Researchers have always wanted to know why tall individuals prefer to go for tall mates, researching into whether genetic or environmental factors determine the attractiveness between tall mates.
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A new study now delves into the reasons why people of height would go for potential tall mates, pointing out that genetic variations play more of a part in the choice of tall individuals to go for tall persons, rather than environmental factors.
In the research funded by the Medical Research Council, with The Roslin Institute Strategic Grant as well as the Medical Research Council Human Genetics Unit, the authors of the study recruited 13,068 genotyped couples to determine what influences the choice of tall mates in tall individuals – genes or the environment.
Using a mixed linear model, the researchers were able to show that within an independent dataset of 15,437 persons, genotype determines the choice of a partner’s height with 13% accuracy, which represents 64% of theoretical maximum obtainable with a missing heritability of 0.041.
Since understanding the physiological dynamics that determine mate choices in people influences the search for suitable mates of desired heights, researchers are convinced that genetic factors underlying this mechanism plays a role in the debate for missing heritability.
Judging by the commonness of tall couples, scientists do not want to believe that mere chance brings tall persons together and creates a love attraction that leads to marriage. Researchers believe there is an underlying biological process behind the attraction between tall mates, and that this biological process has sociological importance.
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Finally, the authors of the study were able to establish that genes determine an individual’s height, and that these same genes influence a tall individual’s preference for mates with tall heights – meaning that height is genetically determined with no input from the environment, and the same genes drives the choice for tall mates.