assortative mating

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English[edit]

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Noun[edit]

assortative mating (plural assortative matings)

  1. (psychology, genetics) Between males and females of a species, the mutual attraction or selection, for reproductive purposes, of individuals with similar characteristics.
    • 1922, Frank A. Hartman, "The Emergency Function of the Adrenal," Science, New Series, vol. 56, no. 1440, p. 146:
      Underlying all distributions of characters in assortative matings are certain elementary principles based on probabilities and the theory of sampling.
    • 2008 Sep. 20, Sarah Barmak, "Social Science: I like you because you're like me," Toronto Star, p. ID3:
      A recent New York Times Magazine story that investigated the rise of diagnoses of bipolar disorder in children suggested assortative mating as a possible cause, because parents who are both bipolar—and who may marry because they are more likely to understand one another's symptoms—are more likely to have bipolar children.

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