The Oedipus complex might not be so farfetched after all, as a new study reveals that we’re attracted to people who look like our parents.
Freud would have been delighted with the findings, conducted by scientists at Glasgow University, which concluded that heterosexual men and gay women looked for women with the same eye colour as their mothers.
Similarly, they found that heterosexual women and gay men were attracted to men whose eyes were the same colour as their father.
The team of researchers gathered their data by asking 300 men and women about the eye colour of their parents and their partners.
They concluded that participants were twice as likely to go for someone whose eye colour was that of the parent whose sex they were attracted to.
The study correlates to a theory known as positive sexual imprinting, whereby birds and mammals choose their mates based on attributes exhibited by their parents.
By successfully applying the same concept to humans, as these researchers have done, one could argue that their findings mimic Oedipal ideologies.
Coined by Sigmund Freud in 1910, the Oedipus Complex is a psychoanalytic theory which refers to a person’s unconscious attraction to their opposite sex-parent.
The theory takes its name from Sophocles’ Greek tragedy, Oedipus Rex, in which the protagonist unknowingly marries and has a child with his mother.
Though the research is not quite suggesting that we are a nation fated to incest, it suggests that many of us subconsciously look for aesthetic traits in romantic partners that resemble our parents – and who knows the extent at which this could be true.