Robert Stein 1924-2014

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Saturday, November 15, 2008

Obama Baby Boom

The Urban Legend makers are ushering in the new era with speculation that large numbers of children may have been "conceived after Obama was proclaimed President, by way of celebratory sex" by young voters.

Newsweek even adds the nice touch that Obama himself, "the son of politically progressive parents, was born Aug. 4, 1961--almost nine months to the day after John F. Kennedy was elected to the White House. Is it possible Obama was conceived on that historic night?"

The history of baby-making myths is not reassuring. After the massive blackout of November 9, 1965, the New York Times ran three stories the following August reporting a baby boom resulting from that night.

Since then, demographers have debunked the theory with unromantic statistics showing that, despite the widespread phenomenon of couples having nothing to do that night and spending it by candlelight, the birth rate did not rise.

If Nature has failed to produce such results, there is still some evidence that man-made euphoria may do so, as in Germany last year after the excitement of hosting the World Cup soccer matches.

We'll have to wait until next summer to see if Obama mania overcame couples' inhibitions about adding to their families in a time of economic woes.

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