A paradoxical form of behaviour, only witnessed in humans, has been described by scientists as leaving up to 90% of victims sterile and may have implications for hair loss sufferers. We look closer.
Mossman Pacey Paradox
Dr. Mossman, once of Sheffield University in the UK but now at Brown University in the USA, and Professor Pacey, still at Sheffield, wrote a paper about the effects of anabolic steroids as used by bodybuilders. These steroids mimic the effect of testosterone, the male hormone, and are used to drive the fast addition of muscle.
Their paper highlighted the irony, or paradox, of using the steroids to achieve perfection of physique. In itself, an admirable nod in the direction of Darwin as it should, in theory, promote them in the eyes of the opposite sex and lead to more chances to procreate and pass on their genes to the next generation.
But there is a dark side to steroids embedded in the very way they work. By tricking the brain’s pituitary gland that the testes are going into overdrive the glands react by completely stopping the production of two key hormones involved in the production of sperm. Prof Pacey was quoted as saying “I would say that more anabolic steroid users are likely to become sterile than you would think – 90% probably.”
Hair Loss Implications
The use of finasteride by hair loss sufferers also caught the attention of these two medics. Prof. Pacey said “Baldness is a bit more hit and miss, but sales are going through the roof and it makes it an increasingly common problem.” He was referring to the recognised side effects of finasteride which include erectile dysfunction and reduced fertility.
From Darwin’s point of view, your evolutionary success is measured by your ability to pass on your genes. From that perspective, the use of these medications to make yourself more attractive, whether to add muscle or hair, is an evolutionary dead end.
HIS Hair Clinic
Humans are the only known species to exhibit this behaviour, to enhance their ability to attract mates while at the same time reducing their ability to produce offspring.
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