Opposites attract – genes to blame

Updated Jan 29, 2007: Priya Raju made an intuitive leap and said perhaps women detect dissimilar immune systems using smell. Loos like she is correct. check this article science of attraction. well done Priya.

When it comes to choosing a mate, we all know that opposites attract. Today, in an interesting report, scientists are saying that women are genetically pre-programmed to seek out men that are different from themselves. The main reason being to choose someone with a different immune system so that the progeny will have better immunity. Its not clear how women detect something as innnate as the immune system, but the report shows that women that cheat are often in relationships where the men don’t have a dissimilar immune system. So don’t be surprised to hear this in the trial court – Honey, I’m sorry I cheated because I’m genetically pre-programmed to do so. Just so this article is gender-neutral, men have already been shown to be genetically pre-programmed to have multiple partners.
Source: Times of India, Jan 12, 2007, p17, Bangalore edition


  1. Anonymous said January 11, 2007, 10:07 pm:

    Interesting, Sukumar. How do we detect the immune system in others though – I can only think of our sense of smell. Is there any other way?

    – Priya

  2. Anonymous said January 12, 2007, 9:25 am:

    If people have similar immune system, would they have similar chracteristics. I did not know that.

    What is meant by similar immune system?


  3. Anonymous said January 12, 2007, 11:31 am:

    insightful Priya – sense of smell? Maybe that’s why women are making mistakes these days, thanks to the effects of colognes, deos and other such stuff. Need to research this. You could be right, i think.

  4. Anonymous said January 12, 2007, 11:38 am:


    I think what they are trying to say is that women tend to look for men who have better immunity – in essence meaning healthy. If you have better immunity, that means your immune system is working better and that is why healthy people fall sick less often. Priya has guessed above that it could be detected through smell. I am thinking, people that have a good physique could be another way of detecting good immune systems. Maybe that’s why women are attracted to well-built men (a proxy for good immunity?). Priya, any thoughts?

    On the question of similar immune systems – since immune system efficiency is likely to be genetically pre-determined, a different immune system may have a different genetic basis and when the two sets of genes are mixed through reproduction, a new set of genes get created, that would create a better immune system in the progeny? Don’t know the exact answer. Need to do some research.

  5. Anonymous said January 12, 2007, 10:49 pm:

    Also Sukmuar, I read some where that people with same blood group have some similar characteristics. Are you aware of any research that indicates that women are not attracted to the men of same blood group?


  6. Anonymous said January 12, 2007, 10:58 pm:


    That’s interesting about blood groups. I hadn’t heard that. I will look into that.

  7. Anonymous said January 17, 2007, 7:06 am:

    This is very interesting Sukumar. While smell is one way, I’ve read something similar to this long back. Some researches say that every individual has an aura around him and others can feel the vibes generated. The ‘third eye’ or the subconscious mind can feel and interpret them. Sometimes we feel somebody is looking at our back and we immeidately turn back. But I think this is something which needs to be experienced and cannot be explained in words. I have never experienced this personally. Has somebody?


  8. Anonymous said January 17, 2007, 7:46 am:

    Thanks Mahesh. Interesting comment. I think i have experienced that someone-is-looing-at-me feeling. Need to look into that. I don’t know that is working? Anyone else has any ideas?

  9. Anonymous said January 18, 2007, 10:00 pm:

    What really got me excited was that awesome insight to research on what kind of men…women sleep with when they cheat, because that particular sample may tell an interesting story of whats worth all the time/energy to protect such a stark lie in a marriage. I guess I was thinking like Dr. Kinsey by being interested in the exceptions. 🙂

  10. Anonymous said January 19, 2007, 10:44 am:

    Thanks Kesava. I guess per this report, it is men with a different “immune system”, however it gets detected. Yes, exceptions always tell a story.