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Will society be bald in 2500 AD? (1916)

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When bald-headed men marry bald-headed women, what will the harvest be in 2500 AD?

Is the human race doomed to be bald-headed? Will the pates of posterity 200 years hence look like shining ivory?

Research into causes of baldness made by Miss Dorothy Osborn of Ohio State University indicates “yes” is the answer to those questions. Miss Osborn, in a bulletin issued by the American Genetic Association, says she has found through research based on the study of pedigree charts that baldness is hereditary; that it is passed on from father to son, and to daughter, too, when both father and mother are bald.

While Miss Osborn does not provide a cure for baldness, she says it is not caused by tight hats or disease, as is commonly believed.

Baldness is more common among men than women, Miss Osborne says, but there is a great deal more baldness among women than appears “on the surface.” Artful woman can conceal her baldness more easily than poor man.

All the children of parents, both of whom are baldheaded, will be bald at maturity. These children will pass the affliction, or whatever it may be called, along to their children.

Miss Osborn says that if the father is bald and the mother is not, the sons only will be bald-headed. A woman who inherits baldness from only one parent will not herself be bald, but may transmit baldness to one-half of her sons. Her daughters, however, will produce a normal hirsute adornment.

That heredity is the cause of baldness is strikingly shown by Miss Osborn’s discovery that a baldness-pattern is sometimes present on an infant’s head at birth and is then grown over, to reappear in after years when the hair falls out. Miss Osborn says a completely bald head is rare, but that various patterns of baldness are frequent in man. The most common type is complete baldness on top of the head. A strong second is the “high forehead” baldness.

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Now, if bald-headed men persist in marrying bald-headed women, what will the harvest be, say, in the year 2500 AD?

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