Men with blue eyes prefer women who themselves have blue eyes, according to a new study published in the journal of Behavioral Ecology and Sociobiology. The reason for this may be an (unconscious) desire to keep tabs of the partner’s fidelity, as a blue-eyed couple can only have blue-eyed children. So, if a resulting child has brown eyes (which is a dominant trait), there may be some cause for concern.
The scientists asked 88 students to rate the attractiveness of models based on pictures manipulated so that half of them had blue eyes and the other half had brown eyes. The blue-eyed men in the group showed a preference for blue-eyed women.
But brown-eyed men, who cannot find any clues about paternity from a child’s eye color, had no preferences by eye color. Women showed no preference for brown- or blue-eyed men, irrespective of their own eye color.
A quarter of children born to two brown-eyed parents who have both brown and blue-eye genes among their ancestors will have blue eyes. The rest will be brown.
In a second study, 443 young adults of both sexes were asked about the eye color of their partners — blue-eyed men were also the group with the highest proportion of partners with the same eye color.
However, there seem to be two things here that confuse me:
1. How would ancient peoples (who know nothing of Mendelian genetics) develop this preference?
2. If they did know #1, couldn’t a woman equally cheat with a person who has blue eyes?