In Those Genes

June 3, 2015

by Kara Wexler

Chances are, if you have an active Facebook profile and a few Jewish friends, you’ve probably seen the Buzzfeed article “What Famous Nice Jewish Boy Is Your Soulmate?” Though Paul Rudd will always have my heart, I’ve gotta admit that there’s far more to finding that perfect someone than your favorite bagel and Yiddish word. In fact, a lot of this crazy game of love is subconsciously based on our evolutionary instincts to produce beautiful and healthy children.

While someone’s interests and other behaviors may keep you wanting more, a lot of that first impression is based on genetics. A lot of research has covered this topic, and here are some of the most common conclusions:


Symmetry is Key

Both men and women rate those of the opposite gender with symmetrical features as more attractive than those who lack that high degree of symmetry. Why? Because symmetry signals an ideal mate with strong healthy genetics, and higher chances of healthy children. In other words, our moves are calculated by our desire to reproduce and have healthy, awesome babies.


Hips Don’t Lie

According to a 2004 study, men seek a waist-to-hip ratio (WHR) range of 0.67 to 1.18, while women find a 0.8 to 1.0 WHR in men to be ideal. But why is this a big deal? This feature subconsciously informs a lower risk of diseases including cardiovascular disorders, cancer, diabetes, and, as expected, pregnancy obstacles.



Women and men’s faces naturally form differing shapes, which offer an indication of future fertility. For men, testosterone can cause a larger and lower face, a rugged jawline, and a well-defined brow. Estrogen has unique effects as well, causing smaller and shorter faces, and less prominent brows, which allows for a stronger focus on a woman’s eyes.


You Can Smell It

Yes, researchers have found that more symmetrical people tend to have more attractive scents. And once again, it all boils down to finding the ideal mate.


However, ultimately, love is extremely powerful and can strengthen or override existing sexual attraction. Successful long-term couples exhibit qualities of fidelity, devotion, and show signs of successful parenting.

So while finding that perfect loyal Jewish spouse to bring home to bubbe and zeyde may be difficult, it’s helpful to know that the health of your future family isn’t dependent on initial attraction. Here at JScreen we’re proud to screen individuals to find out their carrier risk for over 80 diseases, including those most common in people with Jewish ancestry.

Simply by making the choice to get screened, you’re making a huge leap toward having healthy children in your future.

So don’t give up on that search yet for your perfect special someone, and keep dreaming about those perfectly adorable Jewish babies. Paul Rudd may already be taken, but there are plenty of incredible eligible bachelors and bachelorettes still out there waiting.


JScreen is a non-profit, community-based public health initiative dedicated to preventing Jewish genetic diseases. Headquartered in Atlanta at Emory University School of Medicine, the JScreen initiative is a collaboration among clinical geneticists, socially minded businesses, and nonprofits to provide everyday people with a ready access point to cutting-edge genetic testing technology, patient education, and genetic counseling services.