January 27, 2016
While many Philadelphians were watching television, sledding and shoveling during Winter Storm Jonas, it's probably safe to say that some stuck inside were, well, enjoying some business time. But could all of that indoor activity result in a spike in newborns nine months down the road?
NPR cited a study that looked at how "catastrophic events," such as severe weather storms, impact birth rates. It turns out that very severe storms, such as hurricanes, actually tend to produce decreases in birth rates nine months later. One of the lead researchers, Richard Evans of Brigham Young University, said, "if you're running for your life, you can't make babies."
But this particular storm, that dumped nearly two feet of snow on Philly, could have resulted in much more baby-making. Evans called it a low-severity storm, which their research found usually saw an uptick in births by 2 percent. Here's what he told NPR before the storm hit:
"I think the blizzard that's hitting the East Coast right now is more like a low-severity storm advisory — in the sense that, for the most part, people are not being asked to evacuate, they're not running," he says. "They're just told to hunker down in their houses for the duration of the storm until everything can get plowed and back to normal."
"If the lights go out and there's no TV, it kind of sets the table for romance, and you get births nine months later."
South Jersey probably disagrees with the classification of a "low-severity storm," and Philadelphia is still feeling the effects of the heavy snowfall. But for the most part, Philly residents weren't evacuated from their homes and instances of power outages were relatively low in the city – hence a possibly more relaxed atmosphere for sex.
Either way, sex (not necessarily of the reproductive variety) was a hot topic before the storm hit, with seemingly endless listicles on how to hook up during the blizzard. Interestingly enough, taking part in some cold weather intercourse might actually be good for your health; The New York Post cited a 2009 study from Wilkes University in Wilkes-Barre, Pa., that found people having sex once or twice a week had higher levels of immunoglobulins, a cold-fighting antibody.
So if things between you and yours got hot and heavy in the frigid weather during the blizzard, you can take comfort in knowing that you probably weren't alone and it might even be good for you.