When the women started the experiment they were 15 years old and researchers found that more than half of the women in the experiment had a child by the end and one of the most mentioned factors was things such as “friendships ties”.
This cites a probable reason for a strong “contagion” reach the study notes, as humans tend to behave to suit their environment, interpersonal interactions and this also influences the decisions they make.
“We found this effect to be short-term and inverse U-shaped: an individual’s risk of childbearing starts increasing after a friend’s childbearing, reaches a peak around two years later, then decreases,” concludes the study notes.
Factors that may influence you to have children
Experts believe having friends that have kids can change the direction of your fertility intentions.
1) If you see a friend manage her child it gives you confidence about raising your own child.
2) If your friends are having kids you may not want to feel “left behind”.
3) The study also found that the number of kids you have may also be determined by your friends. If you see a friend manage multiple children, it gives you the confidence to believe you can do it too.
4) From a cost-sharing standpoint, there are financial perks of having friends with kids as you can share childcare and coordinate activities.
“We anticipated that a friend’s childbearing experience may be an important source of learning, because it provides relevant and useful information about how to face the transition to parenthood,” say the study notes.
“Moreover, a friend’s behaviour can be a source of influence because people compare themselves to their friends.”
So there you have it. Pregnancy is scientifically contagious!
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