From “What Can Twins Tell Us About Mate Choice?” (ScienceDaily, Apr. 26, 2011), we learn:
What factors influence our choice of a mate? Is it our genes? Does a man look for someone like his mother and a woman someone her father? None of the above, according to a study of Australian twins.
Body size, personality, age, social attitudes, and religiosity played little role in identical twins’ choice, but get this:
A twin’s spouse was much more similar to the twin and co-twin than the twin’s opposite-sex parent.
That suggests that the strong influence is actually the family environment. The identical twin would be more highly motivated than most people to seek out someone who is “like me.” Singletons consider ourselves lucky to get “someone who understands me.”
Twin studies should be taken with a gallon of salt anyway:
Natalie Angier, reviewing Lawrence Wright’s Twins and What They Tell Us About Who We Are (1998) for the New York Times, notes: The stories fed to a fascinated public are rife with tales of reunited twins,like the famous cases of James Lewis and James Springer, who had each married and divorced women named Linda and then remarried women named Betty. . . . What the public doesn’t hear of are the many discrepancies between the twins. I know of two cases in which television producers tried to do documentaries about identical twins reared apart, but then found the twins so distinctive in personal style—one talky and outgoing, the other shy and insecure—that the shows collapsed of their own unpersuasiveness. – The Spiritual Brain: A neuroscientist’s case for the existence of the soul., (p. 53)
And we all see documentaries that collapsed and were deemed unshootable every single day, right?
Thought for the day: What if, instead of seeing all the “Darwin was right” and “you are your neurons” documentaries that got aired, we also saw the ones that collapsed, the ones that just could not be put over on the public?