Why women get attracted to men who look like their father

September 23rd, 2010 - 3:10 pm ICT by ANI  

London, Sep 23 (ANI): All of us have at some point heard someone saying that girls fall for men who look like their fathers, and now an expert has explained why this happens.

Professor David Perrett, of the University of St Andrews, said that the characteristics of our parents are imprinted in our minds as children, so that we remember and recognise our parents from a very early age.

This is a result of observing our families at close quarters and is seen in other mammals, reports the Daily Mail.

But it seems these ‘remembered’ characteristics do go on to influence who we find attractive in later life.

The researchers conducted a large-scale survey, asking 300 men and 400 women (all of whom were in a relationship and who had been brought up by two parents) about their hair and eye colour, as well as that of their partner and their parents.

From this information, they found that the main predictor for the choice of a partner’s eye and hair colour - for men and women - was the eye and hair colour of the parent of the opposite sex.

Your own hair and eye colour, or those of the parent of the same sex, were far less important, this means that if a man has a blonde, blue-eyed mother, he is quite likely to choose a blonde, blue-eyed partner.

If a woman’s father has dark hair and dark eyes, her partner is likely to have a similar appearance.

But it’s not just our parents’ colouring that affects the partners we choose in later life - it’s their facial features as well.

Researchers at the University of Pecs, Hungary, compared individual photographs of young, married couples with individual photographs of their parents at a similar age to them.

Participants in the study were asked to match up the newlyweds, and then pick out the couples’ parents.

The researchers noted that the participants identified a distinct facial resemblance between the young newlyweds.

We’ve often found that people pick out someone of a similar level of attractiveness to themselves when offered a series of faces to pick from.

This appeared to be one of the subconscious ‘rules’ people used when matching up the couples in this study.

Then there were similarities in face shape; people paired up couples with matching features. Of most interest, however, was the similarity between a young man’s partner and his mother.

Again, observers found it surprisingly easy to match up the pictures of a man’s mother with the pictures of the man’s wife.

Equally, in a separate study, it was found that young women’s fathers looked very similar to the men they married.

However, the participants of the study could not match the men’s fathers to the men’s partners - which proves that we don’t like faces simply because they resemble familiar family members.

We tend to be attracted to people who resemble our opposite sex parent.

This is particularly the case when people have had a good relationship with the parent in question - and such an inclination could be because we want to replicate that good experience in our romantic relationships. (ANI)

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