Sex and the Recession

Sex is a great way to deal with stress. It burns calories, gets the endorphins pumping, and is usually less awkward than hitting the gym. And according to an article in the Chicago Sun Times yesterday, the stress of the recession is affecting the American bedroom in a very 21st century kind of way. While in the past, recessions have meant couples would have less sex because they were worried about creating another mouth to feed—or so we can assume, based on historical birth rates—it now means a rise in birth control sales.

“Condom sales have jumped. Nationally, 6.4 percent more condoms were sold in the first three months of the year compared with the same period in 2008, according to a report by Nielsen Co., which tracks consumer spending. Analysts link two factors: Families are opting for cheaper birth control and couples are being extra careful, doubling up on protection. All agree it’s a sign that America’s libido is alive and well in these trying times.”

What a great way to deal with a slowing economy! Cheaper than a movie, more intimate than a romantic dinner. This will undoubtedly affect the national birth rate, but when will we be able to tell?

According to a February 13 article on Wicked Local, Carl Haub, a senior demographer at the nonprofit Population Reference Bureau in Washington, D.C., thinks it might take until next year for the results to come in.

“The current recession officially began in December 2007. Haub said that if it continues, an impact on the birth rate would be likely but would not be noticed until 2010, given the length of pregnancies and a delay in reporting statistics.” But with a new baby costing an average $7,800 annually before the age of 2, struggling young couples might delay starting a family until they have a steady source of income.

So join the rest of America in this exciting new trend. Save money, stay in, have sex—just don’t make a baby.

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