If I had to think of one word that summed up the relationship I had and continue to have with my daughter — it would be laughter. I can’t think of any time we’ve been together when sooner or later we both didn’t start cracking up about something.
This particular characteristic of my relationship with my kid may turn up again — and apparently sooner than I think.
According to an article in Sciencedaily.com, women who enjoy good childhood relationships with their fathers are more likely to select partners who resemble their fathers. This according to a study conducted by a team of psychologists from Durham University’s Department of Psychology; that pointed out in contrast that women who have negative or less positive relationships with their dads were not attracted to men who looked like their male parents.
The results of the study — soon to be published in the July issue of Evolution and Human Behavior (www.elsevier.com), investigated evidence of parental sexual imprinting — that is — the sexual preference for individuals possessing parental characteristics, in women. The researchers at Durham University used facial measurements to give a clear view of how fathers’ facial features relate directly to the features of faces their daughters find attractive.
ScienceDaily.com points out that the study — supported by the Economic and Social Research Council and The Royal Society, is helping shed further light on how we choose partners and the impact of a parent’s role in this process, which until recently researchers believed to be a passive one. This latest research suggests that sexual imprinting is an active process which involves the relationship between the child and the adult upon whom they imprint. This reveals the importance of parental relationships in partner selection — which — according to the Durham University research — could move studies in areas like evolutionary biology, fertility and genetics a step forward and offer new insights in areas such as relationship counseling and psychology.
In fact, researchers are saying that the controlled results show for certain that the quality of a daughter’s relationship with her father has an impact on which she finds attractive. It shows our human brains don’t simply build prototypes of the ideal face based on those we see around us; rather they build them based on those to whom we have a strongly positive relationship.
I guess I should be flattered. Although if you listen to my wife she’ll tell you that one of me is “more than enough.” I think I’ll just stick with this study which apparently demonstrates that daughters who have very positive childhood relationships with their fathers choose men with similar central facial characteristics to their fathers.
Oh I see. My daughter’s future Prince Charming will just LOOK like me. Not necessarily ACT like me.
That’s a relief.
According to the Science Daily article, the Durham study used a sample of 49 daughters. Each chose the most attractive face from 15 distinct faces, whose ears, hair, neck, shoulders and clothing were not visible, removing any external influences which could potentially skew results. The male stimuli’s facial measurements were taken and compared with each daughter’s father’s measurements, so that the researchers knew which faces correlated most closely with the fathers’ faces.
The daughters were then asked to rate their paternal relationships looking at areas such as how much a father engaged in bringing up his daughter, how much leisure time he spent with her and how much emotional investment she received from him. These scores then made up an overall “positivity” score.
The daughter’s who ranked higher “positivity” scores based on father-related criteria had data that revealing distinct parallels between their father’s physical characteristics and their idea of who their future companions might look like.
Cool beans. So does the same criteria apply to sons?