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Birds Of A Feather…Stick Together

Assortative Mating: Too Much Of A Good Thing?

Why is it that the rich just keep getting richer? It seems like only the wealthy marry those whom they share summer cottages with when they summer in the South of France. They do not typically sway to the down on his luck cashier or sandwich artist. There actually is a term for people that marry individuals that share similar wealth, prestige, and genetic markers. Assortative Mating is the name of the game. Those with similar attributes tend to gravitate towards each other to create optimal mating situations. However, we need more negative assortative mating to keep our world to keep social mobility in motion. Here is an info-graphic to illustrate my meaning.

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People that run in the same circles in the corporate world are bound to fall for each other. Two high-powered, career-focused, like-minded individuals have a lot in common and typically end up together. But where does that leave the low-income individuals? I will tell you, in a perpetual state of poverty. With assortative mating there is an uptick in wealth inequality because everyone with money is marrying other people with money and not just randomly falling for someone that is maybe a lower income level than they are. I am not saying that all rich people should marry all poor people but there needs to be some diversity. The bright side of assortative mating is that it can produce and nurture high quality offspring with many talents. For example, two basketball stars will most likely produce a tall and able bodied spawn. Or, two brilliant minds will hopefully create a brilliant minded child. There is a good side to all of this, I promise.

“The problem with the gene pool is that there’s no lifeguard.” — David Gerrold

Gerrold has a point, if there is no guidance as to who to date or mate then we could end up in a sea of trouble. Another form of assortative dating is not just in the wealthy circles. The film idiocracy features the world where the uneducated keep making babies and then we create a world of idiots with no wealth or knowledge. Yes, this is just a fictional film that is an exaggeration of what COULD happen. This is where assortative mating is a bad thing. There needs to be random mating to keep the gene pools diverse. That is where online dating can come into play. You can still be matched with people that have similar morals and values but it is much more random and your chance of mating with someone that is outside of your “circle” is much greater.

For those that choose partners based on genetic phenotypes, there could be less room for love.

First of all, what is a genetic phenotype? Simply put, a genetic phenotype is a physical attribute of a human being that can be identified without the help of a microscope such as but not limited to: skin color, eye color, height, and weight. In the case of assortative mating, individuals are choosing spouses based on their similar nature to themselves. The beautiful and wealthy are marrying the beautiful and wealthy. One factor in this is the environment, they chose what they know. And, another factor in assortative mating is family pressure. Marrying someone that makes less than you or that is less notable is frowned upon in some family circles.

All in all assortative mating is not a huge issue, yet. If people continue to randomly date and reproduce randomly as well we will not end up with a superior race of wealthy or superior race of idiocy. It is natural to date who and what we know to be familiar. Sometimes religion also limits our dating pool because certain religions forbid dating outside the faith. Some are more lenient than others but overall it is mostly frowned upon. With that being said, how can we learn to accept and love all people if we are limited to who we can choose from? Everyone should be your dating pool, not just your race or your faith. Dating sites that target certain demographics are adding to the problem of assortative mating. This creates an easy way to filter out the idea of “random” dating.

Hily promotes dating all people and we want to unite two people that genuinely love one another no matter what background they possess.

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The smartest dating app there is, Hily caters to those tired of endless swiping. On Medium we're gladly sharing our expertise in dating.

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