When Everybody Scores! How a Winning Goal Boosted Barcelona’s Birth Rate
Andrés Iniesta’s nickname could be “Papi” for thousands of Barcelonians, given the considerable spike in the birth rate among Catalonians nine months after his game-winning goal in 2009. And now, scientists are trying to prove a correlation between sporting success and an increased birth rate. Does a win really inspire the masses to procreate?
There have been other correlations between major events and the birth rate spiking that have nothing to do with sporting events. Snow storms, hurricanes, earthquakes—even man-made events like blackouts—have, anecdotally, been linked to increased sexual activity and a spike in the birth rate nine months later. Are sporting events any different? Why do we associate sex with a possible traumatic event (like a hurricane), as well as to a positive one (like a game-winning soccer goal)? Or is this really just folklore masquerading as fact?
Several feel-good events have proven seasonal birth rate spikes to exist. One well-known spike has been named the “Christmas Effect” and contributes to a significant rise in the September birth rate versus other months of the year. Famine, war, and economic downturns have repeatedly and expectedly demonstrated a dampening effect on libido and, subsequently, the birth rate. It seems almost logical that the collective libido would increase during more positive events and living situations. But is it true?
While the media brazenly suggested a 45 percent increase in the birth rate after Iniesta’s goal, scientific scrutiny proved, not only in the case of Iniesta’s goal, the media grossly exaggerated. In fact, this was almost as predictable a trend as the Christmas Effect. However, an increase was seen—Iniesta’s on-field prowess inspired some under-the-covers work among thousands of jubilant Catalonians resulting in a significant increase of 16 percent in the birth rate nine months later. So, sporting events do seem to have the potential to correlate in changes of the demographic, at least in Barcelona.
We suspect Barca is willing to scientifically test this theory with another spectacular game winning goal by Iniesta, if he is so inclined.
Watching the uproar of men (and women, too) after an exciting sports game, the equation of sports induced reproduction doesn’t seem so far fetched. From a climatic game-ending goal, game-changing free throws or long hail marys, a simple guess would conclude that baby-making season has officially begun.
YOU MIGHT BE INTERESTED IN