10

votes

Attraction to opposite sex--Genetic diversity at play?

Asked on January 11, 2015
Created June 20, 2012 at 12:07 AM

I'm blond-haired, blue-eyed and fair-skinned (with freckles--ugh). I've noticed that over the years, while I find men with similar features attractive, I'm also very attracted to men with pale skin, dark (almost black) hair and brown or blue eyes. I've never been one to go for the tanned surfer guy or brawny muscle man look--if I had to choose, I'd pick Loki over Thor any day of the week. My long-time boyfriend actually falls into the latter category--light-skinned (not pale), dark brown hair and dark brown eyes with a heavy brow. And really tall. He looks nothing like my dad or male family members.

I've been wondering if, at some instinctual level, that it's beneficial to be attracted to someone who looks different than you? I'm aware that for most of mankind's history we stayed within the same tribe/group and general area. Since I'm sure they figured out early on that it ain't right to screw your relatives, they would have mixed with other groups. But wouldn't that produce a kind of homogeneity within the people in that vicinity?

F5a0ddffcf9ef5beca864050f090a790

(15515)

on June 22, 2012
at 03:49 AM

You watched it! Good for you!

Medium avatar

(4878)

on June 21, 2012
at 09:41 PM

Timing is right, love map in your brain, and you scan the room...yup..they're in...

B9a579a02921868db5098bfa99f8221c

(748)

on June 21, 2012
at 02:25 AM

i got an answer below that ties into pheromones and whatnot. if yuo remember more about the study im trying to remember, please chime in.

1edb06ded9ccf098a4517ca4a7a34ebc

(14952)

on June 20, 2012
at 10:36 PM

My impulse is to say that I'm more attracted to girls that resemble my background, but it's nearly impossible to say definitively without considering that persons personality and the physical/emotional dynamics of the relationship.

19acef0aed67ef8dc1118d8e74edb349

(2954)

on June 20, 2012
at 10:17 PM

I grew up in an island where 99.9% of people were white, no diversity whatsoever. I lke black and asian men the most, not really attracted to whites at all. So I don't know...

7bf306ada57db47547e9da39a415edf6

(11214)

on June 20, 2012
at 04:23 PM

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/26180187/wid/11915773?GT1=31036 An article that makes the point Stefanie made. They mention a study but don't appear to link to it.

1d0497f8781845ab371b479455bfee8e

(11157)

on June 20, 2012
at 11:02 AM

I dunno. But I'm all over Tom Hiddleston's interpretation of Loki :)

96440612cf0fcf366bf5ad8f776fca84

(19463)

on June 20, 2012
at 10:13 AM

Wasn't Loki supposed to have red hair, not black?

Cbc1f37f2b79b079b0de479d5365a231

(605)

on June 20, 2012
at 07:21 AM

I don't have a link but whether you're on the pill or not and/or what time of the month can have an affect on which men you feel attracted to.

9d43f6873107e17ca4d1a5055aa7a2ad

on June 20, 2012
at 04:47 AM

I'll take Loki and Thor plz. Thx.

B1859f696e88d25460a6b8a333412ea3

(837)

on June 20, 2012
at 04:22 AM

I seem to remember some muppets telling us what the internet is for! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cNARJPNz2CA

03a4ec34751186201a56da298ac843ce

(4100)

on June 20, 2012
at 04:02 AM

I type Anything into google and all I seem to get is porn!

Ce7e28769d92d5de5533e775b1de966e

on June 20, 2012
at 03:12 AM

Naw.. not me. I've always been an equal opportunity dater as attraction can be all sorts of things, not just appearance :) Note I had a date once with a ginger a couple of years ago and it was a weirdly giggly experience as that ginger kid South Park episode played through my head almost the whole time.

Ce7e28769d92d5de5533e775b1de966e

on June 20, 2012
at 03:10 AM

Naw.. not me. I've always been an equal opportunity dater as attraction can be all sorts of things, not just appearance-wise :) **Note** I had a date once with a ginger a couple of years ago and it was a weirdly giggly experience as that ginger kid South Park episode played through my head almost the whole time.

Ce7e28769d92d5de5533e775b1de966e

on June 20, 2012
at 02:18 AM

Naw.. not me. I've always been an equal opportunity dater. Definitely there are components such as a personality - which is huge, et al, but looks have never been a factor. **Note** I had a date once with a ginger a couple of years ago and it was a weirdly giggly experience as that ginger kid South Park episode played through my head almost the whole time.

Ce7e28769d92d5de5533e775b1de966e

on June 20, 2012
at 01:57 AM

Naw.. not me. I've always been an equal opportunity dater. Definitely there are components such as a personality, which is huge, et al, but looks have never been a factor. **Note** I had a date once with a ginger and it was a weirdly giggly experience as that ginger kid South Park episode played through my head almost the whole time.

Ce7e28769d92d5de5533e775b1de966e

on June 20, 2012
at 01:41 AM

Naw.. not me. Looks have never played a part in any relationship I've had or on any date I've been on. If a dude is cool, healthy and in good shape, has a good sense of humour, can actually hold a conversation, likes to cook or if not then is willing to be involved in the process, and is accepting of my nerdlinger ways - which includes comic books and sci-fi movies? Done and done. I am an equal opportunity dater. **Note** I had a date once with a ginger and it was a weirdly giggly experience as that ginger kid South Park episode played through my head almost the whole time.

Dbb8666905796a86f1dba08860555756

(97)

on June 20, 2012
at 01:39 AM

Love this interesting topic, and had to comment. I am a female, 5'7", with dark brown hair, dark brown eyes with a tan skin tone. I have always been attracted to the "tall, dark, and handsome type." I go for guys that are tall, and also have a dark complexion and dark hair, I don't mind blue eyes, but brown eyes are a plus! Hmm, this is starting to sound more like a dating add, lol! But, I guess my answer is that I go for guys with similar features as myself.

1edb06ded9ccf098a4517ca4a7a34ebc

(14952)

on June 20, 2012
at 01:17 AM

LOL. I guess it cuts both ways. my experience is the opposite of yours though. And I also have a cousin that is cute and I had a crush on her till I was 7. Then I found out it was socially unacceptable and was embarrassed about for nearly a year :/

1edb06ded9ccf098a4517ca4a7a34ebc

(14952)

on June 20, 2012
at 01:16 AM

LOL. I guess it cuts both ways. my experience is the opposite of yours though. And I also have a cousin that is cute and I had a crush on her till I was 7. Then I found out it was socially unacceptable and was embarrassed about for nearly a near :/

1edb06ded9ccf098a4517ca4a7a34ebc

(14952)

on June 20, 2012
at 01:16 AM

LOL. I guess it cuts both ways. my experience is the opposite of yours though. And I also have a cousin that is cute and I had a crush on her till I was 7. Then I found out it was socially unacceptable and was embarrassed about for nearly a near.

E8dd83fe24a0879d8b16ab4ca92b72dd

(1307)

on June 20, 2012
at 01:13 AM

I typed in "Redhead couples" into Google to try and find you an answer, but all I got was porn...maybe that's why you never see them?

1edb06ded9ccf098a4517ca4a7a34ebc

(14952)

on June 20, 2012
at 01:07 AM

Like you though, I did have a crush on my cousin until I was about 7 and found it was socially unacceptable :/

1edb06ded9ccf098a4517ca4a7a34ebc

(14952)

on June 20, 2012
at 01:06 AM

Ha. well I guess it cuts both ways, but I have the opposite experience that you do.

1d0497f8781845ab371b479455bfee8e

(11157)

on June 20, 2012
at 12:43 AM

http://phys.org/news162451924.html./

1d0497f8781845ab371b479455bfee8e

(11157)

on June 20, 2012
at 12:41 AM

Yeah, that doesn't seem to apply to me at all. Well, I do have a cousin that's *kinda* cute...lol

1edb06ded9ccf098a4517ca4a7a34ebc

(14952)

on June 20, 2012
at 12:37 AM

http://phys.org/news199509031.html

1edb06ded9ccf098a4517ca4a7a34ebc

(14952)

on June 20, 2012
at 12:29 AM

No, from everything I've heard, we tend to be attracted to those more similar than different to us. You are not an anomaly.

1407bd6152d9fdbc239250385159fea1

on June 20, 2012
at 12:26 AM

I feel like a "Human Sexuality" course from a college anthropology department might be helpful here.

1d0497f8781845ab371b479455bfee8e

(11157)

on June 20, 2012
at 12:19 AM

LOL! Well that's what I'm wondering. Seems like most evidence points to highest attraction amongst those with similar features. But I have a friend who's also blond, blue-eyed and fair-skinned, and she's also attracted to dark-haired guys.

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22 Answers

5
99ac392257e444e014be6d4da6a900e4

(1036)

on June 20, 2012
at 01:30 AM

I'm a fair skinned male who has always been attracted to darker complected girls. Usually blonde hair but recently I've been more attracted to more of an ethnic look and am currently dating an African American girl (she prefers 'black' because she's not from Africa). Anyway, we've had conversations about kids and I've always thought the most opposite physical features generally produce the most beautiful offspring. The further away two people's ancestors come from, the better. JMHO.

3
F5a0ddffcf9ef5beca864050f090a790

(15515)

on June 20, 2012
at 07:14 AM

Here is the link from my favorite anthropologist Helen Fisher. Please watch it:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KFmp3D1CZ14

On a personal note, I am attracted to all kinds of men, but especially to Dutch guys. It is a torture for me to go to Holland because I feel like I am surrounded by gorgeous men. They are just so unbelievably sexy! I feel bad even admitting it, but it is stronger than me. There is nothing I can do about it, just avoid going to Holland altogether.

I am Eastern European myself but I don't find Eastern European men very appealing. Not sure why. (The girls are nice-looking though).

F5a0ddffcf9ef5beca864050f090a790

(15515)

on June 22, 2012
at 03:49 AM

You watched it! Good for you!

Medium avatar

(4878)

on June 21, 2012
at 09:41 PM

Timing is right, love map in your brain, and you scan the room...yup..they're in...

3
E8dd83fe24a0879d8b16ab4ca92b72dd

(1307)

on June 20, 2012
at 12:32 AM

Every time I have dated a girl with similar features as mine: blonde hair, lighter skin, ect. It's lasted about a month. Red heads and dark hair, darker skinned girls? Actual relationships (as in longer than a week-month range). In all fairness though, I'm quite the handful, and so it could possibly be the blondes were smarter than society gives them credit for and got the hell out of Dodge as soon as they realized what a jackass I was. Paleo cures a lot of things, bad relationships NOT one of them.

2
B9a579a02921868db5098bfa99f8221c

on June 21, 2012
at 02:05 AM

A cool study i remember.

There were 6 men and 6 women. all reasonably young and single. each had their DNA tested. each were required to wear the same plain white undershirt each day for 5 days. no deodorants, no perfumes. they could shower each night, but only with unscented soap. at the end of the week, the shirts were gathered. each man was required to smell each females shirt and rank them most attractive to least attractive. Same for the women, with the mens shirts.

as is turned out, the rankings coincided with genetic difference. The men tended to prefer the shirt smell of the females who were the most genetically different from them. same with the women.

I wish i could remember where i saw it. i think it was explained on a science show i watched ages ago. So i cant really verify any of it properly, but still...

2
1407bd6152d9fdbc239250385159fea1

on June 20, 2012
at 12:17 AM

I have no idea as to the answer, but I find this question incredibly interesting. I'm a tall, olive-skinned guy with dark brown hair and green eyes who almost invariably finds light skin, hazel or brown eyes, and brown hair on a girl to be most attractive. I've never even dated a blonde girl, actually. Obviously my preferences aren't very different from my own features, so if your genetic diversity theory is correct, I'm an evolutionary screw up, hah.

1407bd6152d9fdbc239250385159fea1

on June 20, 2012
at 12:26 AM

I feel like a "Human Sexuality" course from a college anthropology department might be helpful here.

Dbb8666905796a86f1dba08860555756

(97)

on June 20, 2012
at 01:39 AM

Love this interesting topic, and had to comment. I am a female, 5'7", with dark brown hair, dark brown eyes with a tan skin tone. I have always been attracted to the "tall, dark, and handsome type." I go for guys that are tall, and also have a dark complexion and dark hair, I don't mind blue eyes, but brown eyes are a plus! Hmm, this is starting to sound more like a dating add, lol! But, I guess my answer is that I go for guys with similar features as myself.

1d0497f8781845ab371b479455bfee8e

(11157)

on June 20, 2012
at 12:19 AM

LOL! Well that's what I'm wondering. Seems like most evidence points to highest attraction amongst those with similar features. But I have a friend who's also blond, blue-eyed and fair-skinned, and she's also attracted to dark-haired guys.

1edb06ded9ccf098a4517ca4a7a34ebc

(14952)

on June 20, 2012
at 12:29 AM

No, from everything I've heard, we tend to be attracted to those more similar than different to us. You are not an anomaly.

1
8e10b687e328468783a72c55b64710e8

on June 20, 2012
at 10:09 PM

Opposites attract.

1
B279a288b31ad788132d6d415ff83ce0

on June 20, 2012
at 04:57 PM

I'm Ethiopian dark skin brown eyes 5'5 and though I think there is a ton of attractive Ethiopian men, I was also drawn to people who looked different to me from different cultures. My boyfriend of 7 years is 6'2 Irish/Swedish, and when he has his beard on I don't think I've ever seen anything sexier. So it seems to be true for me :)

1
79fc447191de75e7c178951594a43f13

(448)

on June 20, 2012
at 04:04 PM

There are two ways to go on this. First, genetic sexual attraction (look up the wikipedia article on it) implies that there is attraction to people who share your genes. The sexual attraction to close relatives only happens when they are raised apart. There is an aversion to have sex with someone one grew up with. The second is that mating instincts value mating with someone with a different major histocompatibility complex. MHC has to due with the immune system coding. That is, it benefits one's genes to create a copy with a different immune system.

1
De9cfdb47ff142453b62bc145e44f9c4

on June 20, 2012
at 04:02 PM

As far as things like hair and complextion I think those preferences are formed at an early age and influenced by those around us at the time that for whatever reason hold a sopecial place in our lives. It could be an older sibling, a teacher or baby-sitter that we held in high regard. At least that's the way my tendencies lean. Of course you could be right and those hard wired preferences were in place evan in my youth.

19acef0aed67ef8dc1118d8e74edb349

(2954)

on June 20, 2012
at 10:17 PM

I grew up in an island where 99.9% of people were white, no diversity whatsoever. I lke black and asian men the most, not really attracted to whites at all. So I don't know...

1
Medium avatar

(4878)

on June 20, 2012
at 05:47 AM

For me, cute doesn't come in a color and I've dated every color in the rainbow.

However, "cute" does come in a specific shape.

I'm not attracted to tall lean men, preferring the "thickish" rugby player over the tennis pro or ballroom dancer.

I've always jokingly told my friends that I have a preference for Neanderthals, so it wasn't surprising for me to learn I'm 3% Neanderthal. Maybe it IS in the genes?

1
C326acd0ae246a39c5685f2ba72e3136

on June 20, 2012
at 03:10 AM

I've never had a particular attraction to any specific type of " look ". I believe all ethnicities can definitely be beautiful. Hispanics,whites, African-Americans. I myself am an interesting mix. Costa-rican and German. I've been attracted to pale skinned blue eyes blondes as well as brunette's and red-heads.

1
26b0f1261d1a0d916825bd0deeb96a21

(5798)

on June 20, 2012
at 02:30 AM

I'm 5'3, with freckles and green eyes, and my husband is 6'4, olive-skinned, with dark hair and brown eyes. We will have some interesting mutt kids :)

0
Bdc6244bdbd664d2168a8e326018ffbe

(431)

on June 21, 2012
at 03:01 PM

I'm definitely attracted to people that look different from me, but I feel like this was in part a learned response to who I myself attract! So who knows. I'm blue-eyed and blonde, and I disproportionately attract for whatever reason non-native born Americans. I'm in general attracted to darker-skinned men.

0
Cf4e7d927a48582cc22adbe59bfd0b2d

on June 21, 2012
at 12:21 PM

Ohhh, boys who speak Finnish and like Folk music... With bronze skin and ash-blond hair... And a strong, Swede-nose

0
Ba09704971e33481f5716c4790648966

(1794)

on June 21, 2012
at 02:44 AM

I'm attracted to women that are attractive and look like they want to have my babies.

0
E2123e1da4ccbe211c9cbd82356fe4bc

on June 21, 2012
at 12:36 AM

For some reason I seem to be attracted to the French.

0
0d0842381492a41b2173a04014aae810

(4875)

on June 20, 2012
at 06:11 PM

I'm going to opt for a nurture over nature perspective on this one.

I think we all have an idyllic vision of a partner - which I have noticed that as I get older and more experienced with relationships has shifted to include more and more aspects of personality, demeanor, thinking style, and depth of character. Nonetheless I don't think it uncommon to have a vague (or not so) physical profile that seems to repeatedly stand out to a person.

Despite that, I'd argue that is NOT genetically predetermined; as Paleoplegic said, I think it is probably learned from those that love us and that we can depend on in our early years - our earliest definitions of "attraction."

I'm not sure where exactly I met my first fair-skinned, black-haired female, but she certainly stuck...

0
Aaf41dd75cc92e2921d0dbdb15bb100a

on June 20, 2012
at 05:06 AM

Yes, it's pretty common. Also I've read recently that more stressed individuals tend to select more dissimilar couples, while non-struggling ones select people more alike to them.

0
03a4ec34751186201a56da298ac843ce

on June 20, 2012
at 04:04 AM

Well, I am not just attracted to features per se, but how the personality comes through those features. If you have ever seen an actor play twins with different personalities, you know what I mean. You could take a handsome guy, and if he looks nasty and scowling I am not going to be attracted. Take a handsome guy who is smiling or looking intense and I go for that.

0
4b05d725a8332e8e917a4ca58b6e8a1e

(1239)

on June 20, 2012
at 02:49 AM

I'm a small, light-haired, fair, blue-eyed Swede and I married a super buff Korean. The people I've dated have been all over the map appearance-wise, but just about every single one that I had a meaningful relationship with has been exceptionally intelligent and very into physical fitness. I guess I'm more attracted to broad shoulders, abs, and brains than any particular eye color. ;)

0
F9638b939a6f85d67f60065677193cad

(4266)

on June 20, 2012
at 01:48 AM

I can appreciate the beauty of lots of different kinds of men. I think some African American men are the most beautiful of all (like our downstairs tenant with his slightly graying 3 foot long dread locks, oh man is he beautiful). I always end up with really dorky men. I don't think I've ever been with a really good looking man. It's always men I hardly find physically attractive at all. One had really short arms and legs and walked annoyingly on his tip-toes. One I was attracted to was a dwarf. My current BF is an old man, kind of short, with silver hair, a beard and a small belly, looks like some random guy who works in an office. Usually they have other qualities I like better than appearance.

0
782d92f4127823bdfb2ddfcbcf961d0e

on June 20, 2012
at 12:37 AM

I've heard, although perhaps I'm wrong, that people with similar coloring tend to be attracted to one another. Except for redheads. There don't appear to be many redhead couples that I've seen but gingers aren't very common either. Don't know why that is though.

B1859f696e88d25460a6b8a333412ea3

(837)

on June 20, 2012
at 04:22 AM

I seem to remember some muppets telling us what the internet is for! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cNARJPNz2CA

E8dd83fe24a0879d8b16ab4ca92b72dd

(1307)

on June 20, 2012
at 01:13 AM

I typed in "Redhead couples" into Google to try and find you an answer, but all I got was porn...maybe that's why you never see them?

03a4ec34751186201a56da298ac843ce

(4100)

on June 20, 2012
at 04:02 AM

I type Anything into google and all I seem to get is porn!

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