Male Fish in the UK Are Turning Transgender, and Now We Know Why


transgender fish

As the debate surrounding transgenders and their rights rages on, the primary question seems to surround whether transgenderism is a mental condition. According to medical journals, transgenderism is indeed a mental disorder and disqualifies one from service in the military.

A situation in the U.K., however, may shed some light on why this is suddenly a prominent issue.


Many wonder what would be causing the recent explosion of the gender dysmorphia that leads to transgenderism. According to reports coming out of the UK, it’s not just humans who are suffering from this disorder, and the reason why is surprising.

Via Daily Mail:

Contraceptives, cleaning products and other household items flushed down drains and toilets are turning male fish transgender.

Chemicals in these substances work on the fish in a similar way to the human hormone estrogen leading to creatures with both female and male characteristics

The chemicals, which are affecting as many as one in five male river fish, can lead to a reduction in sperm production as well as triggering the production of eggs.  

Experts from the University of Exeter found that 20 per cent of freshwater fish at 50 different sites in the UK had higher feminine characteristics.

They also found that the offspring of these fish tended to be more susceptible to chemical alteration.

The chemicals causing these effects are often flushed down the loo and include ingredients in the contraceptive pill, and by-products of cleaning agents, plastics, and cosmetics.

Medications like anti-depressants were also found to be altering fish’s natural behaviour.

More than 200 chemicals from sewage plants have been identified with estrogen-like effects.

Some not only are creating ‘transgender’ fish but effecting fish physiology in unexpected ways.

This included displaying less aggressive and competitive behaviour, usually associated with attracting females of the species, which makes them less likely to breed successfully.

Professor Charles Tyler, a fish physiologist and eco-toxicologist from Exeter University, said: ‘We are showing that some of these chemicals can have much wider health effects on fish that we expected.

It found that more than 80 per cent of male bass fish in the Potomoc River exhibited female traits, such as eggs in their testes, likely due to a ‘toxic stew’ of chemicals.

Now, while this might seem like an environmental conservationist issue, it might be worth taking a moment to reflect on the fact that these fish have no conscious desire for anything past their next meal, and yet they’re being physically changed by their environment. They weren’t born this way, they can’t help it, in fact, the side effect of lower aggression levels would actually harm their ability to survive under normal circumstances.

If the traits of transgenderism are something that is chemically induced, and not something that you’re born with, then it is either a disease or a decision. Either of which means that those who are affected by it need either mental help or  better decision-making skills, not extra rights.

What do you think of the transgender fish phenomemon? Let us know in the comments, and in addition, share this on social media.

(Source: Daily Mail)

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