Why is everyone on Facebook having babies? Well, partially because everyone on Facebook is having babies, which is a logical leap I took based on a study called “Does Fertility Behavior Spread among Friends?,” from the June issue of The American Sociological Review, which is one of my favorite things to read when I’m not busy hiding everyone on Facebook with babies.
While Facebook can’t literally get you pregnant, unless you’re extremely flexible and extremely kinky (no judgments!), the study — based on data from 1,700 American women who were tracked from the age of at least 15 through approximately age 30 — focused on female high school friends in early adulthood and surmised that fertility is affected not only by individual decisions and choices but by the influence of our social network, including, specifically, high school friends.
The study’s co-author Nicoletta Balbo, a postdoctoral fellow at the Carlo F. Dondena Centre for Research on Social Dynamics at Bocconi University in Italy, explains:
“People compare themselves to their friends. Being surrounded by friends who are new parents makes people feel pressure to have kids as well.”
Basically, your high school friends start popping out babies and posting photos on Facebook, and before you know it, FOMO strikes again, your bestie’s fetus is BFFs with your fetus, and a few months later, you’re cleaning up poo at 2 a.m., and it ain’t yours.
And on that note, a gentle reminder that birth control only works when you a.) use it and b.) use it CORRECTLY.
+ Relatedly: CONDOMS! A primer!
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