In a previous post, I talked about the genetic similarities in couples regarding alcohol consumption.
I received lots of comment (thank you!) and people start asking me if among a couple there are also other genetic similarities. So, I decided to look into the scientific literature and came out with an answer: yes, there are!
Let me elaborate.
An old paper by Mascie-Taylor (1989) suggested that the two components of a couple share similar IQ scores and personality traits. These similarities didn’t occur during marriage, but were already there, suggesting that people with a similar genetics tend to form a couple.
Some years later, Feng and Baker studied the spouse similarity in attitudes, personality and psychological well-being. Their data show a low correlation for personality and psychological well-being, but a high correlation for attitudes. Researchers studied four possible causes for these similarities: initial similarity, attrition, convergence and age covariation. Results show that initial similarity is the justification for the observed spouse similarity.
Last year, Wu and collaborators published a paper in which they studied 587 married couples and their children. Their data show that couple similarities are associated with couple’s life satisfaction and on their children’s well-being. Their results support the evolutionary perspective that positive assortment can enhance reproductive fitness.
To conclude, last year Stravrova published a study indicating that having a happy spouse is associated with lowered risk of mortality. The researcher studied 4374 elderly couples for 8 years, investigating their socioeconomic situation, sociodemographic characteristics and health. Results show that having a happy spouse is associated with a longer marriage and a longer life.
The take home message is:
trust your genes. They know what is best for you.
Feng and Baker, “Spouse similarity in attitudes, personality, and psychological well-being”, (1994), http://DOI https://doi.org/10.1007/BF01067537
Mascie-Taylor, “Spouse similarity for IQ and personality and convergence”, (1989), https://doi.org/10.1007/BF01065906
Stravrova, “Having a Happy Spouse Is Associated With Lowered Risk of Mortality”, (2019), https://doi.org/10.1177/0956797619835147
Wu et al., “Couple Similarity on Personality, Moral Identity and Spirituality Predict Life Satisfaction of Spouses and Their Offspring”, (2019), https://doi.org/10.1007/s10902-019-00108-8