Astrology may usually be dismissed as harmless superstition, but scientists are discovering that the date we are born can affect our later lives. Research has revealed the time of year a person is born can influence his or her personality, health and even whether they are male or female. But rather than being written in the stars, studies are showing that it is the season of birth that predisposes individuals to different traits.In the northern hemisphere, women born in May will display more impulsive behaviour whilethose whose birthday falls in November will be more reflective.
Men born in the spring will show greater persistence than those born in winter.Other research has shown that people born in the autumn will tend to be physically active and excel in football while those born in the spring will be more cerebral and may be better suited to chess. Those born between September and December are more prone to panic attacks while there is growing evidence that schizophrenia is higher among those born in the late winter and early spring. "It is exactly what you would expect if it were temperature related," said Richard Wiseman, a professor of psychology at the University of Hertfordshire, who has examined the linkbetween luck and the season of birth. "Many of the effects reverse in the two hemispheres." Professor John Eagle, a psychiatrist at Aberdeen University who has studied the relationships between season of birth and mental health, added: "The two main culprits are diet and the seasonal fluctuations in nutrition, and the increase in infections during the winter." Astrologers have seized on the findings as evidence that the stars influence personality. But scientists insist there are biological reasons behind the effects.