Men are more attracted to women whose facial features resemble their own, according to a new study.
French researchers asked 100 men to choose the women they found most appealing from a selection of photographs.
They then asked a similar number of men to do the same with another selection of four faces which had been computer manipulated to look more like them, the Daily Mail reported.
The results showed that 37 per cent of men in the second experiment said the face which most resembled theirs was the most attractive.
The researchers then analysed photos of real life couples with at least one child who had agreed to take part in the experiment.
They found that once again, spouses share more facial traits than two randomly selected individuals.
The study by the Institut des Sciences de l’Evolution, in Montpellier, France, looked at a range of facial features including eye and hair colour, lip and eyebrow thickness and the presence or absence of a chin dimple.
The team behind the research will now carry out further tests to see if the trend exists in just the Western world or if other men and women in other cultures also seek out lookalikes when seeking a lover.
The findings put a new spin on previous research from 2008 in which Hungarian scientists found that women are inclined to choose partners whose faces resemble those of their fathers.
Men were also more likely to have a relationship with a woman who looks like their mother.
“I think this is less about narcissism and more about the comfort of what we know. Of course, in the long run sustainable relationships are based on so much more than appearances, so I would hope that no one - man or woman - would regard a relationship with someone who doesn’t resemble them as one with no potential,” relationships expert Jean Hannah Edelstein said.
“Finding a partner is an inexact science and it’s probably best to be as open-minded as possible, which means not rejecting someone on the assumption that you won’t get along because you don’t have similar features,” Edelstein said.