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The pair we choose for growth

In search of the “second half” people are trying to choose someone whose genes are similar to their own.

It is known that animals, choosing a marriage partner, often prefer those who are similar to themselves. For example, if some birds are more colorful individuals and a less bright, more bright would be to procreate with those who have the same saturated colors; similarly, those that potockie will be appropriate to choose a dull pair.


In search of the “second half” people are trying to choose someone whose genes are similar to their own. (Photo by racorn / ru.depositphotos.com.)

Such marital and sexual intelligibility is called assortative crossing, and explain it this way: as soon as a individual is successfully survived to reproductive age, then those characteristics that he has, it is useful (that is, they do not bring their owner to the grave before its time). And if you want your offspring survived, too, exactly the same signs you need to look for others .

Assortative crossing is fairly widespread in nature; moreover, if we look at people we find that we have pairs are often formed on the basis of similarity. But then immediately raises various questions, for example, any signs of similarity for us is more important and some less important, and how pronounced this pattern may be that we choose otherwise and find out the similarity is only a side effect of your selection. However, as suggested by the authors of an article just published in Nature of Human Behaviour, in how we choose a couple, do have distinct patterns, indicating that, at least, some signs are very, very important.

Matthew Robinson (Matthew R. Robinson) and his colleagues analyzed the genes from 24 million couples found the strongest statistical correlations between the genetic factors determining growth, and the growth of the partner. In other words, if a man or woman in the genes have been programmed high growth, then they have chosen is also higher, and Vice versa – if genetic signs of growth had to be small, people with these genes prefer to be with someone low.

No wonder we are talking about genetic traits: according to the researchers, they tried to predict the height of a man that is on the specifics of the growth genes of a spouse, and the predictions have a rather high accuracy. In other words, in terms of growth, man obeys the rule of assortative mating. (Just in case we will specify that we are talking not about what the partners are the same height, but that growth genes both work the same.)

As for the other shit, that similar, albeit weaker correlation was able to find for body mass index (recall that the body mass index called the value, allowing to estimate degree of conformity of weight of the person and his growth). In addition, couples are well matched for such a sign as the time spent on education (here the statistics collected from almost 8 thousand pairs). Here, in General, too it is possible to point to some genetic characteristics that is, those who were able to science, and those who, on the contrary, education is not particularly engaged. For example, it is obvious that a good memory or ability to concentrate, substantial influence in academic success – these are properties of the nervous system, which is largely dependent on the genetic portrait.

On the other hand, we should not forget that the level of education is due not only to genetic and physiological factors, but also social. Here you can still remember the proverb which says that “opposites attract,” but rather, “converging opposites” because they are so visible, what falls out of the usual order of things.

Why assortative crossing manifests itself in the “educational feature”, it is quite clear – we, of course, hardly specifically looking for a partner with a similar degree, just those who are equally long and equally well studied, and tend to be common interests; in other words, they have something to talk about with each other. More it would be interesting to know how our mating preference acts growth – that is how this purely anatomical feature affects feelings and thoughts about the “second half”.

Possible choice for the similarity applies to other characteristics, up to some peculiarities of behavior. It can be assumed that those who are predisposed to schizophrenia, or autism, or even some neuropsychiatric disorders, looking for someone himself to become that, in turn, gives rise to the family history of the disease. On the other hand, we can say that social and biological differences in the population (or, if desired, biological differences and social inequality) are mutually reinforcing thanks to assortative crossing, although before something to say with all the confidence you need to better understand the relationships of genetic and social.

Genetic similarity plays a role not only in love but in friendship: two years ago, we wrote about genes is that friends have more in common than genes are completely strangers to each other people, and the degree of genetic relationship between friends is approximately the same as between the Pippin family.

However, we do have these signs where the differences are more important than similarities. For example, it is known that the immune system works especially effectively if the individual is in the genome was kombinirovannij different versions of the genes of certain immune proteins – that is, the child of parents with different genes will have a large immune-genetic diversity and therefore will be more resistant to disease.

And our body knows about it: there are famous experiments in which women were asked to choose the smell the most attractive male and most attractive were those whose immunity is very different from women’s. So, no matter how similar to us nor was the potential partner, for some parameters, it still must be different.

On materials Science.

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