Virgo Lives Matter
Virgos experience employment & romantic discrimination for the same reason that most hockey players aren’t Scorpios
I’ve been a Gemini each year of my life; born on Memorial Day, May 25. I’d like to commemorate my 34th birthday by standing in allyship with Virgos.
Lu et al. (2020): “In China, people intentionally avoid Virgos (those born between August 23 and September 22) as friends, romantic partners, or employees, & some Chinese job postings proclaim that Virgo candidates are not wanted (The Telegraph, 2011).
Overall, our research disentangles stereotypes from social reality by providing a real-world demonstration that stereotypes can form without preexisting social reality & lead to discrimination that can then shape social reality.”
Virgos vs the Zodiac Effect
The discrimination Virgos face likely has nothing to do with the sun, Neptune, Sailor Moon, or anything related to the tenets of astrology (aside from the fact that Geminis are best; everyone has accepted this). Virgos may be experiencing employment & romantic discrimination due to the distal outcomes of processes that are arguably more mechanistic than systemic. It is a phenomenon known as the Relative Age Effect & it is manifested by the age grouping systems/ cohort cut-off dates of individuals’ respective educational system(s) & youth sports organizations.
Heretofore, the Relative Age Effect will be referred to as the Zodiac Effect because it’s my birthday & that sounds more fun.
Consider the following via Luca Fumarco & Rossi (2016)
“…in some European countries, the age-grouping system in school is based on the calendar year (i.e. the cut-off date is 1 January) and children start school in September in the year when they turn six years old. In the first class, there are some children who are six before school starts (i.e. born in January-August) and others who turn six after school has started (i.e. born in September-December).
Consider the difference in maturity between children born in the two extreme months — pupils born in January are about 17% older than pupils born in December. This large maturity gap causes a performance gap — the relative age effect.”
This leads to accumulative advantage.
Zodiac Effect On US Education
Here are the Kindergarten cutoff dates for all 50 states as of September 2020. Only 11 states have Kindergarten enrollment cutoff dates outside the August 31st to October 1st window for kids age 5 (usually on and/or before that date).
There are similar cutoff dates for the UK, China, Germany, & Italy set the cutoff around September 1st for 5-year olds to start Kindergarten (Zhang & Xie, 2018). Consider what this means for academic performance & educational attainment.
In places with September 1st cutoffs, Libras (Sept 21-Oct20) do better in school than Leos (July 21-Aug 20) given that there is almost a one year difference in cognitive development & overall maturation between them. Libras are also less likely to be bullied.
Bullying → Suicide Risk
Students born within a few days of the cutoff (youngest in class) are more likely to commit suicide than those born a few days after the cutoff (oldest in class) (Matsubayashi & Ueda, 2015).
Ronto (2021): An analysis of “more than 16,027 medalists from 51 Olympic games (1896–2018) and their birth dates” found that Capricorns have won 1.7x times more gold medals than any other zodiac sign. Capricorn male athletes are even more dominant. They have won 64.9% more medals than their counterparts.
A study of the 2008 Beijing Olympics found that Olympians from the continents of Africa, Asia, & Europe were disproportionately more likely to be born at the start of the year, whereas Olympians from the continents of North America, South America, & Australia did not show a Zodiac Effect. Moreover, the Zodiac Effect was much more pronounced for male Olympians.
Fumarco & Rossi (2015) demonstrate wage differences for professional Italian Soccer players based on if they were born in the 1st quarter of the year (age cutoffs put them at an advantage in childhood) or the last quarter of the year (age cutoffs put them at a disadvantage in childhood).
Football (MacDonald et al., 2009; Steingrover et al., 2016)
No Zodiac Effect for the NFL 🏈
Basketball (Daniel & Janssen, 1987; Cote et al., 2006; Steingrover et al., 2016; Brad Callas, 2017)
No Zodiac Effect for the NBA 🏀
Hockey (Baker & Logan, 2007)
Yups, in USA & Canada 🏒
Golf (Cote et al., 2006) ⛳
Golf is a game, not a sport. The game of golf has no Zodiac Effect.
Baseball (Greg Spira, 2008 — Slate) ⚾
“From 1950 to 2005, a baby born in the United States in August has had a 50% to 60% better chance of making the big leagues than a baby born in July. From August through the following July, there is a steady decline in the likelihood that a child born in the United States will become a major leaguer.
For more than 55 years, July 31 has been the age-cutoff date used by virtually all nonschool-affiliated baseball leagues in the United States. This means
someone born on July 31, 1990, would almost certainly have been the youngest player on his youth team in 2001, his first year playing in the 11-and-12-year-olds league, whereas someone born on Aug. 1, 1989, by contrast, would have been of average age in 2001, his first year playing in the 11-and-12-year-olds division.
An analysis of the birth dates of players in baseball’s minor leagues between 1984 and 2000 finds similar patterns, with American-born players far more likely to have been born in August than July. The birth-month pattern among Latin American minor leaguers is very different — if anything, they’re more likely to be born toward the end of the year, in October, November, and December.
The lesson: If you want your child to be a professional baseball player, you should start planning early. Very early. As in before conception.”
Zodiac Effect in Men’s Volleyball (Campos et al., 2009) 🏐
Chess (Breznik and Law, 2016) ♟
US Politics (Muller & Page, 2015)
Most elected to the United States House of Representatives were the oldest in their class when they were in school.
Solution = Bio-Banding
Sports like wrestling, boxing, martial arts, etc use bio-banding (e.g., heavyweight, lightweight, middleweight) to group competitors together in a way that removes discrepancies to promote balanced competition (Albuquerque et al., 2016; Delorme, 2014).
A Zodiacist is someone who discriminates against others based on their Zodiac sign.
Although this research illustrates the ‘mechanistic’ discrimination arising from the Zodiac Effect, the question remains as to whether Virgo employment & romantic discrimination arises out of this or not. With Virgos, one can assume that 33% are born in August & 66% are born in September.
My Hypothesis: Virgos Exhibit Poly-Calendar Outcomes
Because Virgos are ‘in-between’ the cutoff date, they display the greatest variability in terms of advantage/disadvantage of their birthday.
August Virgos will have the worst outcomes whereas September Virgos the best outcomes.
If Chad turns 5 on August 28th, and his friend 5 year old friend Magic Mike who joined the same class turns 6 on September 3rd… They were both 5 years old on September 1st but by it’s clear which one of them is most likely to make varsity when they tryout 10 years later in high school. Chad is going to have a more limited experience through school simply because he was born a late August Virgo instead of an early September Virgo like Mike.
Moreover, parents of Virgos may be more likely than parents of any other Zodiac sign to intentionally hold a child back a year to gain an advantage (especially if they have a son as the extra year of development for that August 29th Virgo means better chance at Varsity & an easier time finding dates to homecoming/ prom). They may also be most likely to enroll a child early, if their 3 year old will turn 4 on September 7th, as some places allow 4 years old as the age minimum cutoff.
Am I 100% sure? Of course not, it’s the Zodiac & it’s my birthday & I’m a Gemini & hope to remain a Gemini in future birthdays.
Doyle & Bottomley (2018): Frequency vs Value
“Both clubs and countries selection policies appear to favor those born early in the competition year, but early-born players are no more skilled or talented than their later-born peers.
If RAE is inevitable, and clubs are [sic] powerless to avoid it when making player selection decisions, then perhaps Soccer authorities will have to implement corrective policy.
December born players were equally skilled as January born players, but due to an accident of birth they did not get the breaks, consequently there are fewer of them at the highest levels of football. We therefore agree with Vaeyens et al. (2013, p. 293) that,
“children disadvantaged by birth date or physical maturity might have become equally skilled senior athletes if they were afforded equivalent developmental opportunities.”
But sadly they weren’t.”
Jarryd → All players who make it to the pros are exceptional athletes. However, there is a greater gap in talent among athletes born in December — the few who make it are December superstars — whereas athletes born in January are likely to be closer in relative talent.
Tales of the Traveling Gaussian (Doyle et al., 2017)
People enter school with particular qualities (Q). Q may be…
“a raw ability (e.g., running speed),
a nurtured talent (e.g., playing a violin),
or an attribute/characteristic (e.g., height).
As the group gets older, their development on Q increases (they run faster, are more proficient at violin, get taller), so that their Gaussian travels along the Q axis. In any given cohort (typically a school year or competition year) there will be a Gaussian centered at Q0 for the youngest, one at Q1 for the oldest, and one at each point in between.
“In virtually every context that has been researched, the [Zodiac Effect] discriminates against the younger child by decreasing the chances of achieving their life goals (e.g., being accepted at an Ivy League university, invited to play for the New York Symphony Orchestra, becoming a Nobel laureate, a CEO of a blue chip company, competing in the Olympics, playing soccer for Manchester United, or simply coming top of the class). [The Zodiac Effect] often operates through early selection to open or close doors onto advanced programs. But more insidiously, having spent a childhood being outperformed by their cohort peers, [the Zodiac Effect] may act to depress the young child’s expectations so that they aim lower in life and thereby achieve less than they might have.”
Doyle, J. R., Bottomley, P. A., & Angell, R. (2017). Tails of the Travelling Gaussian model and the relative age effect: Tales of age discrimination and wasted talent. PloS one, 12(4), e0176206. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0176206
Alternative Viewpoint: Parental Machiavellianism
Zhang & Xie (2015): “It is easier for parents of September–December-born children to manipulate the timing of their children’s school entry.”
Why → “ China introduced a 9-year compulsory education system when China’s Compulsory Education Law went into effect on July 1, 1986. The law entitled all children in China ages 6–15 to receive tuition-free primary and lower-secondary education for a total of 9 years (usually 6 years in primary school and 3 years in lower-secondary school). Since September 1 is officially the first day of the school year across the country, August 31 is the nationwide cutoff date.
Having a child born [close to September] gives parents a stronger incentive and greater flexibility with which to arrange the best timing of school entry for their child. In contrast, if the child was born during other months, especially in the first half of the year, parents faced more limited choices and tended to follow the official rule.”
Suicide risk linked to birth month
Babies born in April, May and June are more likely to commit suicide than people born during the other nine months of…
The Littlest Redshirts Sit Out Kindergarten (Published 2010)
Cultural Studies AFTER all those attentive early childhood rituals - the flashcards, the Kumon, the Dora the Explorer…
“This specious validity of the self-fulfilling prophecy perpetuates a reign of error. For the prophet will cite the actual course of events as proof that he was right from the very beginning.”
– Robert K. Merton
Kindergarten Entrance Ages
50-State Comparison: State K-3 Policies - Education Commission of the States
Following a high-quality early care and pre-K experience, the kindergarten-through-third-grade years set the foundation…
Sidenotes Later lols
Parents’ In-Law Preference (Especially Daughters)
The United States is unique in the history if human civilizations as it has had marriages of choice since Columbus accidentally arrived here while looking for India (Furstenberg, 1966; Reiss, 1980). Importantly, other Western countries gradually worked themselves towards the romantic/choice marriages they have today, but the United States STARTED* that way.
Indeed, arranged marriages have been the primary model of formalized unions through most of human history, and continues in many countries (Apostolou, 2007). This is particularly true in more collectivist parts of the world (Buunk et al., 2010). China, India, and Japan were arranged marriage societies prior to the modern era (e.g., Applbaum, 1995; Mitchell, 1970; Riley, 1994; Xie & Combs, 1996).
Perilloux et al. (2008)
Parents place more importance on their daughter’s mate choice than their son’s. About two-thirds of daughters reported experiencing parental disapproval & receiving curfews compared to a third of sons.
Age of Remarriage
Men are more likely to remarry than women (Kuzel & Krishnan, 1973; Schoen et al., 1985; Chamie & Nsuly, 1981) & the sex difference in remarriage rates increases with age (Kuzel & Krishnan, 1973; Chamie & Nsuly, 1981; CDC Monthly Vital Statistics Report, 1995).
Men, but not women, increasingly satisfy their age preferences with remarriage (Guttentag & Secord, 1983; Buckle et al., 1996; Fieder & Huber, 2007; Low, 1991).
High status men marry younger mates than low-status men (Low, 1991; Hart et al., 1960; Kenrick et al., 2010; Voland & Engel, 1990; Betzig, 1989).
Younger women and older men have more demanding mate preferences (Munro et al., 2014; Pawlowski & Dunbar, 1999a).
Older women are more likely to conceal their age (Greenlees & McGrew, 1994; Pawlowski & Dunbar, 1999b).