DOWN SYNDROME BIRTHS ON THE RISE AS SARAH PALIN’S POPULARITY SURGES
December 6 2009
Atlanta, GA – Inevitably when something takes a hold of the public’s consciousness the next generation will feel the effects much more significantly. The passing down of music, as an example, tends to affect the generation born after its peak much more
than the one that enjoyed it when it was new. Often that generational effect is reflected in the names of the next generation, as any Liam’s or Julia’s will be able to attest. One would think that such trendy behaviour would eventually fade away, but each generation has its parent’s burden to bear.
With the sudden rise in prominences that Sarah Palin enjoyed last year it was perhaps inevitable that her celebrity would have an effect on the subsequent generation and while it’s likely that there will be many Sarah’s to come over the next few years, Palin is apparently leaving a much more significant impact on the next generation. That is evident in a report from the CDC which shows a sharp increase in the number of children born with Down Syndrome, a disability that Palin’s youngest son Trig is afflicted with. While the data is still too fresh to nail down an exact reason for the rise in the birth defect, researchers believe that the Palin effect has played at least a small but significant role in the increase.
“We have seen a marginal increase over the last two decades which in part is a result of more women waiting until later in life to have children. As a woman ages the likelihood of them producing an offspring with Down Syndrome increase dramatically. Recently though we have seen a massive surge and we credit that largely to Sarah Palin and her popularity,” said a lead researcher at the CDC. “We expect the numbers to increase in the next few years even if Palin’s popularity starts to wane. In the short term, this has become a kind of cultural identity that links people to a certain time and place and in this time and place Down Syndrome is the cultural zeitgeist and something that we will be feeling the effects of for many generations to come.”
Many parents of Downs children note that the wide set eyes and small chins has become increasingly popular. The mental retardation that comes as a result of the affliction is generally seen as an unfortunate side effect.
“I doubt that when John McCain picked Palin as his running mate he believed that it would have had this effect. Obviously he wanted to play a role in the way future generations lived but this had to have been one of the furthest things from his mind,” said Scrape TV Health analyst Rebecca Phelps. “Looks are one thing, but we have to be seriously concerned about the long term health of our society should this start to become more widespread. If the population of Down’s affected children goes up dramatically in the United States they could be looking at long term economic ruin with people unable to do complicated jobs, a dearth of management, and an overall dumbing down of society all for the sake of looks.”
It has also been speculated that many woman are trying to emulate Palin, who ran a state, ran for Vice-President, and took care of a Trig all at the same time.
“I don’t think anyone would think that because they have a down’s baby that they are gubernatorial material but Palin has made it trendy, the kind of thing aggressive and successful woman do. It has likely become a badge of honour which will only push the rise even further,” continued Phelps. “One can’t underestimate the power of symbolism and Palin has become a very potent symbol across America of late. Everything she does, from fashion to politics, is being mimicked by women across the country and now it appears so too is her progeny, which really speaks to the power of the woman and the power of celebrity.”
Teenage pregnancy and poor grammar have also been on the rise since Palin rose to prominence.
Lauren Hebert, Health Correspondent