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J Biosoc Sci. 1990 Jan;22(1):113-9.

Seasonal variation in human births.

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1
MRC Mammalian Development Unit, University College London.

Abstract

During the first half of this century, the seasonal pattern of births in European countries showed a major peak in the spring and a minor peak in the autumn. In contrast, the pattern in the US was of a minor peak in spring and a major peak in autumn. Over the last 20 years, the pattern in England and Wales has changed to resemble the US pattern, and the same seems to be true of several other European countries. A hypothesis is offered to account for the difference between the European and the US patterns and for the change from one to the other in some countries. The magnitude of seasonality correlates positively with latitude: it is suggested that this is partially consequent on variation in luminosity.

PIP:

During the first half of the century, the seasonal pattern of births in European countries showed a major peak in spring and a minor peak in autumn. Over the last 20 years the pattern in England, Wales and other European countries has changed to a US birth rate pattern which has only 1 broad peak from the summer to early fall. Many hypothesized factors may affect seasonal birth rates. A new hypothesis which expounds a festival effect of Thanksgiving to Christmas, where couples that are separated by work or choice often make time to be together and therefore improve coital frequencies is described. The magnitude of seasonality correlates positively with latitude: it is suggested that this is partially consequent on a variation in luminosity.

PMID:
2298756
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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