Hamilton — Monkeys and marijuana: The reproduction connection
Gentle readers, what with Russia once again ascendant in the Middle East, ISIS-conducted beheadings, a stagnant U.S. economy, the Muslim immigrant invasion of Europe, and Red China trying to run the U.S. Navy out of the major waterway between the Strait of Malacca and Japan, it is a nice diversion when a couple of interesting medical studies come across one’s desk.
For example, a recent report in the University Herald stated that “… the deeper the growl of the Howler Monkey, the smaller its testicles…” That’s only mildly of interest. But the zinger in the report is that very loud Howler Monkeys, the ones with the small testicles, are more attractive to female Howler Monkeys than the males with softer voices and larger testicles. Or, what former U.S. Secretary of State, Madeleine Albright, diplomatically referred to as cojones. In deference to Secretary Albright, we will adopt her usage.
In a finding that would make Charles Darwin proud, researchers have discovered the throats of the loudest of the male Howler Monkeys contain super-large hyoid bones and, at the same time, they have very small cojones. By contrast, human experience might suggest that having small cojones would equate to a lack of success in attracting female companionship. But, the case of the lesser-cojones-endowed Howler Monkeys, the opposite is the case.
So, it turns out that if you want to win the favors of a female Howler Monkey, having a loud, deep growl is the key to success. While this may accord with what Shakespeare said, “Frailty, thy name is woman,” it is counterintuitive to the teachings of Charles Darwin.
According to Darwin, animals and humans act in ways to insure the survival of their species. Countless studies have shown that smaller conjones equate to a reduction in sperm count which, in turn, results in fewer conceptions in both animals and humans.
But then, maybe Mother Nature would rather not have loud Howler Monkeys. For sure, we hear more than enough howling from Washington, D.C. So, maybe, making the louder howlers less able to reproduce is Mother Nature’s way of eventually ridding the planet of the really loud Howler Monkeys, leaving us with Howler Monkeys who might sound more like the late velvet-voiced singer, Mel Tormé.
The second study is about using marijuana and how marijuana reduces the sperm count in male users of marijuana. According to a study conducted by the University of Copenhagen in Denmark, researchers found smoking marijuana more than once a week may lower men’s sperm counts by about a third.
Moreover, marijuana use induces passivity which can result in reduced libido which, in turn, results in reduced reproduction. Ergo: Mother Nature may again be at work trying to reduce the number of marijuana users on the planet.
These two studies may have political implications as well. For example, in Washington, D.C. those who howl the loudest seem to get the most favors (your tax dollars) from the Congress and the White House. Could it be that loud human howling equates, like the Howler Monkey, to smaller conjones? Well, if that is the case, we now have another argument in favor of … (wait for it) … sperm limits.
Nationally syndicated columnist, William Hamilton, is a laureate of the Oklahoma Journalism Hall of Fame, the Colorado Aviation Hall of Fame, the Oklahoma University Army ROTC Wall of Fame, and is a recipient of the University of Nebraska 2015 Alumni Achievement Award. He was educated at the University of Oklahoma, the George Washington University, the Infantry School, the U.S Naval War College, the University of Nebraska, and Harvard University.
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