Parents influence sexual attraction to natural and cultural traits

We have analyzed data from the “Sexual Preferences Survey” we have been running in Sweden, studying whether sexual attraction to  a variety of traits, such as mustache, eye colour, stature, long nails, and tattoos, is influenced by the presence of these traits in one’s parents. Results show an association between maternal traits and sexual attraction to these traits in a partner among heterosexual males, and an association between paternal traits and attraction to these traits in a partner among heterosexual women. This result indicates that mothers influence their sons idea of what is sexually attractive, while fathers influence their daughters. Such parental influences may reflect early learning of sexual preferences, although alternative explanations, such as genetically inherited preferences, cannot be entirely ruled out for all traits. Results are published as part of the Doctoral thesis “On Sexual Imprinting in Humans” at Stockholm University.

Föräldern av motsatt kön påverkar den sexuella attraktionen till flera olika naturliga och kulturella utseendedrag

Vi har nu analyserat data från “Enkät om sexuella preferenser”. Sambandet mellan flera olika utseendedrag hos föräldrarna, såsom mustasch, ögonfärg, längd, långa naglar och tatueringar, och sexuell attraktion till dessa drag hos en partner analyserades. Resultatet visade på ett samband mellan mammans utseendedrag och sexuell attraktion till dessa drag hos en partner bland heterosexuella män, och ett samband mellan pappans utseendedrag och sexuell attraktion till dessa drag hos en partner bland heterosexuella kvinnor.  Detta tyder på att mamman påverkar vad deras söner uppfattar som sexuellt attraktivt, och att pappan påverkar vad deras döttrar uppfattar som sexuellt attraktivt. Det är möjligt att denna påverkan reflekterar tidig inlärning av sexuella preferenser. Alternativa förklaringar, såsom genetiskt nedärvda preferenser, är dock svåra att utesluta helt. Resultaten publiceras som en del av doktorsavhandlingen “On Sexual Imprinting in Humans” (“Sexuell prägling hos människan”) vid Stockholms universitet.

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Parents with glasses inhibit sexual preferences for glasses

Data collected for the study of a sexual preference for glasses have been analysed. We find that parents influence negatively one’s attraction to glasses. That is, individuals whose parents wore glasses are, on average, less attracted to partners with glasses than individuals whose parents did not wear glasses. Results indicate that it is the parent of the sex one is not attracted to that is responsible for the negative effect. For example, we see that heterosexual males (from whom we got the most data) are less attracted to glasses if their father wore glasses during their childhood.

(Click to enlarge)

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Sexual preferences for smoking are predominantly acquired from mothers

We have collected information from persons with various degrees of sexual attraction to smoking in potential partners. Data was collected through ‘The smoking fetish survey’, ‘The glasses fetish survey’ and ‘The breast, butt, and leg sex survey’. Over 3000 respondents took one of these surveys during almost 2 years of sampling. The study yielded very interesting results. In particular, we found that having a smoking mother is associated with a sexual attraction to smoking (see figure below). This result holds true for straight and gay/lesbian men and women alike (with an exception for bisexual women, among whom we see a similar association with having a smoking father).

This study has been just published in the Journal of Evolutionary Psychology.

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Preference for pregnancy and lactation is acquired early in childhood

The results of the Lactation and Pregnancy Fetish Surveys have been published in The Journal of Sexual Medicine. The main finding was that a preference for pregnant and lactating women appears to be related to exposure to a pregnant and lactating mother. The conclusion is based on the fact that persons with the preference turned out to more often have younger than older siblings. Thus, they had seen their mother pregnant more often than expected by chance. Results also indicate that there may be a sensitive period for acquistion of this (and other) sexual preferences in between the first 1,5 to 5 years in life.

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Survey of Yahoo! Groups shows what we find sexy

A survey of about 3000 of Yahoo!’s discussion groups to estimate the relative frequency of sexual preferences for body parts, objects and behaviors, has been published in the Internation Journal of Impotence Research.
We find that people prefer most often parts of the body or objects associated with the body (such as items of clothing), while preferences for other objects are more rare. Sexual attraction to feet and shoes dominate the show, with over 40% of preferences!
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