Human males are an endangered species

Could the ever-approaching demise of the Y chromosome explain metrosexuals?

Pat Mahomes,

Gentlemen, we have a problem. Or is it a veiled blessing? Either way, our Y chromosome is shrinking, and that means soon we’ll be either competing more or competing less with one another for the ladies. Just as it’s always been, only time will tell – and, as usual, of course, it’ll still be up to the ladies in the end.

When sex chromosomes first evolved in the human race, we men started with 1,000 genes. Since then, that number has been steadily whittled down to 78. So, genomically speaking, the women are literally killing us in the biological battle of the sexes – and some scientists say it’s not expected to let up until the Y is extinct.

Granted, the death of the male chromosome could happen any time from the next few thousand years to the next several million (or not at all), but hell, I suggest we not take any chances. We could be upon testosterone’s final frontier.

Now, before you take this as a license to drop your seed all over the lawn – first, a little science. The Y’s main disadvantage to its sister X chromosome is in its inability to recombine; that is, to do the process of repairing injured genes by mimicking the normal ones. The problem is that all chromosomes in the nucleus come in pairs – except for the Y. So, unlike the X, if a male gene is defective, it has no healthy partner to swap the DNA answer key from – and it gets voted off the Y-land, if you will.

Forever.

This glitch has cost the Y chromosome hundreds and hundreds of genes since this gig of humanity began. Resulting mutations might explain the recent rise in male infertility. This recombination deal is akin to a game of stud that studs just can’t win.

However, genetics detectives at Washington University in St. Louis believe that what doesn’t kill the Y could make it stronger. “(It) has been very efficient at preserving its important genes,” said co-lead investigator Richard K. Wilson. “It’s found different ways to do the things chromosomes must do to evolve, survive and thrive.”And keep the dream alive! (Thanks to Johnnie Cochran for the rhyming-tagline concept.)

Sometimes, I wish we were all alligators. For many reasons, of course, but at least because chromosomes don’t matter to their sexual determination – the temperature at which the eggs hatch decides their sex.

Yet, we could argue, have the possible societal symptoms of such a process up to now really been a bad thing? For example, is there anything inherently wrong with the avenues of cultural feminization we’re currently experiencing in pop culture? Movies and television today clearly depict young men as far softer (emotionally) and body-conscious (physically) than the “good ol’ boys” of the last few brutal civilizations.

Exhibit A: Jude Law. Ever hear your girlfriend complaining about his bone structure? (Hint: It’s probably less than a dull roar.) Or – while we’re on the topic of this man – the fact that he left his wife and three small children for a tarty rich-bitch Yankee tramp?

But I digress. All right, guys, after I wipe away my tears for Law’s children, let’s huddle. We gots to stick togetha. Playahood is sounding more and more like it’s for a “limited time only.” Time to make use of these chromosomes, if you knows what I mean. Let’s make Generation Y live up to its name. In the meantime, you’ll find me in da club.

Adri Mehra welcomes comments at [email protected]