Estrogen exposure blamed for upswing in male chest-reduction surgery

British men are flocking to clinics for surgery to reduce their man mammaries. Here we pause a moment to savor that sentence … OK, done. U.K. doctors blame increased exposure to female hormones for a reported doubling over one year of the number of operations for gynecomastia, a condition in which men grow bosoms similar in structure and composition to those of women — as distinct from the mere fat deposits adorning portly TV-sitcom husbands. A society of U.K. plastic surgeons reported that members performed about 53 male chest-reduction surgeries apiece in 2004 compared to 22 in 2003. Likely causes of the estrogen exposure include traces of women’s contraceptive pills in the water supply and hormones fed to animals raised for human consumption. Increased female hormones in the environment are also blamed for falling sperm counts in British men, whose ongoing emasculation is raising world schadenfreude to levels not seen since the Thames flooded with raw sewage almost a year ago.