Children Conceived In Summer Score Low On Indiana Test

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Careful, Romeo, or that kid could be living at home into his 40's

From Reuters

NEW YORK (Reuters Health) - The time of year a woman conceives may influence the future academic performance of her child, according to research reported this week at the Pediatric Academic Societies' annual meeting.

When researchers linked standardized test scores of 1,667,391 Indiana students in grades 3 through 10 with the month in which each student had been conceived, they found that children conceived May through August scored significantly lower on math and language tests than children conceived during other months of the year.

The correlation between test scores and conception season held regardless of race, gender, and grade level.

Why might this be? According to Dr. Paul Winchester of Indiana University School of Medicine who led the study, says the evidence points to environmental pesticides, used most often in the summer months, as a possible player.

Tango’s Take

It’s pretty incredible that one-third of the kids born in a year suffer from the same math and language problems. The chief conductor of the study blames the effect of heavy summer pesticides on unborn babies (or possibly on un-joined sperm and ovum). A) This sounds a little specious. B) How come no one ever claims positive side effects from man-made chemicals? What if some herbicide gave mother and unborn child a psychic connection? Or imbued the fetus with Spidey-like superpowers?
Our theory—if you can call thinking of the likeliest cause and blurting it out a theory—is that kids conceived in May, June, July and August are born in February, March, April and May, respectively. This is the end of the school year. Younger kids may just be cognitively behind their fall-born peers. Just to be on the safe side, though, Indiana parents should put Barry White on the record player, poor the chardonnay, and stoke the flames of desire between October and March, exclusively.

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