This headline may not come as a huge surprise to most people.
Digestive issues at chucking out time, the utter unwillingness of men to commit even a fragment of imagination to wardrobe enhancement, the emotions thing – the opportunities for Gladwell-style investigation into the inexplicable patterns of male behaviour are infinite.
This week’s issue of Newsweek though, chooses to focus on another “baffling” male problem – infertility.
The key stat is this: “Four decades ago, the average Western man had a sperm concentration of 99 million per milliliter. By 2011, that had fallen to 47.1 million.”
47.1 million still sounds like quite a significant output, but wait!
“The plummet is alarming because sperm concentrations below 40 million per milliliter are considered below normal and can impair fertility.”
And by “Western”, they don’t mean the type of man who likes to enjoy a cigarette in chaps and on horseback.
“This is scary,” says co-author Shanna Swan, or the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai in New York, as if the conclusions are correct, the average sperm count leaves most men barely on the right side of fertile.
“Sperm count decline is the canary in the coal mine,” says her co-author Hagai Levine, turning to one of journalism’s favourite animals.
“There is something very wrong in the environment.”
It’s not hard to guess what that problem is – it’s the villain of the moment, plastic.
Harder to guess though, is the phrase employed to describe its effect on men: “environmental castration.”
According to Newsweek, as the chemicals from plastics slosh around the food chain, they “mimic the effect of the feminizing hormone estrogen and can interfere with masculinizing hormones like testosterone.”
In other words, the preference for Evian over tap and all those plastic bags in the canal? They are turning men into women.
So the dream of being the perfect gentleman – one of the great life goals of many creepy men’s websites – is even more remote than ever.
And turning into James Bond – forget it!