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. RV Toilets Riverside

    I was pretty pleased to discover this web site. I need to to thank you for ones time due to this wonderful read!! I definitely loved every bit of it and i also have you bookmarked to check out new information on your site.


    May 22, 2021 at 01:12 | Report abuse | Reply
  2. RV Roof Riverside

    Nice post. I learn something totally new and challenging on websites I stumbleupon everyday. It's always useful to read through content from other writers and practice something from their websites.


    May 22, 2021 at 02:17 | Report abuse | Reply
  3. Local Marketing Consultants

    It’s difficult to find educated people for this topic, however, you sound like you know what you’re talking about! Thanks


    May 22, 2021 at 03:03 | Report abuse | Reply
  4. mcd shades repair

    The next time I read a blog, Hopefully it doesn't fail me as much as this particular one. I mean, I know it was my choice to read, however I really thought you would have something helpful to talk about. All I hear is a bunch of whining about something that you can fix if you weren't too busy looking for attention.


    May 22, 2021 at 05:53 | Report abuse | Reply
  5. camper body repair

    bookmarked!!, I really like your web site!


    May 22, 2021 at 10:05 | Report abuse | Reply
  6. rv remodel companies

    Hi, I do think this is a great blog. I stumbledupon it 😉 I may come back yet again since i have book-marked it. Money and freedom is the best way to change, may you be rich and continue to guide other people.


    May 22, 2021 at 10:33 | Report abuse | Reply
  7. rv maintenance videos

    Everything is very open with a really clear explanation of the issues. It was truly informative. Your website is useful. Thanks for sharing!


    May 22, 2021 at 11:25 | Report abuse | Reply
  8. rv tire shop near me


    May 22, 2021 at 19:24 | Report abuse | Reply
  9. RV Windshield Orange County


    May 22, 2021 at 23:24 | Report abuse | Reply
  10. best rv repair near me

    Everything is very open with a really clear description of the issues. It was definitely informative. Your site is useful. Thank you for sharing!


    May 22, 2021 at 23:28 | Report abuse | Reply
  11. how to paint a horse trailer


    May 23, 2021 at 00:46 | Report abuse | Reply
  12. trailer services near me

    Your style is really unique in comparison to other folks I've read stuff from. Thank you for posting when you've got the opportunity, Guess I will just bookmark this web site.


    May 23, 2021 at 01:00 | Report abuse | Reply
  13. Content Marketing Services

    Aw, this was a really nice post. Taking the time and actual effort to produce a really good article… but what can I say… I put things off a whole lot and don't seem to get nearly anything done.


    May 23, 2021 at 03:47 | Report abuse | Reply
  14. rv remodeling supplies


    May 23, 2021 at 09:22 | Report abuse | Reply
  15. Soosteemocush

    cheap generic cialis for sale https://tadacipetadalafil.com/ tadalafil where to buy generic cialis online safely tadalafil blood pressure

    May 23, 2021 at 14:54 | Report abuse | Reply
  16. RV Paint Shop Orange County

    I absolutely love your site.. Pleasant colors & theme. Did you build this web site yourself? Please reply back as I’m wanting to create my very own site and want to learn where you got this from or just what the theme is called. Cheers!


    May 23, 2021 at 15:44 | Report abuse | Reply
  17. SEO Marketing Consultant


    May 23, 2021 at 18:01 | Report abuse | Reply
  18. cyclomune

    cyclosporine cyclosporine medication

    May 24, 2021 at 00:15 | Report abuse | Reply
  19. Tritreviewifind

    buy cialis https://tadalafilol.com/ – tadalafil price walmart side effects of tadalafil cheap cialis pills for sale tadalafil cost walmart

    May 24, 2021 at 00:41 | Report abuse | Reply
  20. Content Marketing Agency

    I really like it when people get together and share opinions. Great website, stick with it!


    May 24, 2021 at 11:02 | Report abuse | Reply
  21. RV Shades Riverside


    May 24, 2021 at 16:12 | Report abuse | Reply
  22. rv repair santa fe

    I wanted to thank you for this fantastic read!! I absolutely loved every little bit of it. I have got you book marked to check out new things you post…


    May 24, 2021 at 20:09 | Report abuse | Reply
  23. RV Mattresses Orange County

    Everything is very open with a very clear description of the issues. It was really informative. Your site is extremely helpful. Many thanks for sharing!


    May 24, 2021 at 21:23 | Report abuse | Reply
  24. cyclomune

    buy cyclosporine online cyclosporine emulsion drops

    May 24, 2021 at 22:38 | Report abuse | Reply
  25. Digital Marketing Agency Near Me


    May 24, 2021 at 22:42 | Report abuse | Reply
  26. New Forklift Service California


    May 25, 2021 at 02:20 | Report abuse | Reply
  27. tausAffessy

    prescription tadalafil online tadalafil cheap generic cialis for sale https://tadalafilol.com/

    May 25, 2021 at 03:27 | Report abuse | Reply
  28. Local Marketing Service


    May 25, 2021 at 05:44 | Report abuse | Reply
  29. SEO Marketing Companies

    I want to to thank you for this very good read!! I certainly loved every bit of it. I've got you book marked to check out new stuff you post…


    May 25, 2021 at 06:32 | Report abuse | Reply
  30. Internet Marketing Services Near Me

    This web site really has all the info I wanted concerning this subject and didn’t know who to ask.


    May 25, 2021 at 07:40 | Report abuse | Reply
  31. Unitmerienepeft

    buy cialis tadalafil generic where to buy tadalafil blood pressure tadalafil https://tadacipetadalafil.com/

    May 25, 2021 at 07:44 | Report abuse | Reply
  32. Social Media Marketing Firms

    You've made some good points there. I checked on the web for more information about the issue and found most individuals will go along with your views on this web site.


    May 25, 2021 at 07:55 | Report abuse | Reply
  33. Used Forklifts


    May 25, 2021 at 08:37 | Report abuse | Reply
  34. Video Marketing Near Me

    Way cool! Some very valid points! I appreciate you writing this write-up and also the rest of the site is really good.


    May 25, 2021 at 15:30 | Report abuse | Reply
  35. Social Media Marketing Firms

    Greetings, I do think your blog could be having internet browser compatibility issues. Whenever I look at your blog in Safari, it looks fine however, if opening in Internet Explorer, it's got some overlapping issues. I simply wanted to give you a quick heads up! Other than that, wonderful blog!


    May 25, 2021 at 16:12 | Report abuse | Reply
  36. Google Marketing Company


    May 25, 2021 at 16:15 | Report abuse | Reply
  37. Soosteemocush

    where to order tadalafil tablets https://tadalafilol.com/ generic cialis online fast shipping cheap cialis pills for sale tadalafil cialis

    May 25, 2021 at 17:18 | Report abuse | Reply
  38. Video Marketing Firms


    May 25, 2021 at 17:29 | Report abuse | Reply
  39. Internet Marketing Firm Near Me

    Hi! I just would like to offer you a huge thumbs up for your excellent information you've got here on this post. I'll be returning to your site for more soon.


    May 25, 2021 at 20:16 | Report abuse | Reply
  40. Video Marketing Companies


    May 25, 2021 at 20:56 | Report abuse | Reply
  41. Content Marketing Companies

    This website really has all of the info I wanted concerning this subject and didn’t know who to ask.


    May 25, 2021 at 21:34 | Report abuse | Reply
  42. Internet Marketing Consultants Near Me

    After looking into a few of the articles on your web page, I really like your way of writing a blog. I bookmarked it to my bookmark webpage list and will be checking back in the near future. Take a look at my website too and let me know what you think.


    May 25, 2021 at 22:03 | Report abuse | Reply
  43. Content Marketing Agencies


    May 25, 2021 at 22:12 | Report abuse | Reply
  44. Local Marketing Companies


    May 25, 2021 at 22:13 | Report abuse | Reply
  45. Social Media Marketing Market

    Saved as a favorite, I really like your site!


    May 25, 2021 at 22:58 | Report abuse | Reply
  46. Tritreviewifind

    tadalafil cost walmart where to order tadalafil tablets tadalafil price walmart tadalafil online with out prescription https://tadalafilww.com/

    May 25, 2021 at 22:59 | Report abuse | Reply
  47. RV Upholstery Near Me

    Greetings! Very helpful advice within this post! It's the little changes that will make the greatest changes. Many thanks for sharing!


    May 26, 2021 at 03:22 | Report abuse | Reply
  48. RV Fiberglass California


    May 26, 2021 at 04:10 | Report abuse | Reply
  49. remodel rv bathroom


    May 26, 2021 at 05:18 | Report abuse | Reply
  50. furniture repair shops near me

    Very good write-up. I certainly love this website. Continue the good work!


    May 26, 2021 at 07:12 | Report abuse | Reply
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17

Leave a Reply to RV Repair Services Near Me


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.