Kilts for a More Fertile Tomorrow

"Your heart is free. Have the courage to follow it." -Braveheart (1995)
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Culturally, the Scottish kilt is a "a powerful (and even stylish) symbol of fertility and masculinity," according to an article this week in, naturally, the Scottish Medical Journal. "Research indicates" that kilts instill feelings of freedom and masculinity and make the wearer attractive to "many women," in addition to giving him "a sensuous awareness of his own body." But could there be more benefits to wearing a kilt than merely looking your best?

Dr. Erwin Kompanje, an intensive care specialist at the Erasmus Medical Center, in Rotterdam, raises some highly persuasive points:

  • Tight pants can raise scrotal temperatures, killing or damaging sperm.
  • As such, "normal air exchange around the scrotum should be promoted for a more physiologically normal environment."
  • What's more, kilts are traditionally worn without underwear. Underwear, when ill-fitted, can act as another temperature-raising potency reducer.
  • Fertility, as measured by sperm quality, has been on the general decline since the 1950s, as has kilt-wearing among young Scottish men.

Randomized controlled trials of kilt-wearing and fertility have yet to be performed, but it's far past time someone got on this. Seeing as there is a global, downward trend in sperm counts, which some claim have decreased by as much as 50 percent over recent decades, Kompanje's proposed solution -- more kilts -- seems as good as any.

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Lindsay Abrams is an assistant editor at Salon and a former writer and producer for The Atlantic's Health Channel.

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