It’s the unmentionable physical act that’s inspired generations of musicians, artists, writers and reality television stars.

But it turns out that procreative sex might soon be a distant memory as humanity ditches nookie and produces babies using more predictable scientific methods.

Henry Greely, a professor of law and genetics at Stanford University, has penned a book called The End of Sex and the Future of Human Reproduction in which he claims that within “twenty, maybe forty, years most people in developed countries will stop having sex for the purpose of reproduction”.

Rather than introducing sperm to egg through the sweaty and often awkward rigamole of rumpy-pumpy, couples will instead head down to a laboratory where a scientist will make a baby for them.

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