How much do humans and animals have in common? According to new research, one thing we share are "mating seasons". Yes, the way we procreate is more like animals than we thought.
Research published last month by Data Driven Journalism demonstrates a link between when and where you were born, indicating that geography affects high birth-rate months. The findings were based on the most recent UN data on live births, cross-referencing the most common birth months with geographical location to determine the peak months of conception in countries around the world. It found a surprising link between three factors: the top birth months, seasons of the year and the latitude of the country (distance from the equator).
According to the research, humans, like animals, also seem to have mating seasons. Well, sort of. The infographic below shows that top birth months for northern hemisphere countries are July-September. The lower you go on the list, the more births occur at the start of the calendar year.
“While the majority of the middle-latitude (or tropical) countries register September and October as their top birth months, Southern hemisphere countries such as Uruguay register their top birth months at the start of the year,” writes Nayomi Chibana, author of the study.
“Meanwhile, another study on human birth seasonality concluded that peak birth months occur later in the year the farther south you travel, which is completely consistent with the trend revealed by our data visualisation.”
In the UK more births happen in July, August and September
In the UK, for example, more births happen in July, August and September than any other month of the year. Do the math and you’ll realise those babies were conceived the previous winter, which makes sense if you think that “cuffing season” – the social phenomenon of abandoning singledom and quickly coupling up – happens around the holidays.
Unlike animals, who only mate during certain seasons, humans are horny year-round, meaning we’re also blessed with the ability to reproduce whenever we please. “It is interesting to note, nonetheless, that our heat map and several studies on the subject indicate that we have what appears to be a quasi-mating season, even if not a true one scientifically speaking,” the research states. Experts seem to agree there are times of the year when people have more sex, and although it’s not necessarily to procreate, these birth patterns published by Data Driven Journalism indicate that it could in fact depend on where you live.
The bottom line is that while we’re different from wild animals in terms of babymaking, for mammals who have the evolutionary advantage of procreating whenever we want, this link might be more than just a freaky coincidence.