Your DNA may influence your partner selection

Humans generally do not choose their partners randomly, but rather mate 'assortatively', choosing people with similar traits.

By: IANS | London | Published:November 25, 2016 10:26 pm
DNA, partner selection, intelligence, similar partner, study, health study, health news, indian express news The results showed that the individuals with a stronger genetic predisposition for higher educational achievement have partners who are more educated.

Individuals with genes for high educational achievement tend to marry, and have children with people with similar DNA, researchers have found. Humans generally do not choose their partners randomly, but rather mate ‘assortatively’, choosing people with similar traits. Among the highest ranking qualities people look for in a potential partner are intelligence and educational attainment, the study published in the journal Intelligence said, adding that the choice has a significance at a DNA level.

“Our findings show strong evidence for the presence of genetic assortative mating for education. The consequences of assortative mating on education and cognitive abilities are relevant for society, and for the genetic make-up and therefore the evolutionary development of subsequent generations,” said David Hugh-Jones, lecturer at University of East Anglia (UEA) in Britain.

However, assortative mating pattern could increase genetic and social inequality in future generations, since children of such couples are more unequal genetically than those of people who mate more randomly, the researchers argued.

“Assortative mating on inheritable traits that are indicative of socio-economic status, such as educational achievement, increases the genetic variance of characteristics in the population. This may increase social inequality, for example with respect to education or income,” Hugh-Jones added.

“When growing social inequality is, partly, driven by a growing biological inequality, inequalities in society may be harder to overcome and the effects of assortative mating may accumulate with each generation,” Hugh-Jones said.

For the study, the team examined approximately 1,600 married or cohabiting couples in Britain. They used polygenic scores that predict educational attainment to see whether they predicted the partner’s own educational attainment and polygenic score.

The results showed that the individuals with a stronger genetic predisposition for higher educational achievement have partners who are more educated.

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  1. S
    Scott
    Nov 26, 2016 at 5:20 pm
    Without reviewing the research methodology, it makes more sense that college educated people; higher ed attainment, marry the same because of the circles they run in versus 👀 for intelligence to marry. The correlation is correct but not news, however, this article sound like it's advancing causal effect. Another thought is that with most genetic articles published, there is always the fear factor expressed as a result, however, high intelligence couples aren't birthing because government policy makes it more difficult economically and culturally a sharp women is expected to work, not rear children. The poor continue to contribute to the number spread and their behavior causes this fear. It's hard to address without being called foul names. Good luck.
    Reply