An Actual Ticking Clock Can Make You Want To Have Kids

Burnout-3
In today's absurd science news, a study suggests that women will want to have kids sooner if they hear the sound of a literal ticking clock.
Advertisement
In the study, which appears in this month's Human Nature, 59 men and women (ages 18 to 21) were given a survey about the age at which they'd want to start having children. In the second experiment, 74 men and women (ages 18 to 32) were surveyed about the characteristics they look for in potential partners and the extent to which they would be flexible on those characteristics in order to start a family sooner.
But, half of these surveys were given in the presence of a small kitchen clock, mercilessly ticking away. Female participants in the presence of the great and powerful clock who also reported being from a less-wealthy neighborhood or a lower-income family wanted to have kids at a younger age. They also placed less importance on a potential partner's resources (e.g. long-term income possibilities). Women who had wealthier childhoods placed significantly more importance on their partners' social status when listening to the ticking. But, the women's own current finances had no effect on either their preferred traits in a co-parent or their chosen time for kids.
What else reminds women that their baby-makin' time is a-tickin'? Simply learning about the complicated realities of in vitro fertilization. In one study, university students in Queensland, Australia revised their ideal ages for having their first and last child after hearing about IVF. Both ages were significantly lower for those who'd gotten the info.
As crazy as it sounds, there's actually a long history of studies like this. In one particularly hilarious example, participants who had been primed with elderly-related words like "bingo" and "Florida" walked significantly more slowly down a hallway than those who got neutral words. Luckily, priming effects are usually pretty short-lived. Still, we'll be counting our digital-age blessings and steering clear of those pesky analog clocks and their reproductive agendas.
Advertisement

More from Mind

No one goes through life trying to be a horrible person. But sometimes, it's a challenge to go that extra mile (or even just a few steps) out of your way...
Living with anxiety can feel like a constant battle. You have to stay alert to catch anxiety creeping up on you, and it can turn into an all-day fight to ...
We explore the unconscious messages a voice can give off and why snap judgments can be harmful, even if they're innocent
(Paid Content) Taking short breaks during the workday can bring your sanity back to earth. Of course, they have a calming effect, but did you know breaks ...
It's not always easy to predict how much you're going to drink when you go out — or how drunk you'll actually get. And according to a new study, your ...
This story was originally published on May 19, 2016. A few years ago, I called my dad for one of our weekly chats — but he wasn’t happy to hear from me...
As much as it sucks, anxiety doesn’t have to be a bad thing. Without a little bit of it, you wouldn’t make sure to show up on time to that job interview or...
(Paid Content) Moods are fickle things. You can be going about your day in a happy, productive, and calm manner, and boom — everything changes. And ...
This story was originally published on May 19, 2016. I am six years old, in the first grade girls’ bathroom with my friend. We are washing our hands. ...
This story was originally published on Jul. 19, 2016. Several months ago, a woman I’m very close to checked herself into a hospital because she’d been ...
This article was originally published on May 27, 2015. Now that pot legislation is making its way across the country, it's time for a refresher on the ...
Depression is one of the most common mental-health issues in the United States, and it affects roughly twice as many women as men. Yet new research ...
On social media, it's easy to catch all sorts of digital diseases, such as FOMO, internet addiction, and anxiety. Facebook and Instagram-wary researchers...
As a culture, we have a slight tendency to exaggerate. We don’t just love PSLs — we’re obsessed. We aren’t just neat and tidy — we Kondo. Another term we ...