I have one more twin study here, Lykken and Tellegen (which coincidentally opens with the same Pascal quote as this post).
This experiment has an interesting design – they ask dizygotic and monozygotic twins to rate how attracted they are to their co-twin’s spouse!
Here they’re able to get some more immediately visual data – preferences like tall/short, long-hair/short-hair, beards/clean-shaven, even big-breasts/small-breasts.
They find…well, some things come out heritable, but the confidence intervals are really wide.
(this is starting to get kind of depressing) They investigate this hypothesis in a followup study where they directly ask twins about their preferences for an ideal mate.
They were analyzing a bunch of data from a big Australian survey of twins.
This included the twins, the twins’ family, and the twins’ mates “height, BMI, age, education, income, personality, social attitudes, and religiosity”, which were the dimensions along which they tried to predict mate choice.
The authors took a different tactic and pointed out that most of us don’t marry the first person we have a crush on, or even the second or third.
Sometimes we marry the tenth person we really like, sometimes we settle for people we only like a little, and sometimes we get drunk, have sex in a cheap motel, and have the person’s parent threaten us with a shotgun unless we go to the chapel right now.