Do blackouts really cause birth rate spikes 9 mos. later?

They always say that right after one, and then anxiously repeat it near 9 mos. later. And I’m sure that some percentage of maternity wards will have an increase (widely reported), but I’m also sure that the same number will have a decrease (unreported), and the vast majority will laugh at the idea (unreported).

Any scientific debunking in the literature that I can cite to people who will be telling me that tale for the next few years?

Not after the one in '65 any way.

According to Snopes…

Tom Burnam, The Dictionary of Misinformation:

I’m still saying yes to this one, at least to people ‘being together’ more. I lost power last month here in Memphis for 8 days along with 300,000 other people (of course it didn’t even make national news). Let me tell you, it is BORING without power, we didn’t have much to do other than play guitar and enjoy each other’s company. Will we have a baby in 8 months? Probably not, but there was an increase in time we spent together.

Ancient thread, I know, but I was searching this topic and found an article that points out flaws in the 1970 study cited on snopes and does a more thorough and scientific study on fertility and storm warnings. Their findings? For mild storms, there was a significant increase in fertility. For more serious storm warnings there was a significant decrease in fertility.

It proposes some interesting explanations as to why this is the case.
This url gives the abstract and a link to the 40 pages pdf

I know it is a zombie thread, but I have to mention that my wife was a product of the New York blackout of '65… Which just happened to fall on her father’s birthday… She was born on August 25 1966.

Just for the record, there is no prohibition against zombie threads in GQ, as long as substantive information is being added (as in LoverOfJoy’s post).

General Questions Moderator

Doesn’t seem too sexy to me. If the lights are out, so’s the AC.

Well, the occluded sun from the storm helps. But my experience is that full blackouts occur more in the colder months. Broad ice coverage shuts down more places than lighting or light rain, and thus it takes longer to put it back on.

Lack of heat would be one reason to huddle together.

Umm… :o I have to confess, that when I read the thread title at first I thought it was talking about alcoholic blackouts.

Depends on the place. Seville doesn’t get ice except in soda glasses; in recent years, it has been getting blackouts in the summer due to the growth in A/C and to people using it incorrectly. Being the biggest city in Andalusia, power gets restored ASAP, but sometimes there have been blackouts on several consecutive days, to the point of the power company and the government agreeing on a procedure to shut down parts of the network if they were draining too much, before that drain could manage to bring down the whole area.

“48C in the shadow” is considered “normal summer weather” in much of southern Spain (that’s 118F). With that kind of temperatures, people tend to avoid touching.

Orlando Sentinel says no:

USA Today says yes, sometimes, maybe:

The New York Times says no, at least not after the famous 1977 blackouts in NYC (see the italicized paragraph at the bottom of this article):

I thought Cecil or a SDSAB staffer had written an article on the question, but can’t find it in the archive.

I say yes but not by any significant amount. You have to factor in how many couples are in their house when the power goes out. Are they alone? Do they even want to mingle? Even if they do there is only X ammount of days in a month when a women can get pregnant. Adding the life of sperm gives you 3 days in either direction i think. So while a few babies may have been concieved during the blackout I doubt it was a big burst if you will

Are there any cases where fluctuations in the birthrate can be ascribed to events 9 months prior? Such as the Kenendy assassination? Or 9/11?

Or Valentine’s Day? I’ve noticed a lot of friends with birthdays in mid-November; I have no idea if it’s a statistically reliable thing.