Apparently, people crave more sex over the holidays—the most wonderful time of the year. That’s according to a new study from Indiana University, which found regular spikes in birth rates about nine months after significant holidays.
The worldwide study, “Human Sexual Cycles are Driven by Culture and Match Collective Moods,” published in the journal Scientific Reports, found that people of all religions and nationalities become more “passionate” during the holiday season. It’s the first “planetary-level” look at human reproduction as it relates to people’s moods and interest in sex online.
How did the researchers make the link between the holidays and heightening libido? They worked with an institute in Portugal to look at online searches and social media to better understand people’s carnal behaviors. They looked to see how often people searched for the word “sex” on Google between 2004 and 2014 and when during the year those searches were most common.
They also determined the sentiment of a random sampling of 10 percent of public tweets between 2010 and 2014—in order to determine the sentiment from Twitter posts, they used the Affective Norms for English Words, a set of English words that are scored to determine arousal, dominance and pleasure, according to the University of Florida.
All in all, the researchers studied data from about 130 countries, exploring populations that follow Christian and Muslim faiths. And Luis Rocha, a professor at the IU School of Informatics and co-leader of the study found that “the mood that is present in these holidays is one where people are happy, generally happy; there’s less anxiety, so they tend to be calm as a whole.”
They also found that, in the United States, there’s a birth spike every September and October, about nine months after Christmas. In Israel, as another example, there were birth peaks about nine months after major Jewish and Muslim holidays like Hanukkah and Ramadan.
“We observe that Christmas and Eid-Al-Fitr are characterized by distinct collective moods that correlate with increased fertility,” Rocha, said in a statement. “Perhaps people feel a greater motivation to grow their families during holidays when the emphasis is on love and gift-giving to children. The Christmas season is also associated with stories about the baby Jesus and holy family, which may put people in a loving, happy, ‘family mood.’ ”
I’d also argue that there’s something about watching holiday rom-coms in reindeer pajama pants with a burning fireplace beside you and a hot toddy in hand that’s just better spent with another human whose reindeer pajama pants you’d like to take off.
Holidays like Thanksgiving and Easter did not yield the same lustful results… but we’re just not quite as merry then and, while these are certainly “family times,” too, for some, holidays like Thanksgiving can be, well, anxiety inducing. Read: Politics over turkey.
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