Testing the prediction from sexual selection of a positive genetic correlation between human mate preferences and corresponding traits

C.J.H. Verweij, A.V. Burri, B.P. Zietsch

Research output: Contribution to JournalArticleAcademicpeer-review

Abstract

Sexual selection can cause evolution in traits that affect mating success, and it has thus been implicated in the evolution of human physical and behavioural traits that influence attractiveness. We use a large sample of identical and nonidentical female twins to test the prediction from mate choice models that a trait under sexual selection will be positively genetically correlated with preference for that trait. Six of the eight preferences we investigated, i.e. height, hair colour, intelligence, creativity, exciting personality, and religiosity, exhibited significant positive genetic correlations with the corresponding traits, while the personality measures 'easy going' and 'kind and understanding' exhibited no phenotypic or genetic correlation between preference and trait. The positive results provide important evidence consistent with the involvement of sexual selection in the evolution of these human traits.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)497-501
JournalEvolution and Human Behavior
Volume35
Issue number6
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2014

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