More Children Are Born--But Not Conceived--On Valentine's Day

More Children Are Born--But Not Conceived--On Valentine's Day

Most people would probably assume that Valentine’s Day is linked to an increase in pregnancies. I mean, given the nature of this holiday and the emphasis on celebrating sex and romance, that would only make intuitive sense, right? Surprisingly, however, it’s not supported by the data. If it were, the birth rate would increase nine months later, but it doesn't—in fact, we actually see one of the lowest birth rates in November.

By contrast, what we do see on Valentine’s Day is a consistent spike in births. In other words, the evidence doesn’t point to more babies being conceived on Valentine’s Day, but it does point to more babies being born on it.

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The Surprising Truth About Valentine’s Day Baby-Making

The Surprising Truth About Valentine’s Day Baby-Making

Logically, you might assume that there would be an increase in children being conceived on Valentine’s Day. Given the nature of this holiday and the emphasis on celebrating sex and romance, this would seem to make intuitive sense, right? However, it’s not supported by the data. If it were, we’d see a spike in the birth rate during the month of November, but we don’t—in fact, we actually see one of the lowest birth rates that month.

By contrast, however, there is a consistent spike in the birth rate on Valentine’s Day itself. In other words, the evidence doesn’t point to more babies being conceived on Valentine’s Day, but it does point to more babies being born on it. 

Wait—what?

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5 Videos on the Science of Love

5 Videos on the Science of Love

For your viewing (and learning) pleasure this Valentine's Day weekend, here's a playlist of five of my favorite videos on the science of love. These videos span quite the range of topics, including what actually goes on inside our brains when we experience love and heartbreak, as well as scientifically-based tips on what you can do to improve your own relationship. Enjoy!

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Physician Loses Job After Suggesting Semen Is A Better Valentine’s Day Gift Than Chocolates

Physician Loses Job After Suggesting Semen Is A Better Valentine’s Day Gift Than Chocolates

Yes, you read that headline right. Last year, the president elect of the American College of Surgeons, Dr. Lazar Greenfield, resigned from his position after penning a controversial Valentine’s Day editorial in Surgical News. In his editorial, Greenfield cited a controversial journal article published a decade ago which found that women who did not use condoms reported fewer depressive symptoms than women who practiced safe sex [1]. Based upon these results, some scientists have argued that semen may have antidepressant properties. Greenfield is an apparent believer because he wrote in Surgical News that “there’s a deeper bond between men and women than St Valentine would have suspected, and now we know there’s a better gift for that day than chocolates.” Female surgeons around the world were offended (and rightfully so) at Greenfield’s implication that semen is the best “gift” for women. Most media outlets that covered this story focused only on the sexism embedded in Greenfield’s editorial, but if you’re anything like me, you probably couldn’t help but wonder whether the study Greenfield cited has even a hint of scientific validity. Does it really provide evidence that semen has beneficial effects on women’s psychological well-being? Let's take a closer look at the research.

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