Earlier, scientists have speculations and debate about life on Mars, after so many years of devoted research, it was concluded that life is possible on the planet. But only recently, the debate shifted a bit from life on Mars to Sex on Mars.
Researchers from top universities in Florida, Poland and Brazil assume that human reproduction in a Mars settlement will be necessary for the long-term success of an outer-space mission.
Unfortunately, such an endeavour comes with titanic challenges in various disciplines, from space travel technology to medical, biological, social and ethical challenges.
Therefore the researchers deduced that if humans were to successfully conceive and give birth in space, it could potentially give birth to new human species because of all of the unique circumstances outside of Earth. This is the centre of attention of a new study titled “Biological and social challenges of human reproduction in a long-term Mars base” which explore into the scientific, ethical and sociological aspects of sex, childbirth.
The study discusses that while the researchers are optimistic about reproduction on Mars, there could be the number of complications. The biggest challenge of all is the gravity. The gravity of Mars is roughly one third the gravity of Earth, which could endanger the chances of getting pregnant.
It is well-documented that prolonged time in space could alter a human’s biological makeup and it could change the shape of a person’s brain. This is how a new species might get created.
Lower gravity could lower a person’s blood pressure, which is needed for engaging in sexual intercourse. Scientists also know that low gravity can cause vision problems and lead to a weakened immune system, which would be dangerous for pregnant women since the system in the pregnant woman is already very weak.
Some other complications on Mars include receiving more solar radiation. This effectively reduces man’s sperm count. More importantly, there is no documented evidence that a woman could have a full term pregnancy without any problems.
The researchers wrote that these challenges could increase “the risks of infection-induced abortions and facilitate the dissemination of diseases among pregnant and non-pregnant individuals.”
Also, another challenge that might be faced by people on Mars is that couples will no longer be made on the basis of love. Researchers believe that women and men on Mars might need to be paired up based on biological factors in order to conceive a child with certain traits that would work well on Mars. However, that child would likely have a difficult time trying to live a normal life on Earth.
Some might contradict these problems by saying that many of these issues can be solved by technology: We can build better shelters and, at the end of the day, Martian settlers will just have to alter their babies’ genome in order for them to adapt to alien conditions.
But doing this means that a new set of social and ethical challenges will arise. Some people would simply not be allowed to have kids, for instance. Also, in a very resource-limited Martian society, very weak or ‘useless’ individuals might have to be discarded for the greater good of the colony.