Partner choice 'down to preference, not genes'

A person's choice of partner is down to preference, rather than his or her genes, a new study - carried out by researchers from the University of Queensland - has suggested.

The investigators wanted to consider which factors influence a man or woman's choice of mate.

They discovered that for traits such as body size, personality, social attitudes, age and religion, identical twins did not tend to have similar lovers.

According to the team, the findings show that genes do not have much direct influence on who a person chooses for a partner.

The investigation also looked at whether people tend to end up in relationships with those who have traits similar to their opposite-sex parent - but this was disproven as well.

Dr Cecilia d'Felice, Chartered Psychologist and author of 21 Days to a New You, said: "We see in our partners what we know, so it is natural that we often observe those characteristics most familiar to us. We also, however, see in our partners unique qualities that are not familiar to us, which keep the relationship alive with possibility, adventure and challenge."

"These individual preferences reflect our freedom to choose who we love, creating the opportunity for growth and development which are the hallmarks of a happy and healthy union."

"This finding may come as a relief to those of us who like to believe that love is a wonderful mystery, blind to everything except the divine spark that ignites and brings two people together to make a uniquely special life all their own."

A recent study carried out by Sarah Anderson, Assistant Professor of Epidemiology at Ohio State University and Robert Whitaker, Professor of Public Health and Paediatrics at Temple University found that obesity levels in children can be affected by their relationship with their parents.

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