Tuesday, 4 October 2011

Red Hair: A Drug on the Market or Sign of Fertility?

Vivaldi was a red head, so were Napoleon , Galileo, Eric the Red and Thomas Jefferson. A rather distinguished group, don't you think? But apparently, the sperm from red heads is not moving at an international sperm bank, and they have announced they're not accepting any any more red-haired donors. Seems they have a glut because unless there are redheads in the family on one side or the other, those in search of sperm are unlikely to request redhair. Brown hair and brown eyes are what are in highest demand, except in Ireland.

Well, of course, the ethnic make-up of a region would influence the "look" that parents might want. But redheads have a way of turning up in the strangest way. My mother had a redhaired sister who had a blonde baby. She, whose hair was chestnut, had me, born with a shock of red hair, with my dark-brown haired father. (My sister, their other child, was a blonde.) Then I had Lukas with Lee, who has a couple of strawberry blonde cousins, but whose own hair was brown before it turned white. Just goes to show that you can carry genes for red hair around silently.

But there's another possible reason for the lack of demand for red haired donors: perhaps red-head men are more fertile than the rest of the guys!

Photo: That's what my hair looked like two weeks ago--not as bright a red as when I was 20, but still reddish despite the white interspersed.

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