The Polish village where only girls are born

Fire power: The mayor says the situation has become “a little crazy and out of hand”.

If Earth was populated entirely by women, would it be a better place? After no boys are born for nearly 10 years, the Polish village of Miejsce Odrzanskie is providing a unique case study.

The mayor has offered a reward for anyone who has a baby boy. Scientists want to investigate. And television crews have come for answers about a small Polish village with an unusual population.

No boy has been born in Miejsce Odrzańskie for almost a decade.

Residents are puzzled.

They wonder if it’s the drinking water and chemicals in the soil, but experts think it is just a coincidence.

As the village’s population gets smaller, couples are being encouraged to have more children in the hope that some boys will be born.

But many parents in the village, who have two daughters already, don’t want to risk having a third.

“Girls rule in our village,” says Adrianna Pieruszka, a volunteer firefighter.

Could the world ever be populated entirely by women?

When it comes to human reproduction, the feminist author and academic Germaine Greer believes that men are pointless: “A society can survive with only one man, no society will survive a shortage of women,” she says.

Biology professor Greg Hampikian agrees. “If all the men on earth died tonight, the species could continue on frozen sperm. If the women disappear, it’s extinction.”

US anthropology professor Melvyn Konner thinks that technology has made men less important. “Male muscle has been replaced [largely] by machines and robots. Today, women operate fighter jets and attack helicopters.”

So, would a world without men be an improvement?

Ovary and out?

“Of course it would,” says Greg Hampikian in The New York Times. “Women live longer, are healthier and are far less likely to commit a violent offence.”

“Be careful what you wish for,” say others. Most of the great music, great mathematics, exploration and literature has been created by men. Maybe this has nothing to do with gender differences. But would you want to risk it?

You Decide

  1. Do women make better leaders than men?

Activities

  1. Take it in turns to list characteristics that you associate with women (these could be stereotypes you have heard, or your own thoughts). Then, discuss as a class: do these words also suggest good leadership?

Some People Say...

“The whole female sex seems to agree that men are becoming a nuisance.”

E Jean Carroll, US journalist

What do you think?

Q & A

What do we know?
Scientists are making progress towards creating human eggs and sperm artificially. The idea is to make them from the ordinary cells of the body, such as skin.
What do we not know?
The importance of the need for difference in the human species. Is this the real reason why we need men — just as we need people of all ages, religions, sexual orientation and ethnic groups in our communities?

Word Watch

Miejsce Odrzańskie
A village in southwest Poland.
Coincidence
Something that isn’t planned or arranged, but seems as if it is.
Human reproduction
When an egg from a woman and sperm from a man unite and develop into a baby.
Feminist
Someone who believes in the social, economic and political equality of women and men.
Academic
A teacher or student at university.
Anthropology
The study of humans and human behaviour in societies past and present.
Attack helicopters
Armed helicopters that can fire at targets on the ground.

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