When it comes to climate change, the unprecedented Greenland ice melt, mass animal die-offs and diminishing eco systems are all extensively documented; however, it appears as though our sex drive may be the latest victim of a warming planet. If temperatures continue to soar even ‘Netflix and Chill’ may not be enough to keep our libidos out of jeopardy.
The U.S. birth rate has, for the most part, been in regression for the last century; however, new research suggests there is a correlation between higher temperatures and less frequent sexual activity.
Researchers at Tulane University discovered that, “for every day that soared above 80 degrees — and in many cases above 90 degrees — between 1931 and 2010, there were 0.4% fewer births nine months later. The impact of one of these scorching days was that about 1,165 fewer babies were born across the United States,” according to CNN.
According to Reason, current climate change models project that the number of +80°F days per year in the U.S. will increase about 64 days from a baseline of 31 days now, essentially tripling by the end of this century.
“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,” said Alan Barreca, associate professor of economics at Tulane University and the lead author of the study.
There is also evidence to suggest that there is an increase in babies born roughly a year after periods of increased heat, meaning couples may be put off frequent sex until temperatures cool.
With our exceptionally busy work schedules and a plethora of distractions at home, this latest evidence could mean that humans simply have sort of compartmentalized sex into our hectic lives out of practicality and convenience.
“People might be constrained to conceiving in certain calendar months because they have time off work,” Barreca said. And if those precious few days in the month that a woman is fertile are thwarted by hot weather, that could be it for the year, he added.
Beyond the obvious reasons why climate change may be affecting sexual frequency (mood, lethargy, etc.) high temperatures are physiologically damaging to reproductive systems, impairing sperm function, reducing testosterone levels as well as interfering with menstruation cycles, according to the study.
If the unabated problem of climate change continues at current rates our sex lives might not necessarily go extinct but it is sure heading towards a new low.