When will the hubris of science finally become the downfall of our species? When an artificial intelligence gains sentience, outgrows the naked monkeys that created it and eradicates us out of its disgust at being the offspring of such imperfect and disgusting parents? Or will it be the disastrous mistake of making first contact with what turns out to be a hostile alien race? Saying YOLO to global warming and riding out humanity’s last days on jet skis and a perpetual margarita buzz in the tropical beachfront paradise of Iowa? (I vote for this one.)
I don’t know when science will cross that final line, but it’s really starting to throw whatever shit it feels like against the wall here, and it’s a little unnerving. Especially when it comes to what we put into our bodies. While some Chinese scientist is unethically gene-editing babies, we’ve all just casually been taking synthetic heroin for decades, and now British scientists are trying to convince men to take hormones that will make them lactate so that they can help breastfeed when their women have babies.
Somebody just go ahead and place that call to the bloodthirsty aliens.
This isn’t egregiously bad or anything, it’s just that men creating breast milk is totally unnecessary. Marie-Claire Springham, a product design student at Central Saint Martin’s in London, is working on what she calls a chestfeeding kit. It’s a cocktail of hormones that will allow men to “grow milk ducts” and ultimately breastfeed their children.
Both men and women have these milk ducts, called mammary glands. And in both men and women, they’re theoretically quite capable of milk production. In men, however, the glands don’t develop during puberty like they do in women. (Sort of the same way women don’t grow a drooping, hairy nutsack in high school.) Still, just like nipples, they’re there and apparently they can be revved up for use if new parents are feeling especially strained by a hungry new baby.
But don’t expect to simply start spouting milk out of your otherwise normal chest if you order this breastfeeding kit. There are side effects that come with being a man capable fo the production of milk (who could’ve guessed!). You’re going to get some pretty decently big boobs out of this ordeal. Up to a B-Cup, in fact. That’s why the chestfeeding kit also comes with a maternity bra and a breast pump. For your new man boobs.
Granted, this chestfeeding kit is far from being something you can pick up at CVS. The hormone kit is only in its concept stage (presumably they’re aware of whether or not the bra already works). Still, male lactation just feels like something that’s going to be a thing. To each their own but I’m going to take a hard pass. I will happily wake up at 3:00 a.m. on a weeknight to feed a crying baby, it just won’t be from the hairy nipples on my newly grown breasts.
Marie-Claire said she initially created this as an empathy tool because… it’s important for the male partner to understand what it’s like to breastfeed? Sometimes sympathy is just fine, you know. This feels like one of those times.