Many... species are beleaguered by infections that can turn males into females, selectively assassinate males, or render males irrelevant by allowing females to give birth without them....You men still want to think you're better off. I'll bet you've already processed this cruel truth into some fantasy involving multiple female partners.
Males are a target for a reason, [says Rochester University biologist Jack Werren]. Many types of bacteria travel from parents to offspring through eggs. Males represent a dead-end, so such infectious agents benefit by doing away with them before they're born while leaving females unharmed.
If that weren't enough, Werren says, males tend to find themselves disproportionately targeted by mutations and other "selfish" genetic anomalies....
More often than not, however, infections and selfish genetic agents bias the sex ratio toward females, since species can soldier on with fewer or even no males, while losing the females means quick extinction.
January 16, 2007
Posted by Ann Althouse at 9:39 AM