Looking for something? Start here.
Custom Search




« Iatrogenic Shoulder Dystocia? | Creepy Obstetric and Childbirth Technology Patents »

Hey Women, Behave or Your Babies Will Be Less Intelligent!

As I sat reading Medical News Today headlines this morning, I came across a few interesting ones. An article about the effort to increase evidence-based maternity care in the U.S. entitled Best Practices In Maternity Care Not Widely Used In The United States. Mmm hmm. An article called Risk Of Neonatal Illness Increased When C-Section Repeated Before 39 Weeks warns not to prematurely section women. Of course. Another article, Early Repeat Cesarean Riskier To Baby, echoed the same message.

And then I read this interesting headline: Winter Babies Face Socioeconomic Disadvantages.

In the study “Season of Birth and Later Outcomes: Old Questions, New Answers,” which is currently under review, states that research has found that a person’s season of birth relates to later health and professional outcomes, yet what drives this association is still unclear. Conducted by Kasey Buckles and Daniel Hungerman, both Assistant Professors in the Department of Economics and Econometrics at the University of Notre Dame, the study found that winter babies are born to women who are more likely to be teenagers, unwed or high school graduates.

The Medical News Today article states that the researchers “point out that a large body of previous research consistently has found that people born in December, January and February are, on average, less educated, less intelligent, less healthy and lower paid than people born in other seasons.”

Buckles and Hungerman analyzed U.S census data and birth certificates” to determine if the typical woman giving birth in winter is any different from the typical woman giving birth at other times of the year.”

The paper explored the possibility that sperm production could be inhibited in the heat of summer, which might somehow adversely affect women of lower socioeconomic status.

Medical New Today’s coverage also notes that researchers “also point out that there could be a ‘prom babies’ effect, with winter births occurring nine moths after end-of-year school celebrations.”

In other words, research from the Catholic university, Notre Dame, theorizes that teenage prom night revelry and having children out of wedlock in the winter leads to less intelligent, unhealthier children with less fewer socioeconomic advantages. Want smarter, healthier babies? Don’t get pregnant in the spring and, whatever you do, make sure that you are MARRIED.

In other Catholic news, the Pope wears a funny hat.

USA Today reports that a public-policy professor at Harvard who has worked with Buckles in the past said the study is “impeccable.”


Impeccable? Perhaps.


But is it infallible?



PrintView Printer Friendly Version

EmailEmail Article to Friend

Reader Comments (8)

Wow. Just.......wow.

January 10, 2009 | Unregistered Commentermichele

Don't worry, Michele. Since you're gearing up for a spring birth, your little girl should be nice and smart.


January 10, 2009 | Registered CommenterJill

As a winter baby that is currently 38 weeks pregnant I guess I am an outlier. My baby is due in January because I wanted to finish my teaching credential in December before giving birth. I suppose I shouldn't tell anyone that I am married with a BS in Business, huh? I'll just pretend it was a prom night fling, that sounds so much cooler.

January 10, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterSam

Congrats on your pregnancy! Enjoy your birth.

I'm already telling everyone that my youngest was a prom night baby. I was 32, which really only makes the story even more interesting.

January 10, 2009 | Registered CommenterJill

LOL i think thats the dumbest thing I ever heard if thats the case then the researchers who did this study have to be born in the winter to. It is a proven fact some of the most intelligent people throughout history such as scientist and famous inventors were mostly all born in the winter as well as some of the wealthiest so before you do some dumb pointless study look and observe around you don't just talk out of your ass.

September 23, 2009 | Unregistered Commenterjamesdaniel

You would have to look at the "large body of previous research" that supposedly showed that ON THE AVERAGE people born in winter months are less advantaged, less smart etc. I have a smart daughter born in December also. But that is neither here nor there. You'd have to look and see how these studies were done. What did they actually measure? IQ tests in elementary school students born in different months? How many students? What IQ tests? How given? Does it matter what part of the country they live in? It is not totally implausible that there would be such a correlation.

The reasons for it however are mere speculation. If they really found a consistent pattern of a higher percentage of younger mothers giving birth nine months after the end of the school year, there would be nothing wrong with looking for a pattern in the lives of teenagers which could account for this. In my rural county I have been told by health department nurses that there is an upsurge in teen births nine months after the county fair; apparently "carnies" are attractive to a certain segment of the local teen population. But I am dubious whether there really is a study which shows such a correlation over a wide segment of the population. This article doesn't give any data. That's why I hate articles which say "studies show..." I just don't think most of them give you enough to judge whether they mean anything at all.

And please don't make fun of the pope, even if his job requires him to wear a funny hat. Would you make fun of the Dali Lama? The current pope is a brilliant and very ethical man. You wouldn't hear any shoddy research out of his mouth. We Catholics are proud of him and have warm feelings about him.

Susan Peterson

September 29, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterSusan Peterson


From The New York Times (March 24, 2010):

Top Vatican officials — including the future Pope Benedict XVI — did not defrock a priest who molested as many as 200 deaf boys, even though several American bishops repeatedly warned them that failure to act on the matter could embarrass the church, according to church files newly unearthed as part of a lawsuit.

How warm and fuzzy is pedophilia cover-up? Shame on him! Shame on all of them.

September 29, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterWTF

Poster with the suspicious acronym, the New York Times article was erroneous in many respects. In fact some of the background material they published with it refuted what they said in the article.

It's a long story to go into all the details, but the real story of this is available on the internet if you really want to know the truth, as opposed to sticking with your prejudices.

The real story of Benedict is that when elected, he said to the Cardinal near him, "Now we'll be able to clean out the filth in the Church."
And no one has done more than he has, first as head of the CDF and then as Pope, to address this issue.

Susan Peterson

November 3, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterSusan Peterson
This blog is all done!
Thanks for wanting to comment. This is an archive of a blog that once was. Take care! Jill