Brazil has been witnessing a fall in its birth rate (by close to three million) and a spate in its rate of divorce in recent times. A new report has pinpointed a strange causative factor - popular soap operas running on Brazilian airwaves with their colorful storylines!
These racy telenovelas that are mainstays of the country's powerful TV Globo network depict glamorous love triangles, paternity mysteries and rags-to-riches successes.
According to The Telegraph, an extensive study of population data stretching back to 1971, has found that Brazil's popular and often fanciful soap operas have had a direct impact on the nation's divorce and birth rates, as the main channel that broadcasts them gradually extended its reach across the country.
The report, which was prepared for the Inter-American Development Bank claims that the areas, which received the TV Globo signal for the first time, recorded a rise in marriage break-ups and a rapid fall in the number of children born to each woman.
The study of over two decades has revealed that three million fewer Brazilian babies were born than would have been if telenovelas had never been broadcasted.
The report further says that 800,000 more couples separated or divorced. If the effect continued to the present day, the numbers would be even greater.