Turns out your genes are responsible behind your success or failure at speed dating. Your chances are also dependent on your potential partner’s ability to detect them, finds a new University of California study.
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 added.
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.
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