AUG 20, 2017 11:33 AM PDT

Why are we attracted to people who resemble us?

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Have you ever seen two people walking along who you are sure are most definitely siblings because of how similar they look...and then they start kissing and you really hope they're not siblings? As weird as it seems, multiple studies have shown that we are drawn towards people who look like us for mates. For example, one study published in PLOS in 2013 found that subjects found their partner's face more attractive after it was digitally mixed with their own. This may sound surprising giving the well-known genetic detriments of reproducing with your relatives. So what, then, does explain the reasoning behind our attraction to people who have similar characteristics as ourselves?

One study published in PNAS from 2014 compared the genetic data for 862 older, married couples and found that the couples were more genetically similar than random, non-married pairs. While this suggests that you are likely to end up with someone who is somewhat genetically similar to you, another study hastens to point out that too much genetic similarity actually can make someone seem less attractive, and that the middle ground of genetic similarity usually seems the most attractive in a partner. Want to learn more about your unexplained crush on your look-alike? Watch the video!
About the Author
  • Kathryn is a curious world-traveller interested in the intersection between nature, culture, history, and people. She has worked for environmental education non-profits and is a Spanish/English interpreter.
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