Newsweek reports that the male sex chromosome is slowly disappearing.
Yup. So long and thanks for the fish, fellas but Mother Nature is weaning you off her evolutionary list and phasing you the hell out.
Apparently, the Y-chromosome of the XY male set-up, didn’t exactly cover itself in glory or longevity when it first came onto the scene a few bazillion years ago.
Every other chromosome comes in pairs of two in each cell, which means that it can recombine and reshuffle to ensure its DNA is copied correctly and robustly, generation to generation, neatly eliminating any imperfections and weaknesses along the way.
Not the Y chromosome though. Nope.
Maybe high on its own bombastic self-confidence (surprise, surprise), it burst out onto the proto scene singing ‘I am the one and only’ and gave its kind only one copy to hand down from father to son over the millennia.
Who needs to ask for help, my bro, when you’ve got a willy on your side?
But without the capacity to recombine, reshuffle and eliminate the weak links, this chromosome started degenerating.
So now, if you hold up an X and Y chromosome next to each other, the X is still as big and strong as it’s ever been and the Y is just, well, shrivelling. And, sadly, size really does matter guys.
The white coats say that at some point the Y started trying to mitigate against its own demise by putting in some coding fail-safes to slow down the degeneration but many believe that this isn’t enough to stop its exit.
This has got me wondering. What would the world be like without men with penises and hairy backs?
Would there be less war? More sitting space on public transport systems? Would women finally be able to settle into a cloud of perfume and satin without getting mucky man-sweat everywhere.
I doubt it.
The ‘fairer’ of the species is every bit as war-like, stinky, and entitled as the testosterone-heavy Y factor – stronger even, chromosomally speaking, since females are coded to last – we’ve just lacked the literal muscle and bloody-mindedness that helped the patriarchy get a leg up.
At least one change is certain: We’ll finally enjoy proper access to sexual and reproductive health without argument and mansplaining.
We’ll just have to wait another 4.6 million years, which is how long scientists believe it’ll take for the Y chromosome to shrivel away completely.
I’d like to think we’ll see some gender equality before then but considering we’re still trying to get the wild concept of body autonomy and equal rights across, I sometimes I have my doubts.
At least we’ve got some time to prep for matriarchal parthogenesis, right?
Until then, ladies, keep your Xs strong and your Xs stronger.
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