You are here: Home » PTI Stories » International » News
Business Standard

Why parents don't approve of daughter's partner decoded

Press Trust of India  |  London 

Scientists believe they have discovered why parents rarely think their daughter's partner is good enough for her - and it is all down to evolution!

Researchers found that parents' desire to see their daughter settle with a man who is supportive has its roots in an "evolutionary conflict over resources".

In the scenario where the son-in-law is hard up or uncaring, parents have to invest more resources in their daughter, eventually leading to conflict.

Also, the daughter, knowing that her parents will help her out, exploits this allocation by choosing a partner who is not in the parents' best interests.

This in turn leads to conflict over the choice of mate between parents and their offspring.

Scientists from Bristol and the University of Groningen in the Netherlands carried out the research by building a computer model to simulate the evolution of parental behaviour when their daughter is searching for a partner, 'The Telegraph' reported.

Researchers found that parents show a stronger preference than their offspring for attributes such as social class, family background, ethnic background and educational level.

Daughters meanwhile show a fondness for qualities such as physical attractiveness, smell, sense of humour and creativity.

The conflict over the suitability of a daughter's partner was likely to be greater when fathers rather than mothers controlled resources, the study found.

"The conflict over parental resources is central to understanding why parents and children disagree in mate choice," said Dr Tim Fawcett, a research fellow at the University of Bristol's School of Biological Sciences.

"Parents are equally related to all of their children, whereas children value themselves more than their siblings, so each child wants to get more than their fair share of parental resources," he said.

The study was published in the journal Evolution and Human Behaviour.

Dear Reader,


Business Standard has always strived hard to provide up-to-date information and commentary on developments that are of interest to you and have wider political and economic implications for the country and the world. Your encouragement and constant feedback on how to improve our offering have only made our resolve and commitment to these ideals stronger. Even during these difficult times arising out of Covid-19, we continue to remain committed to keeping you informed and updated with credible news, authoritative views and incisive commentary on topical issues of relevance.
We, however, have a request.

As we battle the economic impact of the pandemic, we need your support even more, so that we can continue to offer you more quality content. Our subscription model has seen an encouraging response from many of you, who have subscribed to our online content. More subscription to our online content can only help us achieve the goals of offering you even better and more relevant content. We believe in free, fair and credible journalism. Your support through more subscriptions can help us practise the journalism to which we are committed.

Support quality journalism and subscribe to Business Standard.

Digital Editor

First Published: Wed, September 18 2013. 16:05 IST
RECOMMENDED FOR YOU