 years old, and I had a vasectomy when I was only 25 years old. I have never regretted it. The birthrate in Occident is at the lowest in recorded history. From 2000 to present, the fertility rate declined 20%. Childlessness has risen across all racial and ethnic groups. A quarter of Occidental women end their childbearing years maternity-free.
The decision to have a child or not is a private one, but it takes place in Occident, in a culture that often equates womanhood with motherhood. Any discussion about the struggle to reconcile womanhood with modernity tends to begin and end with one subject: parenting.
What to expect when no one’s expecting? It reduces the number of consumers and taxpayers, but it increases the quality of life. Persons who choose not to become parents are finding new paths of acceptance. As their ranks rise, so do positive attitudes about leading a life in which having it all doesn’t mean having a baby.
Stupid legislatures have passed stupid anti-abortion resolutions, asking the public to decide whether the state constitution should define life as beginning at conception! The stupid resolutions mainly state the inalienable right to life of every human being at any stage of development must be recognized and defended.
Pro-choice activists criticize the new anti-abortion laws, arguing that they violate the US Supreme Court’s 1973 Roe v. Wade decision, which legalized abortions until the fetus is considered viable, at around 22-24 weeks into a pregnancy. Treating humans as livestock, stupid legislators, who introduced the stupid personhood resolutions, point out that the main purpose of them is to be a direct challenge to Roe v. Wade.
90% of people agree on the abortion of embryo, and 60% agree on the abortion of fetus. Embryo refers to the early stages of development within the womb, in humans up to the end of the second month. Fetus refers to the later stages of development when the body structures are in the recognizable form of its kind, in humans after the end of the second month of gestation.
Ayn Rand points out the capacity to procreate is merely a potential which man is not obligated to actualize. The choice to have children or not is morally optional. Nature endows man with a variety of potentials, and it is his mind that must decide which capacities he chooses to exercise, according to his own hierarchy of rational goals and values.
The mere fact that man has the capacity to kill, does not mean that it is his duty to become a murderer; in the same way, the mere fact that man has the capacity to procreate, does not mean that it is his duty to commit spiritual suicide by making procreation his primary goal and turning himself into livestock.
To an animal, the rearing of its young is a matter of temporary cycles. To man, it is a lifelong responsibility, a grave responsibility that must not be undertaken causelessly, thoughtlessly or accidentally.
In regard to the moral aspects of birth control, the primary right involved is not the right of an unborn child, nor of the family, nor of society, nor of God. The primary right is one which, in today’s public clamor on the subject, few, if any, voices have had the courage to uphold: the right of man and woman to their own life and happiness, the right not to be regarded as the means to any end.
Rand notes the task of raising a child is a tremendous, lifelong responsibility, which no one should undertake unwittingly or unwillingly. Procreation is not a duty, human beings are not livestock. For conscientious persons, an unwanted pregnancy is a disaster; to oppose its termination is to advocate sacrifice, not for the sake of anyone’s benefit, but for the sake of misery qua misery, for the sake of forbidding happiness and fulfillment to living human beings.
The human construct is open to wide interpretation. The dogma that life begins at conception is an utterly false assertion on its face because spermatozoa and ova cells are vibrantly alive long before they meet. Life most assuredly does not begin at conception. There are no discontinuities here as life just persists and inexorably continues and matures.