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Weird news: Scientific study on married couples having similar DNA may be flawed

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The weird news was just released today about a recent study which shows that married couples tend to have similar genes versus two ‘random’ people pulled off of the street. The CU Boulder study claims that people with similar genes tend to have more opportunities to meet.

The study also references couples’ tendencies to marry someone within similar educational backgrounds. A pattern also found among celebrity marriages. Despite having similar careers, lifestyles and incomes, it was found that even celebrities still tended to select partners with a similar education - and the researchers say that these findings are similar to couples selecting alike DNA in partners as well.

But, the weird results of this new study from CU boulder may be flawed. It seems that the research study was comprised of 825 white American married couples. How can the research results be considered conclusive, without it incorporating a large group of naturally varied married couples?

The researchers of the study say that “married couples” contain more similar genes than two random people on the street. “Married couples” as pertained to this study, are white American heterosexual couples - so the research itself does not involve randomly selected and varied married couples. Why would you compare two random people on the street to two specially selected people? An expert says this criticism of the study,

“This would lead to significant correlations for genetic factors differentiating these ethnic groups, but has nothing to do with any traits or characteristics which underlie mate choice. It may be simply more an issue of local geography.”

Although it has been scientifically reported several times that “despite physical differences, all human populations are genetically similar to one another.” So the question is, what genetic DNA are the researchers comparing? This can only be found in the full study.

Of course, without reading the findings in full, it’s difficult to say whether the results are really all that staggering. It would be interesting however, to conduct this same study and include married couples with as much variance and “randomness” as possible, versus one married group of similar race and likely from within similar geography. Interracial couples, couples born from opposite sides of the world, homosexual couple selections - and hopefully several samplings of couples from each end of the economic spectrum.

While race may end up playing a much smaller role in the research results than one without a genetics background might think, a study is always more compelling to the general public when all possible errors are removed. And yes, ethnicity likely has nothing to do with an overall similarity in genes between married couples, America after all is based off of an assimilation of mixed races, but why then was the study only looking at white American couples, instead of random married couples as a whole?

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