What factors influence our choice of a mate? Is it our genes? Does a man look for someone like his mother and a woman someone her father? None of the above, according to a study of Australian twins.
Researchers from the University of Queensland found that for traits including body size, personality, age, social attitudes, and religiosity, identical twins did not tend to have similar spouses, after accounting for the fact that spouse pairs (and twins pairs) themselves tend to be similar.
The results suggest that genes don't have much direct influence on mate choice for these traits.
As for whether people choose a mate like their opposite-sex parent, that doesn't appear to be the case either.
A twin's spouse was much more similar to the twin and co-twin than the twin's opposite-sex parent.
- Brendan P. Zietsch, Karin J. H. Verweij, Andrew C. Heath, Nicholas G. Martin. Variation in Human Mate Choice: Simultaneously Investigating Heritability, Parental Influence, Sexual Imprinting, and Assortative Mating. The American Naturalist, 2011; 177 (5): 605 DOI: 10.1086/659629
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