If ever there were a reason to 86 the chicken wings from your football party, this would be the one.
In a letter to the founder of the National Buffalo Wing Festival, PETA claimed that recent scientific research proves eating chicken wings during pregnancy has a negative impact on male baby penis size.
According to the letter, “Findings published by the Study for Future Families showed that eating poultry during pregnancy may lead to smaller penis size in male infants.” While the letter points out the “inherent cruelty of poultry production,” which is accurate, the connection between chicken wings and penis size is tenuous.
The study was actually meant to investigate prenatal phthalate exposure, not just eating chicken wings, to better understand how these chemicals affect fetuses. Researchers found that infants born to women with the highest phthalates exposure had smaller penises due to a decrease in the amount of testosterone available in the mother’s womb. It also linked high phthalate exposure to a higher likelihood of undescended testicles and a smaller anogenital distance (the distance between the anus and the genitals), a trait associated with femininity. And finally, high exposure was linked to lower sperm counts later in life.
But exposure to phthalates can happen in a variety of ways and eating chicken wings is relatively low on the list. If you want to ensure ample endowment in your male infant reduce your exposure to phthalates.
How to Reduce Phthalate Exposure
1. Use phthalate-free personal care products like soaps, body washes, shampoo, conditioner, and cosmetics.
2. Avoid plastics with the recycling code #3.
3. Use PVC-free food storage.
4. Choose phthalate-free toys.
5. Choose PVC-free building materials and piping.
6. Eat fresh, local, and organic foods as much as possible.
7. Drink reverse osmosis filtered water.
Bottom line–chicken wings aren’t great for you, especially when they’re sourced from chickens full of antibiotics and hormones. In fact, a 2004 study from the Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy, reported in The New York Times, found elevated levels of arsenic in chicken feed along with caffeine, banned antibiotics, and even Prozac.
And PETA is right in noting the sick cruelty associated with the factory farming of chickens. But buying organic chickens, free of all the above junk, and making your own chicken wings from time to time won’t relegate your future son to smaller than average manhood.
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