We love a good study but we find this one a little bit silly and the headline is ridiculous.
The study, by evolutionary ecologist Dr. Samuli Helle of the University of Turku in Finland and Dr. Virpi Lummaa of the University of Sheffield in the United Kingdom, was published this week in the journal Biology Letters. He and his team looked at the post-childbirth survival rates of 11,166 mothers and 6,360 fathers in pre-industrial Finland, using records kept by the Lutheran Church there.
“Irrespective of access to resources, mothers, but not fathers, with many sons suffered from reduced post-reproductive survival,” they wrote in the study.
The subjects were born in eight different parts of Finland during the 17th to 20th centuries—a time period when the mostly agricultural society did not have access to modern medical care or birth control. After crunching the numbers, the researchers found that a mother who bore six sons would live on average another 32.4 years after the youngest son’s birth, while a mother who gave birth to girls would live approximately 33.1 years after her youngest daughter came along.
The shorter life expectancy was the same regardless of the mom’s social or financial status, though Helle said that “societal and cultural reasons could also play a factor.”
The absurd part of the study and corresponding headline is that the data is based upon women that have 6 SONS. Not someone that has one, two or three, heck even 4 sons but 6 sons. So we can only assume that having 5 sons is okay but boy that 6th one is a doozie!
After 3 girls, we were thrilled to have our son as number 4 and if he does shed a month or so off my long, happy life, we can live with that!
The headline SHOULD read- Study Showing Having 6 Sons can take a few months off the mother’s life, but then, nobody would read it because anyone that has 6 children of any gender already knows that raising children is the hardest thing you can accomplish in life and there is a price to pay by raising them right. We think it is safe to say that anyone that would choose to bring 6 souls into this world already knows that and is a selfless person that would freely give themselves- and months off their life- for a blessing such as another son.