back to article Frenchmen's sperm plunges by a third in quality and quantity since '89

The future of the French nation is in serious doubt if boffins don't get to the bottom of a serious decline in transmanche sperm production. According to the BBC, the sperm content of Gallic nut butter fell by 32.3 per cent between 1989 and 2005, while "the percentage of normally shaped sperm fell by 33.4 per cent". The …

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  1. Ragarath
    Joke

    The French are sitting out again?

    As in most things the french are sitting this one out. Or the almighty powers that be have decided that because they don't involve themselves they are not worthy of being kept around and have them in a slow transitional phase.

    P.S. Yes I know the sterotypical is not strictly correct. But I am an Englishman after all.

    1. Tom 13
      Devil

      Re: But I am an Englishman after all.

      I don't think those feelings are restricted to Englishmen. At a minimum it includes your cousins across the pond. I expect it also includes the Germans, Poles, Greeks, Russians,.. In fact, I expect pretty much the only inhabitants of our fair sphere who would take exception to your characterization are the French.

      1. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge
        Flame

        Re: But I am an Englishman after all.

        Do you want Jeanne Darc kicking you in the shins again?

        (Yes, Darc is the correct spelling.)

        1. Khaptain Silver badge
          Headmaster

          Re: But I am an Englishman after all.

          Let me correct that for you:

          Jeanne d'Arc.

          In French you would never write/say Jeanne du Arc. The last vowel of the preposition is replaced by an apostrophy and the two words are rolled into one. Commonly known in French as "Faire une ellipse" and I believe that it is for phonetic reasons.

          The lower case "d", the shortened version of the word "du", is highly important as it signifies "from", "of" or "belonging to".

          As in the English version "Joan of Arc."

          She was actualy born in Domrémy in the Lorraine region but that is besides the point. Arc probably derives from "Arc-En-Barrois" which was possibly the village of Jeanne's fathers ancestors..

          1. Phil O'Sophical Silver badge
            Headmaster

            Re: But I am an Englishman after all.

            "de", not "du". "du" is a contraction of "de le", and she isn't Jeanne de l'Arc (Joan of the Bow). It's une élision not une ellipse.

            1. Khaptain Silver badge

              Re: But I am an Englishman after all.

              My colleagues couldn't agree if it was "du" or "de". We had presumed "du" as villages often take the masculin form. I agree that there are exceptions as in everything else within the French language.

              Since the French never say "de le" I didn't bother explaining.

              Ellipse = the Morpho-syntactique form.

              Élision = the Phonique form.

              1. Steve the Cynic
                Headmaster

                Re: But I am an Englishman after all.

                Fuss, fuss... You will see/hear "de le" in one specific circumstance.

                "le" is either the masculine-singular definite article, or the third person singular direct object personal pronoun ("it" or "him").

                When the "le" in "de le" is the definite article, you contract it to "du", right enough.

                On the other hand, if the "le" is the object pronoun, you don't.

                E.g. "Je viens de le voir." "I have just seen him." or "I have just seen it."

              2. Tom 13

                Re: du de le lo la la la

                You have just provided multiple examples of why the rest of us can regard this lowered sperm thing as a Good Thing(TM) as regards the French.

          2. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge
            Holmes

            Re: But I am an Englishman after all.

            > Let me correct that for you:

            No U!

            It's not "Joan of Arc". Its "Joan Darc". Standard family name.

          3. Mike 137

            Re: But I am an Englishman after all.

            "apostrophy"?

            Let me correct that for you:

            apostrophe

            1. P. Lee Silver badge

              Re: But I am an Englishman after all.

              or possibly, "apostasy."

        2. Matt Bryant Silver badge
          Happy

          Re: Re: But I am an Englishman after all.

          "Do you want Jeanne Darc kicking you in the shins again?...." IIRC, it was the Fwench that finally got a bit sick of Ms D'Arc and had her burnt at the stake, one Bishop Cauchon of Beauvais being the engineer of her fate. I guess they just felt a bit emasculated by the idea that a Fwenchwoman could do the whole man thing better than a Fwenchman.

        3. Armando 123
          Coat

          Re: But I am an Englishman after all.

          I thought "Jeanne Darc" was French for "outhouse without a lightbulb"

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    So even the French sperm are on strike?

    Does anyone know what their demands are? British ladies watch out, you may find them burning your beef (curtains).

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: So even the French sperm are on strike?

      British ladies watch out, you may find them blockading your tunnel (of love) with their trucks.

    2. P. Lee Silver badge
      Alien

      Re: So even the French sperm are on strike?

      Not on strike. The Frogs are giving up on being men:

      http://newscenter.berkeley.edu/2010/03/01/frogs/

  3. Evil Auditor Silver badge

    Bragging?

    Was the 1989 examination done by Frenchmen?

    1. Armando 123
      Flame

      Re: Bragging?

      Wait, didn't the Berlin Wall fall in the 89-90 winter? Is that it, that the proof of communism's ineffectiveness has led to depression, inactivity, lower sperm count, and burning British sheep?

  4. Wheaty73
    Coffee/keyboard

    Professor Richard Sharpe?

    Commenting on the French? Should be killing them. Remember Talavera!!!

    Also, I need a new keyboard after "Gallic Nut Butter"

    1. NathanD
      Thumb Up

      Re: Professor Richard Sharpe?

      New job for The Rifles....

      There's 40 shillings on the drum,

      For those who'll volunteer their come,

      Knock up a French girl everyday,

      While over the hills and far away.

      1. Ed_UK

        Re: Professor Richard Sharpe?

        "Knock up a French girl everyday"

        No, NO, NO! It should be "every day"

    2. Peter Murphy
      Headmaster

      Re: Professor Richard Sharpe?

      But in the books, Sharpe generally got along with the French when he wasn't killing them. He once dropped in on Napoleon in St. Helena, and had quite a cordial and respectful meeting. He even ended the series by settling in Normandy with a local woman. He had no problem killing the French in battle, but neither did he have any issue with organising a truce afterwards when necessary (e.g., collecting the dead).

      Killing for duty or revenge, but never xenophobia: that's our Richard Sharpe.

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Men of Great Britain

    Once more unto the breach....

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Men of Great Britain

      I was gonna point out that no-one seems to have done any recent studies on Brit's bits, but I guess there's no harm in helping out in the mean time, just in case...

      1. WorkingFromHome

        Re: Men of Great Britain

        I believe there was a study a few years back.

        Or at least they told me it was for a study.... hmmm...

  6. It wasnt me
    Happy

    Global warming ?

    It gets blamed for everything else....

    Duck.

    1. Zaphod.Beeblebrox
      Boffin

      Re: Global warming ?

      Given that the dangly bits dangle to keep them at a temperature that is optimal for sperm production (normal body temperature being too high), you might not be too far off...

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Global warming ?

        Right because a +.25C change over the last 22 years, in the average annual temp is enough to impact the Galic babymaking bits to the tune of 33%.

        As specious as many attributions of <whatever> to global warming are, this one would be quite exceptional.

        1. Zaphod.Beeblebrox
          Facepalm

          Re: Global warming ?

          Yeah, and it would be affecting everyone not just the French, etc. Obvious problems with the assertion are obvious... I knew I should have used the Joke Alert icon.

          1. Arctic fox
            Thumb Up

            Re: " I knew I should have used the Joke Alert icon."

            I thought it was amusing at any rate. However, I think that a "satire alert" icon might be the thing. Your bon mot was after all rather more satire than an outright joke and I have notice that a certain percentage of our fellow earthlings are satire-blind.

            1. Zaphod.Beeblebrox
              Childcatcher

              Re: " I knew I should have used the Joke Alert icon."

              And the downvotes keep coming! Thank you sir, may I have another?

              I'm with you Arctic Fox, satire blindness seems widespread amongst our fellow earthlings, especially her in the El Reg comments section.

    2. PhilBuk
      Happy

      Re: Global warming ?

      Probably due to those nut-clenching cycling shorts they wear. Mind you, it does bode well for a generational reduction of those cyclists with the eye-bleeding togs.

      Phil.

  7. Phil O'Sophical Silver badge

    Reading the Beeb article, I'm still a little gobsmacked to see that even with 15million of the little buggers per ml (sperm, that is, not Frenchmen) a man is still considered borderline infertile.

    1. TRT Silver badge
      Paris Hilton

      The female reproductive tract...

      is a hostile environment for our petits nageurs.

      Paris, for her non-aggression pact.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Meh

      This is an aspect of anatomy that has always puzzled me. After all, it only takes one, so, as long as that one makes it, how does it matter how many others there were?

      1. Martin Budden
        Boffin

        Many working together can effectively tunnel through the goop but one by itself will be stuck in the mire.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          You mean they work together? Like Ants?

          Some sort of team-building exercise?

  8. TRT Silver badge
    Mushroom

    *COUGH*

    France:

    Nuclear generated electricity capacity 63,130Mw. World ranking... #2 (#1 is USA)

    Percentage of capacity provided by nuclear power plants 77.1%. World ranking... #1 (#2 is Belgium)

    1. 404 Silver badge

      Re: *COUGH*

      Don't the French still have those neutron bombs? The kind that have minimal blast (saves the environment), leaves the infrastructure, and eliminates the folks currently occupying the space (also good for the environment, so I hear)?

      :|

      1. TRT Silver badge
        Pint

        Re: *COUGH*

        No idea.

        France also ranks number 4 on the world scale of wine consumption per capita. Number 1 is The Vatican, but I expect it'd be a sin to gather comparable data there. :)

        The UK is 26th in the wine ranking.

        The population of the Vatican seem to consume around one and a half bottles each per week. Phew!

        1. Steve the Cynic

          Re: *COUGH*

          One and a half bottles of wine a week is roughly equivalent to one glass a day, depending on how big the glass is, and how close it is to full, so that level of consumption isn't worth making a fuss about.

          1. TRT Silver badge

            Re: *COUGH*

            15cl per day, then. It's not a lot, no. Half of an ISO standard 300ml glass in fact. Yes, there IS an ISO standard for wine tasting!

            It's around one and a half times the amount the French drink.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: *COUGH*

        Neutron bombs don't have minimal blast; they just kick out a lot more neutrons than your average nuclear explosive. They're still nuclear weapons with all of the destructive capacity that implies.

        A small 1kt neutron bomb will wreck unhardened buildings with about a half kilometre radius of ground zero, but kill people (and most living things) about to about a kilometre and a half. Lots of interesting fallout would result, too. Not the most environmentally friendly device!

        1. 404 Silver badge

          Re: *COUGH*

          @ac 15:36gmt No, that is the supposed advantage of the neutron bomb, very short half-life so occupying troops well.. could occupy the battlefield. At least this is what I understand about the treaty where the US-NATO/USSR-Warsaw Pact gave them up, it was a good first-strike weapon - except the French didn't destroy theirs.

  9. Richard Wharram
    Facepalm

    Internet usage up, tadpoles down.

    Same as in every western country. French tummy-sticks are emptied nightly due to the availability of Le Pron Internetique. Hence Les Boules are somewhat reduced in potency compared to the 80s days of relying on les magazines or le bush de pron.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Internet usage up, tadpoles down.

      Wrong, masturbation makes sperm fresher.

      1. Richard Wharram
        Joke

        Re: Internet usage up, tadpoles down.

        Should I have used this icon just to be clear?

      2. Dazed and Confused Silver badge

        Re: Internet usage up, tadpoles down.

        > Wrong, masturbation makes sperm fresher.

        Might make that fresher, but it means there are less of the little buggers around when the lady with the rubber gloves comes to take a sample.

        1. Tom 7 Silver badge

          Re: Internet usage up, tadpoles down.

          Tell me more about the lady with the rubber gloves...

          1. gromm
            Thumb Down

            Re: Internet usage up, tadpoles down.

            Pff. Last I checked, all she does is hand you a plastic cup and say "splooge in the cup, kthx". Paraphrasing, of course.

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I reckon it's all that being locked up in drafty ateliers making wimmin's underwear and perfume.

  11. My backside

    No big surprise

    I thought everyone already knew the French have no balls.

  12. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge
    Stop

    CFDT Force l'Ouvrière!

    "Une sabotage méchant droite"

    That would be "Un sabotage méchant de droite"

    1. regadpellagru
      Headmaster

      Re: CFDT Force l'Ouvrière!

      Actually, since it's wrong in many ways, it took me a while to figure out what the title meant.

      The correct title should be "Un méchant sabotage, droit dans les sphères de mariage",

      assuming the word sabotage, not completely appropriate here, was a must, since it's used

      in english as well.

      1. regadpellagru

        Re: CFDT Force l'Ouvrière!

        Sorry, is actually "Un méchant sabotage, droit dans les sphères du mariage"

  13. This post has been deleted by its author

  14. Anonymous Coward
    Paris Hilton

    I for one will be doing my bit to come (snigger) to the assitance of any French ladies who require it...

    Paris... well do I really need to explain?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      But... But...

      It's not pregnancy they want, so the French ladies will be the last ones who are counting.

  15. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Old news

    This is just the French confirming what everyone else knows.

    Since we started feeding women artificial female hormones to keep them available for men to have sex with whenever they like, without getting babies, the levels of these hormones in the water supply has been going up, since a proportion of the hormones gets excreted in the end.

    And most of the water drunk in cities has been extracted from rivers which have sewage farms upstream. water purification isn't brilliant at removing hormones. So in pure poetic justice, all the men get female hormones too. Which does the testicles no good at all.

    This must have been reported half a dozen times on the last ten years, but the almighty pharma companies make a lot of money out of the Pill, so nothing happens.

    1. Michael M
      Megaphone

      Re: Old news

      At some hospital, somewhere in the UK, a klaxon has gone off and they are doing a roll call.

    2. Gav
      FAIL

      Re: Old news

      Well no wonder little attention is paid to this story, if this pathetic attempt of a reportage is anything to go buy. Big news; our screwing up of the environment is threatening our own fertility. El Reg's take on it; Hur, hur, it's a French study so let's pretend it's only likely to affect them and wheel out the "humorous" stereotypes and clichés.

      Why does The Register's normal respect for scientific research turn into immature sniggering when it comes to foreigners and anything medically involving men's bits?

  16. Wyrdness

    So the frogs aren't producing enough tadpoles?

    I wonder if central heating is partly to blame. Production drops in the heat. I'm currently sweltering in a hot office, which is OK by me, as I don't want more kids.

  17. Big_Boomer
    Facepalm

    Une sabotage méchant droite dans les sphères de mariage

    Whoever wrote that obviously doesn't speak much French as it is grammatically and culturally incorrect. Come on El Reg, try just a little harder to NOT be 2nd rate Clarkson.

    Now if you'd said "Les sales Anglais ont saboté nos couilles,.. fils de putes et salauds" you may have been closer to the mark. ;-)

    Concerning the comments above about Nuke Power Stations and their effect on sperm count,.... do us all a favour and speak up when you actually do know what you are talking about. Strange that all the monitoring programmes (and there have been a LOT) on Nuclear Power workers health have not shown any noticeable decrease in sperm count over the last 50 years. Besides, the French produce the radioactive waste and then send it by train to Sellafield for processing so we should be just as affected. Oh wait, X-Factor/Celebrity/BigBrother PROVES that we have been affected. <LOL>

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Une sabotage méchant droite dans les sphères de mariage

      'X-Factor/Celebrity/BigBrother PROVES that we have been affected' this shows mutations not a reduction!!!

    2. TRT Silver badge

      Re: Une sabotage méchant droite dans les sphères de mariage

      Hey, draw your own conclusions. I only posted data (copied and pasted from Wikipedia), nothing about correlation, or a hypothesis or anything.

  18. Khaptain Silver badge

    That's only the French

    If it is because of dietary changes then the Brits should stop laughing immediately. Each time I visit Britain I am astounded at the number of overweight people that I see.

    The Brits must be down to about 5 sperms per litre....

  19. Juan Inamillion
    Thumb Up

    "Gallic Nut Butter"

    Screen and keyboard please....

  20. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    "it's possible that French testicles are feeling the long-term effect of their owner's penchant for riding bicycles while dressed in beret and stripey jumper and weighed down under strings of onions, resting only for robust three-hour lunches of stuffed songbirds marinated in Calvados."

    WOW Lester! I bet you’re a stuck in your ways old man!

    Your oh-so-cliché comments certainly reflect this.

  21. What of IT?

    "Use it or Lose it"

    Who was it said that?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: "Use it or Lose it"

      That excuse will not work well when explaining your humanitarian activities in France to your significant other.

  22. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I thought the answer was obvious...

    Evolution

  23. Jim 59

    Obesity etc

    Might be something to do with the fact that we are all obese now, drink loads etc etc.

  24. Chris G Silver badge
    Childcatcher

    knackered nads

    Depending on what you read and where British sperm counts are up to30% lower now than in the '50s and according to some they are dropping( sperm counts) at a rate of 3%/annum.

    It is linked to Tofu and soya products( soya has a chemical in it which mimics female hormones),saturated fats, oestrogen in the water, plastics by products that mimic female hormones, tight trousers, excessive bishop bashing and reading the Reg.

    In spite of all that there is still a housing shortage, it's impossible to get a seat on a bus or train or easily park a car.

    As far as the pollutants are concerned, they are worse and more prevalent in those countries that are emerging markets like India, China etc. They seem to have no problems expanding their populations so perhaps the guys who go to sit in a cubicle for science are the ones at fault.

    Personally, three of the five women I really fancy are pregnant, and I've only leered at them!

    So who needs sperm?

  25. Anonymous Coward
    Coat

    In other news, Francois Hollande to institute 75% top-level sperm tax.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      They could just redesignate the ISF as "Impot Sur la Fecondite"

  26. Armando 123
    Coat

    Based on the excellent documentary Allo Allo

    I suspect it is due to a shortage of flying hemlets and wet celery.

    (Read this very carefully, I shall post it only once.)

  27. ici.chacal

    Weird

    You'd think it would be the Indians and Chinese dessimating their breeding potential by polluting themselves to death whilst trying to catch up with Western-scale industry and infrastructure.... What have the French done wrong, and should we worry too..?!

  28. Robert E A Harvey

    award time!

    la sous-position de la semaine

  29. Martin Budden

    How did we manage to get through an entire article and almost two pages of comments without mentioning the word "mayonnaise"?

    1. Dan 55 Silver badge
      Unhappy

      I'm rather disappointed that droit du seigneur went unmentioned.

  30. JassMan Silver badge
    Trollface

    They don't need experts to tell them

    that its not a good idea putting pesticides on GMOs which already have pesticides spliced into them, as was recently reported in the papers on this side of the manche. Eat too much of that and the man milk is bound to turn a bit sour.

  31. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Not just licit drugs

    They are now monitoring illicit drugs in the water supply and you are all a pack of ugly druggies! The numbers are staggering and we can even see your tastes change over time in the sewers effluent emissions. It's time to move to the country side, drink rain water, and have goolies that pump out copious amounts of man juice compared to city types... How many fertility clinics are in your area hmmm?

  32. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Finally the English have a leg up

    Sure the French might far have more sex than the English but at-least for the few times that the English do managed to copulate, they do get a bigger bang-for-the-buck.

    The Greeks on the other hand put everyone to shame!

    What's up with that?

  33. TeeCee Gold badge
    Joke

    I'll bet I know.

    I reckon they've cut down on drinking wine and are drinking more beer.

    Beer contains female hormones. This is easy to prove as, if you drink a lot of it, you start talking complete bollocks and lose the ability to drive.

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