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June 13, 2003

Love thyself

A few years back a study indicating that people are attracted to faces like their own came out. One thing that I neglected to mention when I blogged this last was the following:

What Perrett found was students who were born when their parents were older than 30 overwhelmingly preferred older faces. Students whose parents were younger when they were born selected younger faces as more attractive.

Those with older parents, Perrett said, "were less impressed by youth."

Perrett's colleague Anthony Little, also of St. Andrews University, has since followed up with another study looking at hair and eye color. His results show that people generally prefer faces with the same eye and hair color as their parent of the opposite sex (as in a woman's father or a man's mother).

The implication of the last finding for interracial relationships and children of mixed heritage is intriguing. Since most Asian-white relationships in the United States are female-male respectively, it would be interesting to see the pattern of spousal choice of men and women of biracial origin. The above results indicate that Eurasian women in the United States should prefer white men while Eurasian men should prefer Asian women as partners. It would probably be best to look at Hawaii to see if there is a pattern since the racial mix there is balanced enough that there is a wide choice of spouses.

Posted by razib at 12:50 AM