Monday, May 07, 2007

Season of conception linked to academic success?

Winchester and his colleagues studied more than 1.5 million Indiana students in grades 3 through 10 who took the Indiana Statewide Testing for Educational Progress (ISTEP) exam. They charted the students' test scores with the month in which each student had been conceived.


Now how could they be certain of the season of conception? Sure, most people are born nine months from conception, but ten per cent of the population is not. And what about borderline cases? If you're conceived on March 18th, you're a winter conception, but if you're conceived on March 21st, you're spring if your birthday is in December, you can qualify for either season.

Unless the study focus a population which knows when the conception took place, I don't know how it could be valid.

I'm not saying the conclusion is wrong. I just think the study is flawed.

And FYI:

Children conceived June through August scored lower than other kids on math and language tests in Indiana, said researcher Paul Winchester, a neonatologist at Indiana University School of Medicine.

Winchester and his colleagues speculate the link has to do with mothers' and in turn fetus' exposure to the high pesticides used during summer months, a cause-and-effect that has yet to be proven.

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