Dear Kendall Jenner: It may be time to cloister yourself in a cave in France until this baby-making virus that’s making its way through your sisters burns itself out. Unconfirmed rumors are now swirling that Kourtney may also have a Kardashi-bun in the oven too. If that’s true, it’s some crazy math: Four sisters — Kim Kardashian West, Jenner, Khloé and Kourtney Kardashian — are all expecting babies around the same time? Are great forces at work here?
Apparently. According to a study in The American Sociological Review, more than just the urge to jack up reality TV ratings could be behind the sisters’ simultaneous pregnancies. The study suggests that wanting kids can spread like wildfire through emotionally bonded, close groups of women. Well, then. You’d better watch out who you’re hanging with.
The study discovered that “the contagion is particularly strong within a short window of time: it increases immediately after a high school friend gives birth, reaches a peak about two years later, and then decreases, becoming negligible in the long-run,” according to co-author Nicoletta Balbo, a postdoctoral fellow in social dynamics at Bocconi University in Italy. “Overall, this research demonstrates that fertility decisions are not only influenced by individual characteristics and preferences, but also by the social network in which individuals are embedded.”
But wait. I watch Keeping Up with the Kardashians pretty damn often. Does that mean I’m embedded in the preggo network by proxy? Excuse me while I go check my birth control.
According to Vogue, Dr. Danielle Keenan-Miller (the UCLA psychology clinic director) says this all might amount to basic survival instincts kicking in. “Evolutionarily, our survival depended on being part of a group,” she said. “Fear of being excluded and lonely or unsupported can also play a role.”
Keenan-Miller added that “friends tend to be around the same age and reach milestones like jobs and marriage at nearly the same time… It can be as simple as realizing, ‘I love my cousin’s child or my best friend’s child, so maybe I can be a parent, too.’”
So, instant support group and that whole strength-in-numbers thing. Plus babysitting swaps. Don’t forget the awesome babysitting swaps. And group baby showers! Suddenly this all sounds fantastic, and I can’t even remember the lack of sleep and having baby spittle caked in my hair for days on end. Forgive me. It’s sociology; I can’t help it.