The BMJ published a paper based on a survey “to estimate the incidence of self report of pregnancy without sexual intercourse (virgin pregnancy) and factors related to such reporting, in a population representative group of US adolescents and young adults.”
Of 7870 eligible women, 5340 reported a pregnancy, of whom 45 (0.8% of pregnant women) reported a virgin pregnancy.
You can read the paper if you want more details.
Of all the news coverage this received – and it got a lot – a discerning look came from LiveScience.com, ” ‘Virgin Births’ Reveal Problems with Health Surveys.”
The journal also published “Barcelona baby boom: does sporting success affect birth rate?”
Researchers found that births in a Catalan region of Spain increased by 16% nine months after the FC Barcelona team won three major football trophies in 2009. They wrote:
“Our results show a transitory and significant 16% increase in births in February 2010, 9 months after FC Barcelona’s exciting victories in May 2009—far short of the 45% increase reported by the media. We may infer that—at least among the target population—the heightened euphoria following a victory can cultivate hedonic sensations that result in intimate celebrations, of which unplanned births may be a consequence. Other studies have shown, unsurprisingly, that rationality is not always a key factor in conception. One of the most intense emotions that can be experienced is the social component of belonging and the self assertion of a group (also known as you’ll never walk alone). Thus, the act of coming together can be interpreted on many levels when people feel motivated to share their euphoria with others.”
Follow us on Twitter: