Climate Change Ruining Americans’ Libidos, Study Says
A new study is blaming climate change for the decline in the U.S. birth rate. According to the researchers, the extremely hot weather has been killing people's sex drive.
For this study, the research team analyzed the statistics of birth rates recorded around nine months after really hot days. The researchers defined hot days as any day over 80 degrees Fahrenheit. Weather information came from the National Climate Center Data within the U.S.
The researchers found that when temperatures reached 80 degrees and above, the birth rate nine moths later was 0.4 percent lower. In terms of numbers, there were 1,165 fewer babies born at around nine months after a really hot day.
The researchers estimated that there would be about 100,000 fewer births on a year-to-year basis if the number of hot days increased from the current count of 30 to 90. The study covered the time frame of 1931 to 2010.
"I wouldn't say it is the end of human civilization, but I would suggest it is going to add to the cost of climate change," said lead author Alan Barreca, associate professor of economics at Tulane University, reported by CNN.
The researchers argued that hot weather could negatively affect fertility. There has been evidence that heat can hurt sperm function, reduce testosterone levels and interfere with menstrual cycles. On top of heat's effects on reproduction, people might not have want to engage in sexual activity when they are hot and uncomfortable.
The researchers noted that several variables, particularly improved access to birth control, are also contributing to the birth rates.
Overall, the U.S. birth rate has mostly been declining over the past century. However, in 2014, the birth rate increased for the first time since 2007.
The study was published by the National Bureau of Economic Research.