It’s no surprise that climate change and global warming have managed to make their presence felt in all aspects of life, whether it is the weather patterns, your wedding plans having to be rescheduled because of bouts of rain and even your eating habits undergoing a switch. But when climate change begins to show its effects in the bedroom, that’s when you realise the issue at hand is much more impactful than you thought it to be. A research study by the National Bureau of Economic Research announced its findings which have caused waves. Here’s how climate change may have influenced or may be influencing your sex life.
What does the research say?
The paper was based on the tracking of two aspects, one of them being fertility and the other being the temperature over the span of 80 years. The findings indicated that following a rise in temperatures soaring to above 80 degrees Fahrenheit, for the next many months there was a decline in the birth rates. Does this mean that the temperature outside is causing an obstruction in the fertility or menstrual cycle? Not really. In fact, it is directly related to the amount of sex people are having.
Hot weather is a turn off apparently and makes people want to put off sex, thus leading directly to a lower frequency of births.
Why is this a problem?
Lesser sex technically shouldn’t be a world issue to be discussed, but here’s why the findings are causing a wave of worry among the medical community. Lesser sex in the summer means that when temperatures drop and it is cosy once more, people will get their sex drive back. This essentially would lead to more babies being born in the summer and could be risky, as newborns and pregnant women could face dehydration, strokes etc because of the rising temperatures.
Are we doomed?
Alan Barreca, associate professor of economics at Tulane University and lead author of the study said to CNN “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. People might be constrained to conceiving in certain calendar months because they have time off work.”
However, with the lifestyle that people lead, the kind of work they do, and the fact that most homes have air conditioners, would temperature rise actually have that much of an effect on birth rates? Kevin Bakker, a graduate student in ecology and evolutionary biology at the University of Michigan, who was not involved in the current study said to CNN "Temperature's role has probably been pretty negligible compared to other things like access to birth control (and) increasing labour opportunities for women ... but it would suggest that, if anything, it's adding on to the other things going on.”
The study’s findings should definitely be a cause to sit up and take notice.
Trauma due to climate change can affect sex life
Along with temperature rise causing a dip in sex drive, as global warming increases, catastrophes are increasingly common. Hurricanes, floods, etc. could lead to anxiety bouts, PTSD, and negative emotions, impacting mental health and thus leading to a lower sex drive in people who have gone through these traumas. Anita Ravi MD, family physician and CEO of PurpLE Health Foundation in New York City said to Ted “There may also be an indirect link between climate change and fertility through its impact on agriculture and the economy, and how these factors can influence family planning behaviours.”
Views on climate change could cause trouble in the bedroom
Couples who don’t share the same views about sustainability, climate and the Earth could find themselves struggling to find a middle ground and often getting into arguments. One of the partners going vegan while the other feels it isn’t absolutely necessary could also hamper the relationship.
Conflict due to opposing views on climate is getting real in relationships and is more common these days.
What can be done?
Dialogue goes a long way in solving these kinds of conflicts. Also explaining to your partner the reasons for your doing a certain thing or taking up a certain diet, and showing them how this can positively impact the Earth could help. While it is impossible to force a person to adopt certain behaviours, leading by example is a great way for the two of you to not have climate matters be the spoke in the wheel when it comes to your relationship.