New Study Suggests We're Attracted to People Like Our Parents


I'm sure we've all heard at least one person say, "I married him because he's like my father." And I'm sure at that point of our lives, we laughed at that statement or pretended to fake vomit into an imaginary trashcan after the person was done talking.

But it turns out, we really do fall in love with people similar to our early caregivers. For people with nurturing parents, this means that they'll continue their cycle of security. And unfortunately, for people with bad parents, that means they'll like jerks and end up in the kind of toxic relationships that severely harm our mental health.

A new study published in the Evolution and Human Behavior stated that our parents influence who we find attractive when we are grown.

In the study, almost 800 straight women were told to look at different male body types and then asked to describe which bodies resembled their most recent partner, their ideal partner, and the shape of their father when they were children. 

The study found an association between the women's partner preferences and the look of their dad. The preference for their dad's bod increased based on how positive an influence he was in the women's lives. 

Vice said that the recent study added more information to the theory that heterosexual people's parents or early caregivers influence who they find attractive. 

"Humans, like many animals, go through a sexual “imprinting” process at a young age. During a critical period in development, we learn to associate the traits of our caregivers with those of a desirable mate. The classic demonstration of this idea, if you’ve ever taken an introductory psychology course, comes from the research of Konrad Lorenz, who demonstrated imprinting processes among baby geese," Vice stated.

Studies have shown that our parents influence our sexual preferences when it comes to body types, personality, age differences, and more. There's a reason the term "Daddy issues" and "Mommy issues" get thrown around so much when it comes to dating, and apparently it's a thing for, well, nearly everybody.