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Global warming “cools” your sexual desire

Increasing global temperatures also affect sexual desire among both women and men. Climate change could cause a drop in fertility, mostly in countries already facing low birth rates.

Climate change is responsible for way too many things. From biodiversity loss to economic growth slowdowns and violence increase. However, it has never been accused of reducing human fertility, both in women and men. The economists Alan Barreca, Olivier Deschenes and Melanie Guldi carried out a research for the National Bureau of Economic Research, examining 80 years of fertility and US temperatures. They found that when the average daily temperature exceeds 27 degrees, birth rates drop by 0.4% in the following 8-10 months, i.e. 1,165 fewer births in the United States alone.

The period of time from 1931 to 2010 was taken into consideration, justifying the declining birth rate during spring and a consequent increase during summer. However, after a hot day, sexual desire takes time to be restored. Over the months following that hot day, the desire is 30% compared to normal levels.

 

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The risk is that the demographic growth could suffer a setback over the next decades, mainly in Western countries where birth rates are already low. On the long run, this means that the United States could register over 100,000 fewer births (i.e. a 2.6% decrease), according to the study that forecasts a parallel increase in hot days in a year (from 31 days between 1990 and 2002 to over 90 from 2070 to 2099).

 

According to the authors, global warming consequences on sexuality could seem only secondary compared to more influential practices such as birth control or to more urgent issues such as gender equality and women’s empowerment. However, it could provide a broader picture about what we will face over the next decades, in a hotter world (exceeding 2°C).

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