SALT LAKE CITY - People are more likely to seek a spouse with similar DNA, a new study says.
The study, which surveyed white married couples in the U.S., concluded spouses are more likely to have similar DNA than a two people who have never met.
Benjamin Domingue, research associate at the University of Colorado Boulder, led the study.
"It's well known that people marry folks who are like them," Domingue said. "But there's been a question about whether we mate at random with respect to genetics."
Previous studies have indicated that people choose mates based on race, body type and education.
"The researchers examined the genomes of 825 non-Hispanic white American couples," according to a Be Boulder news release from the University of Colorado. "They looked specifically at single-nucleotide polymorphisms, which are places in their DNA that are known to commonly differ among humans."
Couples are still one-third more likely to marry someone with the same education level, than someone with similar DNA.
Neil Risch, director of the Center for Human Genetics at the University of California, San Francisco, told Web M.D. the study is flawed. He pointed out that in ethnically and geographically structured populations, the likelihood of people marrying those of similar racial backgrounds was high.
"This would lead to significant correlations for genetic factors differentiating these ethnic groups, but has nothing to do with any traits or characteristics which underlie mate choice," he said. "It may be simply more an issue of local geography."