Influence of Valentine’s Day and Halloween on Birth Timing
It is known that cultural representations, in the form of stereotypes, can influence functional health. We predicted that the influence of cultural representations, in the form of salient holidays, would extend to birth timing. On Valentine’s Day, which conveys positive symbolism, there was a 3.6% increase in spontaneous births and a 12.1% increase in cesarean births. Whereas, on Halloween, which conveys negative symbolism, there was a 5.3% decrease in spontaneous births and a 16.9% decrease in cesarean births. These effects reached significance at p < .0001, after adjusting for year and day of the week. The sample was based on birth-certificate information for all births in the United States within one week on either side of each holiday across 11 years. The Valentine’s-Day window included 1,676,217 births and the Halloween window included 1,809,304 births. Our findings raise the possibility that pregnant women may be able to control the timing of spontaneous births, in contrast to the traditional assumption, and that scheduled births are also influenced by the cultural representations of the two holidays.
If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version under "Related research" (further below) or search for a different version of it.
Volume (Year): 73 (2011)
Issue (Month): 8 ()
|Contact details of provider:|| Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/wps/find/journaldescription.cws_home/315/description#description |
|Order Information:|| Postal: http://www.elsevier.com/wps/find/supportfaq.cws_home/regional|
References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Joshua Gans & Andrew Leigh, 2009.
"The millennium bub,"
Applied Economics Letters,
Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 16(14), pages 1467-1470.
- Lo, Joan C., 2003. "Patients' attitudes vs. physicians' determination: implications for cesarean sections," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 57(1), pages 91-96, July.
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:eee:socmed:v:73:y:2011:i:8:p:1246-1248. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Zhang, Lei)
If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.
If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.
If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.
Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.