People choose partners who are a similar height to them because it’s in our genes, a new study finds.
For years its been known that people tend to choose partners who are a similar height to themselves.
This is despite the well-known preferences women have for taller men.
It turns out that the same genes which control our height also influence who we are attracted to.
Dr Albert Tenesa, the study’s first author, said:
“Our genes drive our attraction for partners of similar height to ours, i.e. tall people pair with tall people.
We found that 89% of the genetic variation affecting individual preferences for height and one’s own height are shared, indicating that there’s an innate preference for partners of similar height.”
The link between partner’s height is surprisingly accurate, Dr Tenesa said:
“Using one partner’s genes for height, we estimated the height of the chosen partner with 13% accuracy.
The similarity in height between partners is driven by the observed physical appearance of the partner, specifically their height, rather than influenced by the social or genetic structure of the population we live in.”
This is another study that supports the idea that most people are looking for someone similar to themselves, even similar DNA:
“Now you can add similar DNA to similar religion, race, income, education, body type and age, to the attributes which people look for in a partner, whether they know it or not.
New research shows that people are more likely to pick a mate with similar DNA, even after taking into account genetic similarities between people in a geographic location[…]
Previous studies have shown that one of the strongest factors in choosing a partner is educational level.
This study found that the effect of similar DNA was about one-third that of education on mating choices.”
The study was published in the journal Genome Biology (Tenesa et al., 2016).
About the author
Psychologist, Jeremy Dean, PhD is the founder and author of PsyBlog. He holds a doctorate in psychology from University College London and two other advanced degrees in psychology.
He has been writing about scientific research on PsyBlog since 2004. He is also the author of the book “Making Habits, Breaking Habits” (Da Capo, 2003) and several ebooks:
- Accept Yourself: How to feel a profound sense of warmth and self-compassion
- The Anxiety Plan: 42 Strategies For Worry, Phobias, OCD and Panic
- Spark: 17 Steps That Will Boost Your Motivation For Anything
- Activate: How To Find Joy Again By Changing What You Do
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