Variation in Human Mate Choice: Simultaneously Investigating Heritability, Parental Influence, Sexual Imprinting, and Assortative Mating - PowerPoint PPT Presentation

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Variation in Human Mate Choice: Simultaneously Investigating Heritability, Parental Influence, Sexual Imprinting, and Assortative Mating

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Variation in Human Mate Choice: Simultaneously Investigating Heritability, Parental Influence, Sexual Imprinting, and Assortative Mating By: Phillip Skaliy – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: Variation in Human Mate Choice: Simultaneously Investigating Heritability, Parental Influence, Sexual Imprinting, and Assortative Mating


1
Variation in Human Mate Choice Simultaneously
Investigating Heritability, Parental Influence,
Sexual Imprinting, and Assortative Mating
  • By Phillip Skaliy

2
Terms
  • Assortative Mating the frequency at which
    individuals mate with persons of similar
    phenotype (positive assortative mating) or
    different phenotype (negative assortative mating)
  • Sexual Imprinting - individuals acquire
    mate-choice criteria during development by using
    their opposite-sex parent as the template of a
    desirable mate
  • MZ monozygotic (identical twins)
  • DZ dizygotic (non-identical twins)

3
Overview
  • Human mate choice is essential to evolution
  • Basis of variation in mate choice is not well
    understood
  • Look at twins, partners, parents
  • Test for genetic and family environmental
    influences on mate choice
  • Different traits analyzed
  • Test for sexual imprinting

4
Background
  • Studies before this
  • Romantic partners correlate positively on age,
    social attitudes, and religiosity
  • Believed that similarity between partners is due
    to initial choice (assortative mating)
  • Conflicting results why do we choose a
    particular mate over another
  • Constraints of mating market
  • Could be genetic or non-genetic

5
Background
  • Possible non-genetic/environmental factor is the
    influence of Parents on mate decision
  • Ensure daughters marry successful men
  • Sexual Imprinting
  • Opposite sex parent as template for mate
  • Traits looked at
  • Education, yearly income, Religiosity, Social
    attitudes, Personality, Height and age, Body mass
    index (BMI), Length of relationship

6
Experiment
  • Non-genetic
  • it should be revealed in a twin study as a family
    environmental effect on females for mate choice
    regarding investment-related traits.
  • Genetic influences
  • See if there is any similarity or correlations
    between the twins spouses and see if there is a
    difference between the spouses of MZ and DZ twins
  • Sexual Imprinting
  • Twins partner should be more similar to the
    twins opposite-sex parent than to a co-twin or a
    same-sex parent

7
Table One
  • 22,861 individuals from 6,105 independent
    families

8
Table 2
  • In this table it is clear that twins partners
    were not more similar in any trait to the twins
    opposite-sex parent than to the twins same-sex
    parent. Thats a strike against the imprinting
    thesis.

9
Table 3
  • Table 3 shows that partners correlated very
    weakly on some traits (e.g., income and
    personality) but strongly on others (e.g.,
    religiosity and attitudes).

10
Table 4 - shows the correlations between twin
pair partners on each trait
  • Notice that theres not a difference between MZ
    and DZ females for income.

11
From the tables
  • Twins Partners correlated weakly on most traits
    but positive on some
  • Correlation between twin pair partners was not
    significant for BMI, height, and all personality
    scales, but there were small but significant
    correlations between twin pair partners for
    education, income, religiosity, attitudes, and
    age.
  • Tested to see if there was a difference between
    MZ and DZ partners, but there was none
    (correlation not higher in MZ)
  • indicates no significant genetic influence on
    mate choice

12
From the tables
  • Specifically for income and age, correlations
    between female MZ and DZ twin pair partners were
    highly significant and similar in size,
    indicating a genuine family environmental
    influence on womens mate choice for these traits
    even after controlling for assortative mating
  • There was no evidence for the sexual imprinting
    hypothesis.
  • A twin's spouse was much more similar to the twin
    and co-twin than the twin's opposite-sex parent.
  • For the heritability of each trait, twin pair
    correlations were significantly greater for MZ
    pairs than for DZ pairs

13
Discussion
  • Overall, found that genetic variation accounts
    for very little individual variation in human
    mate choice.
  • Twins partners correlated very little
  • Furthermore, there were no significant genetic
    effects on mate choice in either males or females
    for any individual trait.
  • it is remarkable that a choice behavior so
    central to individuals lives exhibits a
    near-zero genetic component
  • But choice of mate requires reciprocity

14
Discussion
  • One positive finding in the results is an
    influence of family environment on female mate
    choice in terms of the income and age of a
    partner
  • parental influence is expected to primarily
    involve pressure on a daughter to mate with
    successful man
  • There was little evidence for substantial
    familial effects on other aspects of mate choice.
  • Main conclusion Despite being one of the most
    important choices in human life, variation in
    partner choice followed no apparent order aside
    from a small family environmental influence on
    the age and income of females mate choices and
    the similarity of partners in some traits.

15
Improve Study
  • Study different traits pheromones, facial
    characteristics
  • Look at newlyweds and see if there is a
    difference
  • Done in Australia different environmental
    influences

16
References
  • http//www.britannica.com/EBchecked/topic/39494/as
    sortative-mating
  • http//blogs.discovermagazine.com/gnxp/2011/04/lov
    e-is-not-a-hardwired-battlefield/
  • http//www.jstor.org.pallas2.tcl.sc.edu/stable/10.
    1086/659629?SearchyessearchTextchoicesearchTe
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