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Does parental similarity degree affect the development of their offspring?

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KONÍKOVÁ Linda KRÁLÍK Miroslav KLÍMA Ondřej ČUTA Martin

Year of publication 2022
Type Article in Periodical
Magazine / Source Anthropologia Integra
MU Faculty or unit

Faculty of Science

Keywords assortative mating; non-random mating; mate choice; preferences; similarity; human face; growth curve; offspring
Description Similarity in facial and other physical characteristics has been recognized as one aspect of reproductive mate choice in humans. Despite the fact that parental similarity degree may affect offspring already in the early stages of their prenatal development, just a very few empirical studies have focused on the consequences of this non-random process so far. This study included three goals: (1) to test the hypothesis of body assortative mating in humans, (2) to find a relationship between physical similarity of parents and the growth curves of their offspring and (3) to find out how parental similarity affects the growth of offspring. Therefore, the similarities of parents in physical features were analysed in relation to the descriptors of the growth curves of their offspring (n = 184 mother-father-child triads from the Brno Growth Study database). In comparison to randomly generated pairs, real partners were not more similar to each other in any of the observed trait. However, some physical features correlated (mostly positively) between partners. Relationships between physical similarity of parents and the descriptors of the growth curves of their offspring were found. However, parental similarity in various features affected the growth of their offspring differently.
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