If you've been reading that fascinating graphic novel, Y: The Last Man(amzn/b&n/abe/pwll), you know the premise: a mysterious disease has swept over the planet and bloodily killed every male mammal except two, a human named Yorick and a monkey named Ampersand. Substantial parts of it are biologically nearly impossible: the wide cross-species susceptibility, the near instantaneous lethality, and the simultaneity of its effect everywhere (there are also all kinds of weird correlations with other sort of magical putative causes, which may be red herrings). On the other hand, the sociological part of the story seems very plausible. There is no feminist utopia, the world goes on in a traumatized and rather complicated way, and the reactions everywhere vary from crazed euphoria to a more common despair. One thing that isn't at all implausible, and actually has been observed, is a plague that selectively exterminates males.
Continue reading "Evolution of a sex ratio observed" (on Pharyngula)