Friday, April 13, 2007

Narcissism guides mate selection

Narcissism guides mate selection: Humans mate assortatively, as
revealed by facial resemblance, following an algorithm of “self seeking like"

Liliana Alvarez, Universidad Simón Bolívar, Caracas, Venezuela. Email:

Abstract: Theoretical studies suggest that mating and pair formation is not likely to be random. Computer simulations suggested that sex among genetically complex organisms requires mate choice strategies for its evolutionary maintenance, to reduce excessive genetic variance produced by out-crossing. One strategy achieving this aim efficiently in computer simulations is assortative mating modeled as “self seeking like”. Another one is selection of “good genes”. Assortative mating increases the probability of finding a genetically similar mate, without fomenting inbreeding, achieving assortative mating without hindering the working of other mate selection strategies which aim to maximize the search for “good genes”, optimizing the working of sex in evolutionary terms. Here we present indirect evidence that in a significant proportion of human reproductive couples, the partners show much higher facial resemblances than can be expected by random pair formation, or as the outcome of “matching for attractiveness” or the outcome of competition for the most attractive partner accessible, as had been previously assumed. The data presented is compatible with the hypothesis derived from computer simulations, that human mate selection strategies achieve various aims: “self seeking like” (including matching for attractiveness) and mating with the best available genes.

Full text available @