Birth Rates Will Drop, People Will Stay Single Longer…. Scientists Predict How Society Will Change in a Post-COVID World
Psychological fallout from the pandemic will cause birth rates to drop, people to stay single for longer and women to sexualise themselves more, experts have predicted.
Experts from the US reviewed 90 studies to help them predict how COVID-19 could shift social behaviours and gender norms — even among those not infected.
They expect planned pregnancies to decrease in response to the global health crisis as people defer marriage and kids, leading some nations’ populations to shrink.
Drops in birth-rates will have cascading impacts on society and economics, affecting such things as job opportunities and support for elderly populations.
Furthermore, the unequal division of the extra household labour brought by lockdown could see gender inequality rise and foster more social conservatism.
In many ways, the researchers noted, ‘the pandemic has become a worldwide social experiment’ — the results of which have yet to finish playing out.
…Prospective couples who met video-dating amid lockdown could find themselves disappointed when they finally meet up in the outside world, the team warned.
‘Does a couple have chemistry? You can’t tell over Zoom,’ Professor Haselton said.
The missing of cues in new, digitally-forged relationships will likely lead to the over-idealization of potential partners — a misapprehension which may mean the coupling might not survive meeting reality.
This — and missed opportunities for social meetings — could result in people remaining single for longer.
Unlike past crises, the team noted, the pandemic is not bringing people together and — for the most part — is not fostering an increase in compassion or empathy.