Monday, August 2, 2010

Trapped Inside During Snow? Make Some Babies

The Washington Post has an amusing story about whether there will be a surge in births in the D.C. region come September, which would be about 9 months after the snowstorms that paralyzed the region for days on end:

Outside, the white December snow piled higher. Relentlessly higher. Inside a Laurel home, a woman watched "Dexter" reruns while her boyfriend played "Batman: Arkham Asylum." They grew restless. They looked at each other.

"Once a day," Gineen Glenn, 27, admitted on a recent Tuesday.

"Twice a day," interjected John Cargo, 28.

No denial from Glenn, who is expecting to give birth to their first child, a boy, in early September. "You lose track of the days," she said, giggling. "It's just dark."

So it was during the historic snowstorms in December and February that folks trapped indoors searched for ways to relieve the boredom. Nearly nine months later, the things some residents did seem to be breeding results.
The story notes that the connection between natural disasters and copulation has been speculated about for decades, with several statisticians arguing that there is no real effect.

Count me among the skeptics. It's safe to assume that the amount of sex increases when there's few alternate activities available, but more sex does not necessarily mean more pregnancies.

Many couples have sex for years without getting pregnant, because they use the proper contraception. There's no reason to believe that the use of contraception would drop during the snowstorm.

Unless people are far less responsible than I give them credit for, couples are either trying to have a baby or they're not. The presence of the snowstorm and any increased sex it might bring about shouldn't be a factor.

And even if many children are "accidents," there are plenty of opportunities more or less evenly distributed throughout the year for them to be conceived.