What Your Birthday REALLY Says About You

Photographed by Lauren Perlstein.
Whether or not you read your horoscope every morning right alongside the weather, there's no denying how captivated we are by astrology. Although there's no real evidence those birth-based horoscopes actually predict your individual life course, we can still learn a lot about you from when you were born.

As we've written before, this "seasonal birth effect" describes how the month you were born in is linked to many other things about you. For instance, a recent study of 366 Hungarian college students revealed a link between their temperament and birth season. In particular, those born in spring or fall were more likely to have positive personality traits while those with birthdays in winter months were more likely to be depressive. And, summer babies tended to have more rapidly-changing moods.

Other studies have found associations between seasons and left-handedness (lefties are conceived most often in spring and summer), whether you're a smoker (the fewest female smokers are born in winter), or if you'll be nearsighted (most common in June and July babies). There's also an association between birth season and schizophrenia as well as suicide risk. And, a study published earlier this month found that being born in May gives you the lowest risk for developing 55 diseases, while being born in October comes with the highest.

The important thing to keep in mind here with all of these studies is that no one's saying your birth season will 100% determine anything about you. Instead, researchers think things like diet and the amount of exposure to sunlight are probably all playing a role — and can be influenced by the seasons — in pregnant women's hormones and gene expression, which can affect a baby's development. But, we don't really know how all of this is happening yet or how big the seasons' effects actually are. The bottom line: your birth month is not your fate.

So, maybe these links aren't quite as fun or precise as horoscopes claim they are, but at least there's some data out there to back them up. Check out the video below from the Royal Institution to learn more and indulge your inner Virgo.
Video: Via YouTube.
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