The Big Business of Declining Sperm Counts

You probably don’t think about sperm very often. (I certainly don’t!) You may not even be aware that some scientists believe sperm production is in crisis — that if a trend of falling sperm counts across the globe worsens, we may run out of sperm altogether. Which would be bad news for all of us because, if there’s one thing you do know about sperm, it’s that we need it to continue the human race. This hypothetical crisis has gotten a lot of people talking about sperm, including start-up founders looking to make a buck, right-wingers obsessed with the purported erosion of male identity, and ecoconscious lefties concerned about the effects of microplastics on our bodies. It turns out that sperm is “a kind of skeleton key to the reordered politics of the moment,” New York’s Simon van Zuylen-Wood reports in this freewheeling investigation into the sperm scene, which will get you thinking about sperm in (I promise) all the best ways.

—Ryu Spaeth, features editor, New York

Sperm Fever The tantalizing business opportunities and disorienting politics of the worldwide decline in man’s most precious bodily fluid.

Illustration: Adam Maida

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