5
$\begingroup$

In my story women all women just suddenly stopped having male babies eventually causing there to be little to no men around the world.

I'm looking for a way to explain why this happened.

I thought a virus or disease may fit best here. Maybe transmitted by mosquitoes like in Brazil at the moment.

$\endgroup$
3
$\begingroup$

A virus attacking the Y-chromosome might work.

If it's just preventing birth of male babies (presumably causing miscarriages) you'd need a way to explain why that same virus doesn't harm already living male humans though - maybe it's only transmissible from mother to child? That'd be a strange way to evolve though - while definitely making sense for an engineered disease. Someone is attacking us with bioweapons!

$\endgroup$
  • $\begingroup$ Somewhat reminiscent of Frank Herbert's "The white plague". The link doesn't go into much detail, but the story reads something like a Crichton novel (sans technical appendix). $\endgroup$ – Charles Rockafellor Jul 19 '16 at 8:24
  • 2
    $\begingroup$ rather than attacking the all y chromosomes, just attack sperm with y chromosome, and render them inert, leading to only x combing with x of women, with 2 generations all men would have died. $\endgroup$ – Chinu Jul 19 '16 at 8:38
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ @Chinu: good call on attacking the sperm, that's closer to "not being born" than miscarriages (and also less traumatic) $\endgroup$ – Syndic Jul 19 '16 at 9:06
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ The genes for male sex differentiation are located on the autosomes. The genes for female sex differentiation suppress these genes and the genes on the Y-chromosome suppress the female sex differentiation genes. This has been extensively tested on homozygous zygotes in laboratory conditions and is believed to be responsible for certain types of ovary diseases in older women (the affected tissues become testes when suppression fails). Preventing male births can be accomplished by any number of means that disrupt these genes, such as pollutants that mimic estrogen. $\endgroup$ – Anonymous Jul 19 '16 at 14:35
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ This is exactly what was used in en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sexmission - just so you know. $\endgroup$ – Mołot Jan 30 '17 at 13:00
1
$\begingroup$

One of the lowest levels determining sex we've found so far is the https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Testis_determining_factor.

This gene is responsible for starting the differentiation of male sex organs, from a common base.

So anything that can affect this gene, or the structures that this gene is usually contained in (the whole Y chromosome) should do the trick.

One thing that might influence your choice is whether you want all babies to be born female, or whether you want male babies to be stillborn, ie. does your population initially keep growing at the same rate or at half rate.

$\endgroup$
0
$\begingroup$

Diseases work fine. You can either

  • have the disease on the mother, make the womb reject the male embryo.
  • have the disease on the father, killing or weakening Y chromosome sperms (in which case artificial insemination might still work)
  • have the disease on the egg itself, causing cell death if a Y chromosome is introduced.
$\endgroup$
0
$\begingroup$

From what I can tell, we're already moving in that direction.

This article in Scientific American reports that boys are more vulnerable to a variety of environmental poisons than women are, and also reports that "...wherever researchers have looked, the rate of male newborns has declined."

Though the Y chromosome may be an obvious target, I suggest that it wouldn't work: men with a fatal Y wouldn't live long enough to breed. If, however, it were the X chromosome that were damaged (see, e.g. Fragile X Syndrome, a recessive trait in women could be passed to sons, causing them to die in utero.

$\endgroup$
0
$\begingroup$

We'll all be able to choose many characteristics of our offspring soon, it may well become normal and acceptable and even expected. If people decided daughters were more desirable than sons (insert your reasons here) then little boys would become very scarce.

Artificial selection, I know, but not unreasonable.

$\endgroup$
0
$\begingroup$

You just think that "all women just suddenly stopped having male babies" for natural reasons.

Really, though, the Pink Revolution has overthrown the patriarchy and established a One World Gynocracy. Women are getting sonograms for perfectly innocent-sounding reasons, but then get a sex-selective abortion if the fetus is a hated Y-carrier.

Essentially, it's the opposite of what goes on now in countries like China, India, Pakistan and Vietnam where people think little of getting a sonogram to determine the sex and then kill the fetus if it's a girl.

enter image description here

$\endgroup$

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.