Adventures in Factoids: The Great Birthday Gap

Joyce Carol Oates tweets:

Stunning data: though 91% of women remember virtually all birthdays of relatives, friends, etc., mere 8% of men remember more than one.

Is this true? Or just too good to check? I have to say I’m skeptical. My memory sucks pretty badly, but even I can remember half a dozen birthdays. So that’s a data point against the 8 percent theory. On the other hand, it’s true that these are all birthdays of immediate family members. With one exception outside of that—a friend whose birthday is the same as my mother’s—I’m pretty clueless. Though, oddly enough, I remember Matt Yglesias’s exact birthdate because he turned 10 the day I got married. And Jim Henley shares my birthday, so I remember that. I’m not really sure any of these coincidental dates really count, though.

Still, 8 percent? That just hardly seems likely. I demand Scientific Evidence™.


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Clara Jeffery, Editor-in-Chief

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