Receiving parental care is associated with increased attractiveness as a partner

Adults, who report having received higher levels of parental care in childhood, perceive themselves as more attractive mates. In particular, maternal care is associated with experienced mate value in adulthood.

Whereas earlier research has shown that fathers' investment in children is associated with and sexual behavior in daughters, a recent study from Åbo Akademi University, suggest that also mothers' investment is related to their children's attractiveness as mates in adulthood. Moreover, parental care influences mate value of both women and men.

In the study, adults were asked to report how much paternal care they have received from their mother and father during their childhood and also report how they viewed their attractiveness as romantic partners.

"These results are interesting because they show that not only variation in fathers' caretaking related to daughters' views on relationships. In fact, the behavior of mothers is at least equally important. Moreover, men's self-esteem as mates is also related to in childhood", says Postdoctoral Researcher in Psychology at Åbo Akademi University, Jan Antfolk.

"We hope future studies investigate the mechanisms behind the observed associations."

The study was conducted in Finland and included 1244 adults. The study was recently published in Personality and Individual Differences.

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More information: Jan Antfolk et al. High parental investment in childhood is associated with increased mate value in adulthood, Personality and Individual Differences (2018). DOI: 10.1016/j.paid.2018.02.004
Provided by Academy of Finland
Citation: Receiving parental care is associated with increased attractiveness as a partner (2018, February 19) retrieved 13 November 2019 from
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