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Family Fashion: Kilts May Boost Men's Fertility

Update Date: Apr 18, 2013 12:03 PM EDT

If men want to boost their fertility, maybe they should try donning a kilt.

People in Scotland have long said that wearing kilts were good for men's sperm. A recent study conducted by researchers from Erasmus MC University Medical Center in the Netherlands decided to put that idea to the test. By assessing the temperature of men in kilts and in pants, the study concluded that kilts indeed probably conserved men's manhood.

As researcher Erwin J.O. Kompanje explains in the paper, "The Scottish kilt is a male garment that resembles (but is not!) a knee-length, pleated skirt. It is typically made from tartan fabric and traditionally worn without any underwear." According to Popular Science, Kompanje analyzed research on the matter. Since 70 percent of men who were kilts do so in the "regimental" manner, which is to say without underwear, their scrotum are kept at a lower temperature than they would while wearing clothing. "It is likely that the greatest benefit of frequently wearing a kilt is the cooling of the testicles to physiologically normal levels, which, however, highly hypothetical, disposes the wearer to increased spermatogenesis and improved sperm quality," he writes.

Indeed, according to the Daily Mail, a study found that wearing tight pants and undergarments increased the temperature of the testicles by as much as 3.5 degrees. The elevation in temperature, in turn, has also been linked to impaired fertility.

However, Komanje states that the benefits of wearing a kilt are not merely physiological. Men who wear kilts deribe a psychological benefit as well. As he explains, wearing a kilt attracts attention. He says that men who wear kilts report feeling more masculine and free, and that many women report feeling attracted to men wearing kilts.

Because the kilt is strongly associated with Scotland, Komanje also set out to discover whether Scottish men have more virile sperm than men from other regions. In fact, Scottish men's sperm quality has declined in recent years. However, Komanje hypothesizes that the decline stems from the decrease in use of the kilt. Fortunately for Scottish fertility, the kilt is regaining favor in casualwear among certain circles in the region.

The study was published in the Scottish Medical Journal.

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