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Thank your gender-stereotypic genes for speed-dating success

Thank your gender-stereotypic genes for speed-dating success
Noreen and her husband Raja (R) stand on the roof of a destoyed house in the Meera Tanolian refugee camp on the hills near the earthquake-devastated city of Muzaffarabad in Pakistan-administered Kashmir January 24, 2006. Noreen, a 29-year-old mother of eight, is one of countless women in northern Pakistan whose lives were turned upside down by the October 8 earthquake that killed more than 73,000 people and left three million homeless. With many men out of work and their families destitute, some women have broken with tradition and found a job. Picture taken January 24, 2006. REUTERS/Yannis Behrakis

Washington: Your gender-stereotypic genes may be giving you a leg up in dating, according to a recent study.

The University of California study found that your success at speed-dating might be influenced by your genetic make-up and your potential partner’s ability to detect so-called “good genes” or genetic fitness.

The research team found that participants, who were more likely to be asked on a second date had genotypes consistent with personal traits that people often desire in a romantic partner – social dominance/leadership in men, social sensitivity/submissiveness in women.

Study leader Karen Wu’s team recruited 262 single Asian Americans to have three-minute dates with members of the opposite sex. After each speed-date, participants were asked whether or not they wanted to offer their partner a second date, and how desirable they found the person as a romantic partner. Participants were notified of a “match” (and thus obtained each other’s contact information) only if they both offered each other another date.

When examining the DNA samples collected from participants, the researchers focused on two different genes that were previously linked to social dynamics – the 1438 A/G polymorphism and the A118G polymorphism.

“These results suggest that personal attributes corresponding to A118G and 1438 A/G can be detected in brief social interactions, and that having a specific genetic variant or not plays a tangible role in dating success,” said Wu. “This highlights the importance of the opioid and serotonergic systems to human mate selection, particularly their potential to enhance or dampen one’s allure to potential partners.”

She believes that this genetic effect could extend beyond romantic attraction to other social situations, such as job interviews.

The study appears in Springer’s journal Human Nature (ANI)