The long, arduous battle for equality of the sexes may have suffered another setback with the results of some new findings by a team of researchers working at Harvard University. (IMPORTANT: Recognizing the critical nature of this research, and the impact it would have on society, Harvard decided not to greedily fund the research itself but instead to graciously allow all Americans to share in the glory by sticking taxpayers with the tab.)
Although great strides have been made in opening up the workplace to women, allowing them to enjoy the perks of executive life such as unlimited expense accounts, lavishly-furnished corner offices and stress-induced heart attacks, we still have a ways to go in such non-work areas as reducing the lines at women’s restrooms.
Now along comes another point of differentiation that men must bear alone. (Trust me, sharing your feelings on this one will be more painful than sitting through a revival of the Vagina Monologues.) According to the these Harvard researchers, men need to be more careful when choosing their underwear lest they risk under-populating the planet because of testicular warming.
Three decades of research show that men with high testicular temperatures have lower sperm counts because sperm cells are very sensitive to their surrounding temperature. If it’s too hot, they fail to mature, which I think means they spend most of their time splashing water on other sperm cells instead of swimming.
(FOR THE RECORD: The current government position on testicular warming is that it poses no threat to the environment since there are plenty of sperm cells to go around, according to a detailed analysis of old “Dear Playboy Advisor” columns.)
The Harvard researchers were quite adamant that boxer shorts, which allow testicles to hang more freely, lower testicular temperature by several degrees compared to briefs, thus improving a man’s sperm count and increasing the chances of conception. Or, as the authors of the research report so eloquently put it, “These findings are consistent with the presence of a compensatory increase in gonadotrophin secretion secondary to testicular injury due to elevated scrotal temperatures caused by wearing tight underwear.”
There are two conclusions to draw from that statement. The first is that Cambridge, Massachusetts, where Harvard is located, is the epicenter of some alternate universe. I checked with my wife, and she said that seeing me in the bedroom with my undershorts and socks meeting at the knees would put the odds of conception at near zero.
The second is that challenging “gonadotrophin” when playing Scrabble With Friends is a waste of everyone’s time.
I should mention that while this research comes with several exciting charts and graphs, most of which are labeled “Use caution when reading if you will be driving or operating heavy machinery.” there is a glaring omission. The Harvard researchers left out any description of how, exactly, one might go about having his testicular temperature measured.
Fortunately, that information is available on the internet, and I can report to you that it’s a real page turner. Or it would be, if it lasted more than two paragraphs. However, if I were ever captured by the enemy those two paragraphs would be all the encouragement I’d need to unhesitatingly sell out my country.
Although this research may result in men rethinking their career choices, thus opening up new job opportunities for women as blast furnace operators and boiler inspectors, it does little to calm the debate over issues of equality.
Instead, it appears to heat things up.
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