Modern life rough on men
August 18th, 2011
07:30 AM ET

Modern life rough on men

Didn’t men use to be more masculine? They were more ready  to fight back, right? They walked with more swagger, and just did more things their way.

Researchers can’t measure swagger – but they can measure testosterone, the male sex hormone most responsible for masculine behaviors – and studies show that testosterone levels in men have been on the decline for decades.

Two major studies have confirmed the phenomenon, one in U.S. men and another in Danish men. In the U.S. study, the total testosterone levels measured in men’s blood dropped approximately 22% between 1987 and 2004.

Of course testosterone levels drop as men get older, but what makes the study shocking is that men today actually have less testosterone than men used to have at the same age.

The challenges to men’s health may not be limited to testosterone levels. The amount of sperm in ejaculated semen may be falling too.

A 1992 Danish analysis of sperm quality from other studies concluded that sperm quality has been dropping for decades, and a 1997 reanalysis using different mathematical modeling confirmed the decline, estimating a drop in sperm levels of about 1.5% per year in the United States.

But researchers have been gathering new data since 1996, this time using semen from Danish 18-year olds testing for military service.

That data shows no such decline at all. Oddly, the results have not been published in a peer-reviewed journal, but were instead released early to the Danish government, which then published them online.

If there’s strong evidence that testosterone is dropping, and the jury is still out on the decline of sperm, what other health challenges are men facing?

Male sex organ malformations are certainly among them. Hypospadias for example, a condition in which the man’s urethra opens somewhere before the tip of the penis, nearly doubled in prevalence from 1970 to 1993 according to national Birth Defects Monitoring Program.

Another study found that the percentage of babies in neonatal intensive care units with hypospadias jumped from just .4% in 1987 to 4% in 2000.

Boys also suffer higher rates of once-rare disorders like ADHD and autism. A comprehensive study of South Korean schoolchildren published earlier this year estimates 3.74% of all boys in that country have some form of autism, compared to 1.74% of girls.

To top it all off: there’s evidence that the percentage of babies born male is declining.

In the general population the difference is slight, but statistically relevant. One group of epidemiologists found that in the United States, the percentage of Caucasian babies born male decreased from 51.43% in 1970 to 51.22% in 2002. That’s equivalent to about 21 fewer men per 10,000 births.

In some populations, the drop is far more significant.

A group of Native Americans – the Chippewas of Aamjiwnaang – live on a reserve surrounded by large industrial chemical plants in Ontario, Canada. The percentage of male births there dropped from a normal rate of 55.1% in the years 1989-1993 to just 34.8% in the years 1999-2003.

Why is this happening?

Many researchers cited here mention changes in our environment, like an increase in the number of chemicals we’re exposed to in the womb, and throughout life.

Precisely how it all happens though is somewhat outside our scientific understanding, and of course something like testosterone levels affects each man very differently.

“Two men of the same age may have exactly the same testosterone level but feel very different physically, emotionally, and sexually,” says Ian Kerner, CNN’s sex counselor. “I try to work with men to re-define sex in a way that works with their situation.”

What is clear is that for whatever reason – men are taking some big biological punches from modern life.

Follow CNNHealth on Twitter

soundoff (873 Responses)
  1. Delivery Van Repair Shop Near Me

    Saved as a favorite, I like your web site!


    June 12, 2021 at 09:11 | Report abuse | Reply
  2. Mercedes Sprinter Repair Near Me

    Can I simply say what a relief to find somebody that actually understands what they're talking about on the internet. You certainly know how to bring a problem to light and make it important. A lot more people ought to read this and understand this side of your story. I was surprised that you aren't more popular because you certainly have the gift.


    June 12, 2021 at 09:37 | Report abuse | Reply
  3. Mercedes Benz Sprinter Service Center Near Me

    I need to to thank you for this excellent read!! I absolutely enjoyed every little bit of it. I've got you saved as a favorite to check out new things you postÖ


    June 12, 2021 at 10:03 | Report abuse | Reply
  4. sporting goods near me


    June 12, 2021 at 14:46 | Report abuse | Reply
  5. office supplies near me


    June 12, 2021 at 17:09 | Report abuse | Reply
  6. best e-liquid

    Hi there, this weekend is nice in favor of me,
    since this occasion i am reading this enormous educational article here at my residence.

    June 12, 2021 at 17:43 | Report abuse | Reply
  7. propane gas near me


    June 12, 2021 at 17:55 | Report abuse | Reply
  8. autozone near me


    June 12, 2021 at 18:14 | Report abuse | Reply
  9. liquor stores near me

    I like reading through an article that can make men and women think. Also, thank you for allowing me to comment!


    June 12, 2021 at 18:33 | Report abuse | Reply
  10. chick-fil-a near me

    This is the right site for anybody who would like to find out about this topic. You understand a whole lot its almost tough to argue with you (not that I actually would want toÖHaHa). You certainly put a new spin on a subject which has been written about for a long time. Excellent stuff, just excellent!


    June 12, 2021 at 19:59 | Report abuse | Reply
  11. bars near me

    The next time I read a blog, Hopefully it won't fail me as much as this particular one. I mean, Yes, it was my choice to read, nonetheless I actually thought you'd have something interesting to say. All I hear is a bunch of complaining about something you could possibly fix if you weren't too busy looking for attention.


    June 12, 2021 at 22:09 | Report abuse | Reply
  12. rest area near me

    Hi there! I just want to give you a big thumbs up for the excellent info you have got here on this post. I am returning to your blog for more soon.


    June 12, 2021 at 23:41 | Report abuse | Reply
  13. slots

    This paragraph is in fact a fastidious one it assists new web viewers, who are wishing in favor
    of blogging.

    June 13, 2021 at 01:55 | Report abuse | Reply
  14. gun store near me


    June 13, 2021 at 03:07 | Report abuse | Reply
  15. ice cream near me

    That is a good tip particularly to those fresh to the blogosphere. Short but very accurate informationÖ Many thanks for sharing this one. A must read post!


    June 13, 2021 at 03:33 | Report abuse | Reply
  16. notary near me


    June 13, 2021 at 03:39 | Report abuse | Reply
  17. marshalls near me

    I could not refrain from commenting. Perfectly written!


    June 13, 2021 at 05:43 | Report abuse | Reply
  18. maono au-pm461tr

    I've been browsing online more than 3 hours today, yet I never found any interesting article
    like yours. It is pretty worth enough for me. Personally, if
    all webmasters and bloggers made good content as you did,
    the web will be much more useful than ever before.

    June 13, 2021 at 07:02 | Report abuse | Reply
  19. jewelers near me


    June 13, 2021 at 10:42 | Report abuse | Reply
  20. best buy near me


    June 13, 2021 at 12:28 | Report abuse | Reply
  21. massage places near me


    June 13, 2021 at 13:46 | Report abuse | Reply
  22. walking trails near me

    This is the right webpage for everyone who really wants to understand this topic. You understand a whole lot its almost tough to argue with you (not that I personally would want toÖHaHa). You certainly put a brand new spin on a subject that has been discussed for decades. Excellent stuff, just wonderful!


    June 13, 2021 at 15:23 | Report abuse | Reply
  23. fedex drop off near me

    Right here is the perfect web site for anybody who would like to understand this topic. You know so much its almost hard to argue with you (not that I personally will need toÖHaHa). You definitely put a brand new spin on a subject that's been written about for a long time. Wonderful stuff, just wonderful!


    June 13, 2021 at 15:34 | Report abuse | Reply
  24. money order near me

    Pretty! This has been a really wonderful post. Thanks for providing this info.


    June 13, 2021 at 17:07 | Report abuse | Reply
  25. michaels near me


    June 13, 2021 at 22:31 | Report abuse | Reply
  26. หวย

    Please let me know if you're looking for a article writer
    for your blog. You have some really great articles and I believe I would be a good asset.

    If you ever want to take some of the load off, I'd love to write some articles for your
    blog in exchange for a link back to mine. Please send me an email
    if interested. Cheers!

    June 13, 2021 at 23:43 | Report abuse | Reply
  27. best pizza near me


    June 14, 2021 at 01:49 | Report abuse | Reply
  28. coffee shops near me

    Howdy! This blog post could not be written any better! Looking at this post reminds me of my previous roommate! He constantly kept preaching about this. I most certainly will forward this post to him. Fairly certain he's going to have a very good read. Thanks for sharing!


    June 14, 2021 at 03:51 | Report abuse | Reply
  29. uhaul near me

    Greetings! Very useful advice within this article! It is the little changes that make the greatest changes. Thanks a lot for sharing!


    June 14, 2021 at 05:28 | Report abuse | Reply
  30. SLOTXO

    Very quickly this web page will be famous among all blogging
    viewers, due to it's fastidious articles

    June 14, 2021 at 06:00 | Report abuse | Reply
  31. eye doctors near me


    June 14, 2021 at 06:19 | Report abuse | Reply
  32. burlington coat factory near me


    June 14, 2021 at 08:51 | Report abuse | Reply
  33. five below near me


    June 14, 2021 at 08:53 | Report abuse | Reply
  34. panera bread near me

    Saved as a favorite, I like your site!


    June 14, 2021 at 10:30 | Report abuse | Reply
  35. clothing stores near me

    I enjoy reading through a post that can make people think. Also, many thanks for permitting me to comment!


    June 14, 2021 at 11:19 | Report abuse | Reply
  36. huntington bank near me


    June 14, 2021 at 13:18 | Report abuse | Reply
  37. museums near me

    This is a topic that's close to my heart... Thank you! Exactly where are your contact details though?


    June 14, 2021 at 13:45 | Report abuse | Reply
  38. italian restaurants near me


    June 14, 2021 at 14:15 | Report abuse | Reply
  39. embroidery near me


    June 14, 2021 at 14:34 | Report abuse | Reply
  40. bitcoin atm near me


    June 14, 2021 at 14:36 | Report abuse | Reply
  41. cars for sale near me

    Howdy, I do believe your site might be having web browser compatibility problems. When I take a look at your blog in Safari, it looks fine but when opening in Internet Explorer, it has some overlapping issues. I just wanted to provide you with a quick heads up! Other than that, fantastic site!


    June 14, 2021 at 14:39 | Report abuse | Reply
  42. yoga near me


    June 14, 2021 at 20:02 | Report abuse | Reply
  43. yellow bikini

    Everyone loves what you guys are usually up too. This sort of clever work and exposure!
    Keep up the very good works guys I've incorporated you guys to our blogroll.

    June 14, 2021 at 21:32 | Report abuse | Reply
  44. RV Repairs Near My Location


    June 15, 2021 at 00:10 | Report abuse | Reply
  45. Nearby RV Repairs

    Having read this I believed it was really informative. I appreciate you spending some time and effort to put this article together. I once again find myself spending a significant amount of time both reading and posting comments. But so what, it was still worthwhile!


    June 15, 2021 at 02:45 | Report abuse | Reply
  46. RV Repair Santa Ana


    June 15, 2021 at 03:21 | Report abuse | Reply
  47. aldeiagaulesa.net

    Greetings! Very helpful advice in this particular post!
    It's the little changes that make the biggest changes.
    Many thanks for sharing!

    June 15, 2021 at 04:46 | Report abuse | Reply
  48. RV Repair Seal Beach


    June 15, 2021 at 05:58 | Report abuse | Reply
  49. Sprinter Repair Orange County

    I'm more than happy to uncover this great site. I wanted to thank you for ones time due to this fantastic read!! I definitely appreciated every part of it and I have you book marked to see new stuff in your website.


    June 15, 2021 at 06:06 | Report abuse | Reply
  50. RV Repair Shop Near My Location

    I like it when folks come together and share thoughts. Great website, stick with it!


    June 15, 2021 at 06:17 | Report abuse | Reply
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17

Leave a Reply to Mb Sprinter Blind Spot Detection Repair


CNN welcomes a lively and courteous discussion as long as you follow the Rules of Conduct set forth in our Terms of Service. Comments are not pre-screened before they post. You agree that anything you post may be used, along with your name and profile picture, in accordance with our Privacy Policy and the license you have granted pursuant to our Terms of Service.

About this blog

Get a behind-the-scenes look at the latest stories from CNN Chief Medical Correspondent, Dr. Sanjay Gupta, Senior Medical Correspondent Elizabeth Cohen and the CNN Medical Unit producers. They'll share news and views on health and medical trends - info that will help you take better care of yourself and the people you love.