Opposites Really Do Attract

May 26, 2009

A new study has found that when it comes to finding a partner, opposites really do attract.

The Brazilian study compared the genetic makeup of 90 married couples with that of 152 randomly generated “virtual” couples and discovered that humans are programmed to seek out lovers who have a contrasting genetic makeup. . Scientists found that the married couples had key differences in their immune system called the "major histocompatibility complex" (MHC) from the virtual couples. MHC is “a large genetic region situated on chromosome 6 and found in most vertebrates [which] plays an important role in the immune system and also in reproductive success.”

Professor Maria da Graca Bicalho, of the University of Parana, Brazil, said:

Although it may be tempting to think that humans choose their partners because of their similarities, our research has shown clearly that it is differences that make for successful reproduction and that the subconscious drive to have healthy children is important when choosing a mate. We believe our research shows that this has an important role to play in ensuring healthy reproduction, by helping to ensure that children are born with a strong immune system better able to cope with infection.

I guess Paula Abdul was right.

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Source: Jamie Grill/Iconica/Getty Images

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