Have you ever noticed that the holiday season is filled with festive romantic comedies, snuggling and hygge-ing in themed pajamas (or activewear!), and cozying up to the fire with a nice warm golden latte? If you think about it, all of these activities have one thing in common: They’re better with a loved one.
At least, that’s what science shows. To figure out why there’s a tendency to reproduce at certain times of the year, researchers at Indiana University and the Instituto Gulbenkian de Ciencia in Portugal mined Google Trends and Twitter data for searches containing the word “sex”.
According to their results, which were recently published in Scientific Reports, there’s a worldwide correlation between increased searches for sex and major holidays—regardless of the season. What’s more? When you fast-forward nine months from said searches, there’s a positive correlation to the number of births.
Based on the data (from both Google and Twitter), predominately Christian countries searched for “sex” the most around Christmas (even places where Christmas occurs in a summer climate). In Muslim countries, the same search was highest at the end of Ramadan (which can happen at different times of the year).
The Twitter analysis showed a spike in feelings of happiness and safety as well, which can insinuate that these searches could be connected to romantic feelings. “Every time this mood manifests itself on Twitter, it leads to more searches for sex,” says Luis Rocha, co-lead author of the study. “We can only speculate right now, but it may be that when people are feeling happier and less anxious—at the end of the year and around the holidays, in this case—they are more likely to think about starting a family.” I mean, it is called cuffing season, after all.
Your relationships might even be the key to your longevity—here’s why. And if you’re single, this is the best city in which to start a healthy relationship (just FYI).