Are We Sexually Attracted To People Who Remind Us Of Our Parents?

Research across various animal species suggests that early caregiving experiences shape patterns of sexual attraction later in life. For instance, if you ever took an Introductory Psychology course, you probably learned how Konrad Lorenz discovered that baby geese would “imprint” on the first moving object they saw shortly after birth, meaning they treated that object as if it were their mother.1 As evidence of this, perhaps your professor showed you some adorable photos of Lorenz being trailed by a gaggle of geese who had imprinted on him. Even more fascinating, however, is that as adults, these geese would attempt to mate with human men that physically resembled Lorenz (i.e., White dudes with big white beards)! So do similar effects occur among humans? Are we sexually attracted to people who physically resemble our early caretakers? According to a new study published in the Journal of Research in Personality, the answer appears to be yes.
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