Why Women Date Men Who Look Like Their Brothers

It’s not as gross as it sounds.

couple in love_women date men who look like their brothers photo credit: shutterstock

Remember how weird it was when your brother first started dating? After all, who would want to date your brother?

According to a new study from a British university, it turns out you and your brother’s girlfriends have very similar taste in men.

In fact, heterosexual women are more likely to date someone who looks like their brother, suggests the results of a study published in the Evolution and Human Behaviour Journal.

“There was clear evidence for perceptual similarity in facial photographs of a woman’s partner and her brother,” the researchers report.

What this really means

Participants in the study were given a form with two columns. One column had the photo of a woman’s brother. The other column had four photos: a photo of a woman’s partner and three photos of random men. They were asked which man on the second column looked most like the man in the first column.

Of course, there was a one-in-four chance of picking the woman’s partner. Taking these variables and raw data into consideration, 27 percent of the time, the participants still thought that the woman’s partner looked most like the woman’s brother.

Throughout the study, the participants didn’t know the relationship between the men in all five photos.

“[Our findings] were not a rule or true of every woman but we do find that, at levels greater than chance, partners did show some subtle resemblance to the women’s brothers,” the study’s lead researcher Tamsin Saxton told The Independent. The reason: It might be familiarity playing a role here. But it’s inconclusive.

While it might gross you out, this is not as weird as you think. Psychologists have long believed that women are sexually attracted to men who resemble fathers. Similarly, past studies found that people are attracted to other people who look like themselves.

It kind of makes sense. After all, you’re very beautiful.