Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Ancestry attracts, but love is blind

Date:
November 20, 2009
Source:
BioMed Central
Summary:
People preferentially marry those with similar ancestry, but their decisions are not necessarily based on hair, eye or skin color. Research shows that Mexicans mate according to proportions of Native-American to European ancestry, while Puerto Ricans are more likely to settle down with someone carrying a similar mix of African and European genes.

People preferentially marry those with similar ancestry, but their decisions are not necessarily based on hair, eye or skin colour. Research, published in BioMed Central's open access journal Genome Biology, shows that Mexicans mate according to proportions of Native American to European ancestry, while Puerto Ricans are more likely to settle down with someone carrying a similar mix of African and European genes.

Neil Risch, from the University of California, San Francisco, worked with a team of researchers to study the effects of ancestry on partner choice in Mexicans and Puerto Ricans living in their own countries or in the USA. The subjects came from The Genetics of Asthma in Latino Americans (GALA) study, conducted by Risch's UCSF colleague, Esteban Gonzalez Burchard. Risch said, "Latin America provides a unique opportunity to study population structure and non-random mating, due to the historical confluence of European, Native American and African racial groups over the past five centuries. We found that assortative mating, that is partner choice based on a shared ancestry, is very common in these populations."

Quite how our DNA influences our desires remains mysterious. Risch and his colleagues did not find that geography or socio-economic status could explain the ancestral influence on romance, and factors like hair, eye and skin colour individually only had a minor role. According to Burchard, "Certainly physical characteristics, such as skin pigment, hair texture, eye color, and other physical features are correlated with ancestry and are likely to be factors in mate selection. However, the spouse correlation for these traits and the correlation of these traits with ancestry were actually below what would be required to fully explain the phenomenon."

The researchers not only found similar ancestry patterns between the pairs of spouses, they also found the imprint of many generations of such assortative mating in the genomic architecture within each individual, in that there were non-random associations of genes whose frequency differed between the original ancestral populations.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by BioMed Central. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Neil Risch, Shweta Choudhry, Marc Via, Analabha Basu, Ronnie Sebro, Celeste Eng, Kenneth Beckman, Shannon Thyne, Rocio Chapela, Jose R Rodriguez-Santana, William Rodriguez-Cintron, Pedro C Avila, Elad Ziv and Esteban Gonzalez Burchard. Ancestry-related assortative mating in latino populations. Genome Biology, 2009; (in press) [link]

Cite This Page:

BioMed Central. "Ancestry attracts, but love is blind." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 20 November 2009. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/11/091119193807.htm>.
BioMed Central. (2009, November 20). Ancestry attracts, but love is blind. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 18, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/11/091119193807.htm
BioMed Central. "Ancestry attracts, but love is blind." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/11/091119193807.htm (accessed September 18, 2014).

Share This



More Mind & Brain News

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Corporal Punishment on Decline, Debate Renews

Corporal Punishment on Decline, Debate Renews

AP (Sep. 16, 2014) Corporal punishment in the United States is on the decline, but there is renewed debate over its use after Minnesota Vikings running back Adrian Peterson was charged with child abuse. (Sept. 16) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
FDA Eyes Skin Shocks Used at Mass. School

FDA Eyes Skin Shocks Used at Mass. School

AP (Sep. 15, 2014) The FDA is considering whether to ban devices used by the Judge Rotenberg Educational Center in Canton, Massachusetts, the only place in the country known to use electrical skin shocks as aversive conditioning for aggressive patients. (Sept. 15) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Shocker: Journalists Are Utterly Addicted To Coffee

Shocker: Journalists Are Utterly Addicted To Coffee

Newsy (Sep. 13, 2014) A U.K. survey found that journalists consumed the most amount of coffee, but that's only the tip of the coffee-related statistics iceberg. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
'Magic Mushrooms' Could Help Smokers Quit

'Magic Mushrooms' Could Help Smokers Quit

Newsy (Sep. 11, 2014) In a small study, researchers found that the majority of long-time smokers quit after taking psilocybin pills and undergoing therapy sessions. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins