Your mother's preference for greasy fried chicken before your incubation stage may have had a greater effect on your life than just perpetuating the obesity cycle. It may have determined what kind of junk you have.
This means some of you owe your penis to Cheetos.
In a study involving 740 pregnant British women, researchers found that mothers who ate higher-calorie diets around the time of conception had a 56 percent chance of having sons, while those with lower-calorie diets at the time had only a 45 percent chance of having them. Women who consistently ate breakfast and consumed a wide range of high quality nutrients also had a higher incidence of sons than their less-health-conscious peers.
In case any guys reading this are getting a big head, Darwin says it's because you're expendable. In nature, when times are tough and food is scarce, it's better for the species for there to be more chicks than dudes. To see why, just imagine a situation in which we had to repopulate the human race, and the human race consisted of 50 men and one woman.
Above: Evolutionarily ideal.
The research was inspired to help answer the question of why the birth rate of baby boys has been sharply dropping in developed countries. The answer, at least in part, seems to be the fact that pregnant women are more likely to both diet and eat junk food. The lack of calories and the fact that they tend to be low-quality calories tricks their bodies into thinking that some kind of apocalypse has wiped out our ability to wastefully mass-produce convenient, high-quality food, and that it's time to start cranking out X chromosomes to bring the species back from the brink of a sexpocalypse.
Spring is the season when all creatures in nature gets on with the job of boning one another senseless, but a new study suggests that you should probably just take a cold shower. According to data provided by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, children conceived from April to June have a three percent higher rate of birth defects than their peers conceived in other seasons. The potential birth defects, not one of which involves a superpower, range from cleft lips to potentially fatal heart deformities.
Basically, the X-Men with more drooling and fewer eye-lasers.
The reason appears to be that spring is the season when farmers restart their operations and spray pesticides on their fields that do funky things to our air and water. Exposure to pesticides during this time is virtually unavoidable, and the chemicals reside in the body tissues 99 percent of the population.
As a result, 80 to 100 percent of fetuses in the United States are exposed to at least one pesticide before birth. During spring, you're being bombarded with enough chemicals to turn you into a Batman villain, and it doesn't make much difference where in the country you are, though it is something to remember for anyone who fantasizes about screwing in a cornfield.
Don't shit where you eat, and don't spray poison where you spray semen.
Back when your dad was a rebellious teenager, smoking was still seen as cool rather than a horrible vice that attracts disapproving glares from everyone nearby. But it turns out that, in addition to making him a walking cancer time-bomb, your father's prepubescent James Dean imitation is now making you fat.
As it turns out, there's a downside to this sort of behavior.
Scientists examined the records of 14,024 fathers, 166 of whom smoked before age 11. The sons of prepubescent smokers had a much higher body mass index at nine years old than their peers with nonsmoking fathers. The reason for this seems to lie within a new field of science called epigenetics.
Epigenetics is the study of how short-term environmental factors can be passed down to your offspring. The reason this phenomenon is specific to your father is because males don't start producing sperm until puberty, while females are born with their whole clutch of eggs. If your dad smoked before puberty, then he triggered changes in his own body that later translated to producing mutant freak-sperms.
On the plus side, your dad's leather jacket, sidelong don't-give-a-fuck glances and billowing cigarette smoke probably helped him get laid in the first place. But the sperm that grew up to become you was one fat bastard. And not only did it doom you to a life of sausage-fingers and sweating while you eat, but it's probably given you a shorter lifespan to boot.
The field of epigenetics is opening up a whole new world of discoveries about the myriad ways your parents screwed you before birth, and in a few years, it may spawn a sequel to this article a thousand entries long. According to Time magazine, the epigenome project "will make the Human Genome Project look like homework that 15th century kids did with an abacus." It will almost certainly also lead to some awkward conversations with our parents.
And, once again, whiskey has our back.
See how else your parents have impacted you (this time for the worse) in our new book.
And see how else your parents are shaping you in 7 Things 'Good Parents' Do (That Screw Up Kids For Life) and 8 Insane Ways Parents Are Politically Brainwashing Children.
And stop by Linkstorm to see how many of the columnists really should've been girls.
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