Journal of Biosocial Science

Research Article

Canonical correlation analysis of assortative mating in two groups of Brazilians

Anete Trachtenberga1 p1, A. E. Starka2, F. M. Salzanoa1 and F. J. Da Rochaa1

a1 Department of Genetics, Biosciences Institute, Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul, Porto Alegre, Brazil

a2 School of Community Medicine, University of New South Wales, Kensington, Australia


In two groups of people, 98 couples in which the husband was a military serviceman and 63 couples of Jewish ancestry living in Porto Alegre, Brazil, age at marriage, age at time of survey, fifteen anthropometric variables, and hair and eye colour were studied. Proper adjustments of the data were made taking into consideration duration of cohabitation, aging and secular effects, and skewness in the distributions. There are some differences between the two groups in age at marriage, but in both there is a tendency for those currently older to have married later in life. The correlation coefficients between spouses are with very few exceptions positive, with no indication of preferences for opposites. Size and factors related to body build are the most readily detectable agents in the assortative mating occurring in this population, but in the military group relative lengths of leg and trunk, rather than stature itself, are important in conditioning mate choice.

(Received September 04 1984)


p1 Immunology Unit, University Clinical Hospital, Porto Alegre, Brazil.