Blue Eyed Men Prefer Blue Eyes

Natural selection gave blue eyed men a preference for blue eyed women.

Blue eyed partners will almost always have blue eyed children – the gene for blue eyes is recessive to brown, which means that is a blue eyed man and a blue eyed woman have a brown eyed child, there has probably been some infidelity, and the child is likely not his.

Eighty-eight male and female students were asked to rate facial attractiveness of models on a computer. The pictures were close-ups of young adult faces, unfamiliar to the participants. The eye color of each model was manipulated, so that for each model’s face two versions were shown, one with the natural eye color (blue/brown) and another with the other color (brown/blue). The participants’ own eye color was noted.

Both blue-eyed and brown-eyed women showed no difference in their preferences for male models of either eye color. Similarly, brown-eyed men showed no preference for either blue-eyed or brown-eyed female models. However, blue-eyed men rated blue-eyed female models as more attractive than brown-eyed models.

That may mean there is a place or set of places in the genome where genetic variations give some of us our pronounced preference for blue eyes.

In a second study, a group of 443 young adults of both sexes and different eye colors were asked to report the eye color of their romantic partners. Blue-eyed men were the group with the largest proportion of partners of the same eye color.

According to Bruno Laeng and colleagues, “It is remarkable that blue-eyed men showed such a clear preference for women with the same eye color, given that the present experiment did not request participants to choose prospective sexual mates, but only to provide their aesthetic or attractiveness responses…based on face close-up photographs.”

“Blue-eyed men may have unconsciously learned to value a physical trait that can facilitate recognition of own kin.”

So there you go!

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