Monday, January 6, 2014

Kids conceived in heat waves are smarter

Joshua Wilde, a University of South Florida assistant professor, and Bénédicte Apouey, a researcher at the Paris School of Economics, studied 22 countries and found that children conceived during heat waves have higher literacy rates, more years of schooling, higher income later in life and lower rates of disability than children conceived during periods of normal temperatures.

Why? One possible reason: Better educated and wealthier women are more likely to conceive during heat waves, because they can more easily stay in comfortable places to copulate. "Sexual activity decreases in heat waves," the authors say, and, "those decreases are disproportionately large for lower income individuals." Another possible reason, the authors said, is that fetuses of the poor and uneducated might be less likely to survive in utero.