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Do babies born in January prefer tafeta?
September 23, 2009 12:40 PM   Subscribe

Does getting lucky at the prom equate to more Winter Babies? What does that mean economically?
posted by Ruthless Bunny (36 comments total) 3 users marked this as a favorite

 
I think that this is one of those things that needs a wee bit more evaluation, but it is very interesting. Malcom Gladwell Outliers and all that...
posted by Ruthless Bunny at 12:41 PM on September 23, 2009


I can't believe you built your post around that particular point in the article, which is mentioned almost as an afterthought.

It was more interesting to me that kids who turn 16 earlier may be more likely to drop out of school earlier.

Also, you spelled taffeta wrong.
posted by hermitosis at 12:49 PM on September 23, 2009


I can't believe you built your post around that particular point in the article, which is mentioned almost as an afterthought.

Also, you spelled taffeta wrong.


Now you know two things about me. I'm kind of shallow, and I can't spell.

But seriously, when I read that the correlation between winter babies and age of the mother at birth, the first thing I thought was Prom.
posted by Ruthless Bunny at 12:51 PM on September 23, 2009


Just when we had a post a few down about balanced science reporting.
posted by Burhanistan at 12:52 PM on September 23, 2009


Is it the result of a wintertime birthday...OR SUMMERTIME FUCKIN'?
posted by Never teh Bride at 12:53 PM on September 23, 2009 [8 favorites]


I thought teenagers today only sex each other reverse cowgirl anal, because of all the porn they watch. So, how can they be having babies?
posted by chunking express at 1:05 PM on September 23, 2009 [3 favorites]


Does getting lucky at the prom...

Because of the link formatting, I initially read that as "Female deer getting lucky...."

I was expecting an entirely different sort of article.
posted by gurple at 1:08 PM on September 23, 2009


In case anyone is interested in reading the original research rather than a WS&J summary, I've got a link to a version of their working paper here [ .pdf ], off Hungerman's personal web page at Notre Dame. May differ from the published version everyone is talking about, but I haven't read the peer reviewed, published version. Won't be significantly different, in any case (and its doesn't sound different from the summary linked to above).

Excerpted from their conclusion:
"Using birth certificate data and census data, we document large and regular seasonal changes in the socioeconomic characteristics of women giving birth. Women giving birth in winter are more likely to be teenagers and less likely to be married or to have a high school degree. These effects are large in magnitude and are observable for children born throughout the second half of the twentieth century. We show that these seasonal changes can account for a large portion of the poorly understood relationship between season of birth and other outcomes."
The Angrist and Krueger paper cited in the WS&J artice ('Does Compulsory School Attendance Affect Schooling and Earnings?') is available here off Princeton's web site, also in working paper form.

Summarised from their conclusion:
"Because individuals born in the beginning of the year start school at an earlier age then their classmates, they are allowed to drop out of school after attaining less education. "



Interesting post - thanks!
posted by Mutant at 1:08 PM on September 23, 2009 [4 favorites]


chunking express: MeFi's resident expert on the pornographic video watching habits of teenagers, and the rate of occurrence for positions in said videos. Now you know.

As a winter baby, my biggest plight is that of the forgotten birthday, and the awkward little social dance that follows. But this might be a more localized issue for those born around Hanukkah, Christmas, New Years, Winter Solstice, and whatever else falls around the end of December.
posted by filthy light thief at 1:13 PM on September 23, 2009 [1 favorite]


Hmm, Proms are usually May and June, aren't they? I'd expect a March conception date for a January baby.
posted by jenkinsEar at 1:18 PM on September 23, 2009


But this might be a more localized issue for those born around Hanukkah, Christmas, New Years, Winter Solstice, and whatever else falls around the end of December

A topic near and dear to my heart. My birthday usually falls between Thanksgiving and Hanukkah. Even if I wanted a party, no one is around to come to it!
posted by Ruthless Bunny at 1:19 PM on September 23, 2009


jenkinsEar: "Hmm, Proms are usually May and June, aren't they? I'd expect a March conception date for a January baby."

Spring break.

PARENTS, DO NOT SEND YOUR CHILDREN TO SOUTH PADRE ISLAND WITH 17 OF THEIR BESTEST FRIENDS AND ONE GIRL'S DRUNKEN MOTHER ACTING AS "CHAPERONE"

</psa>
posted by pineapple at 1:23 PM on September 23, 2009 [5 favorites]


Eyeballing those graphs suggests a similar, smaller pattern for mothers of September babies. Christmas / New Year regrettable conceptions?
posted by Nelson at 1:25 PM on September 23, 2009


So the real question is not how babby is formed, but when.
posted by Tesseractive at 1:28 PM on September 23, 2009 [5 favorites]


Not sure I'd call that "getting lucky."
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 1:31 PM on September 23, 2009 [1 favorite]


It's obviously autumn on earth now.
posted by Samuel Farrow at 1:44 PM on September 23, 2009


I'd attribute it more to spring break than prom, as pineapple said.
Also, a correlation between winter babies and young unwed mothers may simply be an indirect result of married women having fewer babies in winter due to there being fewer winter weddings. If the average couple take 3 months or so to conceive a first child after marriage it would result in births one year after the wedding.
Fewer winter weddings -> fewer winter births -> an apparent increase in unwed winter birth rates.
posted by rocket88 at 1:52 PM on September 23, 2009


I thought teenagers today only sex each other reverse cowgirl anal, because of all the porn they watch. So, how can they be having babies?

Frink: Mwa-hey, bwa-hai. The compression and expansion of the longitudinal waves cause the erratic oscillation, you can see it there, of the neighbouring particles.
posted by Inspector.Gadget at 1:54 PM on September 23, 2009


If after a dozen years of schoolin' and kids still don't understand birth control, the school system's in even worse shape than I'd imagined.
posted by rokusan at 1:58 PM on September 23, 2009


a correlation between winter babies and young unwed mothers may simply be an indirect result of married women having fewer babies in winter

Reading the paper that Mutant linked to, it looks like that's definitely one of the factors here--there's a noticeable trend for married women's season birth patterns (look at Figures 3-4 at the end of the PDF). I never really thought about what months are "best" to have kids, but according to the paper it looks like women who are timing their births consider winter (December / January) to be the worst time. Weird. I would hate to be stuck indoors in the spring with a newborn... if you're gonna nest, do it when it's all snowy and cold outside!
posted by iminurmefi at 2:03 PM on September 23, 2009


As a winter baby, my biggest plight is that of the forgotten birthday

And combination Hannukah/Birthday presents aren't.
posted by mikelieman at 2:11 PM on September 23, 2009


If after a dozen years of schoolin' and kids still don't understand birth control, the school system's in even worse shape than I'd imagined.

Well, yes, but look at the innovation in the banana packaging market!
posted by Inspector.Gadget at 2:11 PM on September 23, 2009 [1 favorite]


Keeping baby warm is a real concern (unless you live in a semitropical climate.) Young parents think a lot about colds, etc.

OTOH, if one of you is a teacher, then a winter baby allows you to alternate your maternity leaves and get to the summer vacation without leaving your work.
posted by msalt at 2:14 PM on September 23, 2009


Weirdly, I believe the correlation in the UK is that winter babies do better educationally. It was explained to me that this was because they were more mature than their classmates & therefore able to get more out of early schooling, setting up an advantage that could be detected for decades afterwards.

I don't have any references though.
posted by pharm at 3:06 PM on September 23, 2009


As a winter baby, my biggest plight is that of the forgotten birthday

And combination Hannukah/Birthday presents aren't.


That's part of it, too. "Oh, birthday, right. I got that present for your birthday and your religious day. Happy festivus to us, one and all! And happy birthday!" That, or you get told you're being greedy for taking the focus away from baby Jesus or whatnot.
posted by filthy light thief at 3:06 PM on September 23, 2009 [1 favorite]


My birthday usually falls between Thanksgiving and Hanukkah. Even if I wanted a party, no one is around to come to it!

My birthday falls in Summer, so no school parties, ever. Nowadays, of course, teachers make efforts to celebrate summer bdays when school starts in September, but, back then, it was just tough beans.

So, there.
posted by Danf at 3:18 PM on September 23, 2009


pharm: It was explained to me that this was because they were more mature than their classmates & therefore able to get more out of early schooling, setting up an advantage that could be detected for decades afterwards.

I think it's called the "relative age effect"? It's the reason why most professional sports leagues have disproportionately more January babies than December ones (at least, according to Outliers). Hockey in particular, because they stream for the "best" early and non-streamed kids have far fewer opportunities to practice. Looks like it's not operating in this case, or it's been swamped (as per rocket88, for example).
posted by Arandia at 5:07 PM on September 23, 2009


What months do your proles like to fuck in, Australia? Is it, like, opposite?
posted by dgaicun at 5:56 PM on September 23, 2009 [2 favorites]


Weird. I would hate to be stuck indoors in the spring with a newborn... if you're gonna nest, do it when it's all snowy and cold outside!

That, but I'd hate to be all large and pregnant in the summer/fall when the weather is nice. My birthday is next week, and my mother has told me many a story of sweating out the last few months over the summer. Giving birth in April or May seems pretty good, IMO. You won't get huge until late fall, and you can nest during winter in big, warm clothes.
posted by cmgonzalez at 6:27 PM on September 23, 2009


pharm: Weirdly, I believe the correlation in the UK is that winter babies do better educationally. It was explained to me that this was because they were more mature than their classmates & therefore able to get more out of early schooling, setting up an advantage that could be detected for decades afterwards.

The paper claims that part of the effect is due to "extreme heat". By US standards (and the paper uses US data), you just don't get extreme heat in the UK. Also, the cutoff dates for school enrollment might be different in the US than the UK.
posted by madcaptenor at 6:34 PM on September 23, 2009


Funnily enough, the possible effect of summer partying on birthrates throughout the year had been noticed long ago in Catalonia, to the point of being 'distilled' into a proverb: "Per Sant Joan festeig, per Sant Josep bateig" which translates roughly as "Saint John's dating, Saint Joseph's christening". Saint John's Day eve -midsummer- being the occasion for the biggest party in the Catalonian festive calendar and Saint Joseph's Day, in March, falling approximately nine months later.
posted by blogenstock at 12:52 AM on September 24, 2009


In the UK, the school year starts in September: children born in September are the eldest, and those born in August are the youngest in any given class.

madcaptenor: you're right, UK weather is exceedingly temperate.
posted by pharm at 1:27 AM on September 24, 2009


This must explain why my relationships only last until the spring. The wimmens want to be havin' those babies, just not with me.
posted by reenum at 1:04 PM on September 24, 2009


"Weirdly, I believe the correlation in the UK is that winter babies do better educationally. It was explained to me that this was because they were more mature than their classmates & therefore able to get more out of early schooling, setting up an advantage that could be detected for decades afterwards."

In Canada (well BC anyways) cut off is December 31st. Fully a third of my AP classmates in high school were born in January or February (30 od people in a class of ~900-1000). Whether that's staticically significant or not I don't know but this is why we planned a January child. My daughter is likely to be the oldest in her peer group for the next thirteen years and she comes into kindergarden almost a full year older than December babies. It's hard to imagine being ~20% older than the youngest person in your class not being an advantage.
posted by Mitheral at 10:24 PM on September 24, 2009


Bernard (from Black Books):
"I've got to get a girlfriend, just for the summer, until this wears off. She'll be a summery girl. She'll have hair. She'll have summery friends who know how to be outside. She'll play tennis and wear dresses and have bare feet, and in the autumn, I'll ditch her, because she's my summer girl!"
posted by pharm at 12:28 PM on September 26, 2009


Robert (from Led Zeppelin):

Leaves are falling all around,
Its time I was on my way.
Thanks to you, I'm much obliged
For such a pleasant stay.

But now its time for me to go,
The autumn moon lights my way.
For now I smell the rain,
And with it pain,
And its headed my way.
posted by msalt at 10:00 PM on September 26, 2009


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