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DNA draw proves potent when seeking a spouse

Most people tend to date and marry within their own racial and ethnic groups.
courtesy of Diana Duel

Chances are that when asked to list the things you and your spouse have most in common, DNA was not something you thought about, at least not on a romantic level. However, according to a new study led by Benjamin Domingue of the University of Colorado’s Institute of behavioral Science, most people choose husbands and wives with similar genetic make-ups.

In coming to his conclusions, Domingue and his team reviewed the genetic resemblance of 825 non-Hispanic white married couples born between the 1930’s and 1950’s who were reportedly already participating in a broader government research project regarding health and retirement. What they discovered was that each of the 1,650 people exhibited a “significant preference for a spouse with DNA similarities across the entire human genome.”

“We do know in some sense that people prefer genetically similar people because they tend to date and marry within their own racial and ethnic groups,” stated Domingue. “And although we sought to eliminate racial variability and tried to control for ethnic differences during the study we still found a preference for genetically like individuals. In fact, we found this to be a third as strong as seeking a mate with comparable levels of education.”

Note: Although the study concentrated on factors that may cause initial attraction between married couples it does not suggest that having similar DNA guarantees a "good marriage or overall compatibility in the long run."

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