Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Physical attraction linked to genes that control height

Our choice of romantic partner can be determined by genetics more than we might expect, a study suggests.

Researchers have discovered that the genes that determine our height also influence why people are attracted to partners of similar heights to themselves. 
The findings help to explain why people choose partners of similar height to themselves.
Scientists at the University of Edinburgh's Roslin Institute and MRC Human Genetics Unit analysed genetic information from more than 13,000 heterosexual couples.
They found that 89 per cent of the genetic variation that determines a person's height also influences their height preference in a mate.
By analysing the genetic information that determines a person's height, researchers say they can predict the height of that person's partner with 13% accuracy.
The study used data from participants in the UK Biobank, a major genetic study into the role of nature and nurture in health and disease. 
It is published in the journal Genome Biology and was funded by the Medical Research Council and the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council.
Dr Albert Tenesa, who led the study, said: "How we choose our partners has important biological implications for human populations. This study brings us closer to understanding the complex nature of sexual attraction and the mechanisms that drive human variation."


Wednesday, January 6, 2016

Working too much doesn't affect your relationship


Traditionally we have been told that the longer you work, the harder it is to maintain romantic relations. However, a new study from the journal Human Relations, published by SAGE in partnership with The Tavistock Institute, has found the opposite: that there is in fact no negative association between the hours worked and relationship satisfaction. 
In the study 285 couples took part to determine the effect of working hours on relationships. As the researchers explain: 
"Conventional wisdom and research seem to suggest that partners in dual career-couples have to decide whether they would rather risk their careers or their romantic relationship [...] Our research questions the assumption that working longer hours is hazardous for all romantic relationships."
"Our study attempts to help answer the question of whether dual-career couples [relationships where both partners pursue their careers] should be hesitant to devote many hours to their work when they fear negative relationship consequences", the researchers continue. 
By examining the associations between participants working time, private lives and happiness in their respective relationships, the researchers found that couples compensated for the time lost with their partners by making the most of time they have after work. 
The researchers explain how career driven people who are investing long hours into work, crucial in the pursuit of their career goals, are also aware that they can't have everything in their private lives. 
As the researchers conclude: 
"[...] there was no negative association between working time and relationship satisfaction [...] Our results challenge the common-sense assumption about a negative association between working time and relationship outcomes."
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The article "The longer your work hours, the worse your relationship? The role of selective optimization with compensation in the associations of working time with relationship satisfaction and self-disclosure in dual-career couples" by Dana Unger, Sabine Sonnentag, Cornelia Niessen Friedrich-Alexander and Angela Kuonath Ludwig Maximilian, published in Human Relations, will be free to access for a limited time and can be read here.