In modern history, baby booms have been observed following mass soldiers returning home from active combat or even after a widespread power failure. But what about in the case of a major sporting event?
New research published in the British Medical Journal is examining the link between widely-followed sporting matches and the birth rates observed some nine months later among their fans.
In Catalonia, Spain, a (European) football player named Andres Iniesta scored a last-minute goal to ensure his team’s placement for the 2009 league finals. Nine months later, the birth rate in that region increased by 16 percent.
Skewed numbers in birth rates have regularly been seen following the Christmas holiday season in many parts of the world, with a predictable crop of infants usually seen each September.
“Andres Iniesta ensured his team’s placement
for the finals. The birth rate increased by 16 percent.”
The authors of the study examined the birth rates from two central hospitals in Catalonia roughly nine months after the match. They compared the births against a control period of 60 months.
They found significantly more births occurred during the February of 2010 versus the same month in different years.
A 16 percent increase was seen for February 2010, as well as an 11 percent jump that same March.
According to the study’s authors, “We may infer that — at least among the target population — the heightened euphoria following a victory can cultivate hedonic sensations that result in intimate celebrations, of which unplanned births may be a consequence.”
The report also mentions some psychological factors that may be at work here, citing humans’ need to belong and a shared euphoria in sports that can generate a pact mentality.
As the study puts it, “rationality is not always a key factor in conception.”
Source: bmj.com. Photo source: trb.com