We know what you're thinking: Sometimes just looking at some of these athletes can kick our libido into gear (we're looking at you, Tom Brady). But, a new study from the British Medical Journal examined the 16% spike in births after a Spanish team's victory a few years ago. It all began with a major 2009 win for the Football Club Barcelona (Barça) against Chelsea FC. Nine months later, the media reported a 45% increase in local births. Interested in the increase, researchers analyzed the birth data from two key Catalonia hospitals from February 2010, or nine months after Andrés Iniesta's game-winning goal. They took this information and compared it to a control period of 60 months: January 2007 through December 2011. The result? Significantly more births in February 2010 than any other February in the control group. And, there was an 11% increase in births that March.
The researchers commented on the data, “We may infer that — at least among the target population — the heightened euphoria following a victory can cultivate hedonic sensations that result in intimate celebrations, of which unplanned births may be a consequence." In other words, exciting sports moments make for great baby-making feelings. Of course, there's a deeper reason for this. Apparently, humans really love the feeling of belonging. And, a sports victory can provide just that outlet. If you've walked into a sports bar on game day, you know there's nothing more unifying than cheering with 100 strangers when the Bears get a touchdown. Sex, too, offers that same feeling of belonging. Combine the two and you get, well, 16% more babies, apparently.
As The Atlantic notes, this study is impossible to replicate. Plus, it may all be a very strange coincidence. Might we suggest someone start preparing a similar study for the upcoming Super Bowl? (The Atlantic)