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Ol’ Blue Eyes: People with Similar Eye Color Prefer Each Other
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Earlier: Jane Elliott’s Blue Eyes, Brown Eyes: A Tale of Race and Brutality… Against Innocent White Children

When we were young, the red-blooded among us used to dream about falling in love with a blue-eyed man or woman—think Steve McQueen or violet-eyed Elizabeth Taylor. Well, science says we would have had a better chance to snag one of them if we had blue eyes. Like attracts like. Blue wants blue. So says a new paper in Archives of Sexual Behavior. The reason? Staying within one’s eye color predicts fidelity [Blue Eyes Help Men Reduce the Cost of Cuckoldry, by Paola Bressan, Archives of Sexual Behavior, 2021].

I had assumed that men and women were attracted to others with the same eye color because of J. Philippe Rushton’s Genetic Similarity Theory, which says we optimize genetic fitness by indirectly passing on as many of our genes as possible [see Ethnic nationalism, evolutionary psychology and Genetic Similarity Theory, by J. Philippe Rushton, Nations and Nationalism, 2005]. One way is by mating with people who are genetically similar, and Rushton showed that married couples tend to be more genetically similar than chance would allow. As well, we find images of opposite sex people more attractive if our own faces are morphed into them [Computer graphic studies of the role of facial similarity in attractiveness judgements, by I.S. Penton-Voak et al., Current Psychology, 1999]. Blue eyes are genetic, so it would follow that blue-eyed people would be attracted to each other as a means of passing on more of their genes.

But Bressan, right, a professor at the University of Padua in Italy, has another explanation. Alleles for brown eyes generally dominate alleles for blue eye or green eyes, as any college genetics student would know. It follows, Bressan wrote, that if a blue-eyed man pairs with a blue-eyed woman then it will increase his paternity confidence and desire to invest in his offspring. That is known as “Slow Life History Strategy”—a man invests energy in nurture over sex, as Rushton explored in his 1995 book, Race, Evolution and Behavior. Paternity confidence is increased in a blue-blue pairing because a brown-eyed child will tell the father he has been cuckolded. Accordingly, he will know not to invest energy in the child, and also to abandon the woman so his bio-energetic resources are not wasted.

To test this, Bressan surveyed more than 1,000 Italian men and asked them to rate the attractiveness of potential women partners and also how threatening they found potential rivals to be. Eye colors in the photos were manipulated. Men have paternity concerns, argues Bressan, because children will tend to look more like their mothers. That’s because any advantage of paternity confidence men might gain from their children looking very like them is ”exactly counterbalanced by the evolutionary cost they pay by having their own extra-pair children [that they’ve fathered on other men’s women] being rejected by other men. ”

The findings were just as Bressan predicted. Blue-eyed men were more attracted than brown-eyed men to blue-eyed women (especially as long-term companions). When blue-eyed men were only interested in a short term relationship—and so not prepared to invest—then they regarded a woman’s blue-eyes far less alluring. And light-eyed men feared other light-eyed men more than dark-eyed men feared light-eyed men. This is consistent with the hypothesis that light-eyed men are attracted to light-eyed women as insurance against cuckoldry.

In addition, when Bressan only looked at light-eyed men who felt rejected by their fathers growing up—perhaps because the father abandoned the family—she found that the effect disappeared. Blue-eyed men of this kind were not more attracted than brown-eyed men to blue-eyed women. “Such men are not expecting to invest in their own children either,” Bressan concluded.

Bressan doesn’t explore it, but the findings have tantalizing implications for the evolution and spread of light eyes. Where there was sufficient genetic diversity and attraction to novelty for them to develop—which might rule out Northeast Asians—blue-eyed people attracted to each other would elevate in-group cooperation, because it would reduce paternity anxiety and conflict among men. Groups that are highly cooperative internally tend to out-compete groups that are not, as I’ve explained before. So, it follows that a group would dominate other groups, all else being equal, if it had an optimum balance of people with light eyes and dark eyes. Up to a point, that would select for blue eyes.

Thus, it might not be coincidental that as Darwinian selection pressures have weakened, blue eyes are dying out among white Americans. Among those born between 1899 and 1905, 57 percent had blue eyes. But just 33.8 percent born between 1936 and 1951 had blue eyes. [Cohort effects in a genetically determined trait: eye colour among US whites, by M. Grant & D. Lauderdale, Annals of Human Biology, 2002].

In a convoluted way, this research shows, yet again, that Rushton’s theory is correct: Races differ in life-history speed and whites are slower than blacks, meaning Whites invest more energy in nurture. Within certain limitations, blue eyes came about, in part because a man wants to nurture his own offspring … yet be sure that they are his.

Now, if only we were all lucky enough to have eyes like Paul Newman!

Lance Welton [email him] is the pen name of a freelance journalist living in New York.

(Republished from VDare by permission of author or representative)
• Category: Science • Tags: Blue eyes 
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  1. meamjojo says:

    And here I thought that blue eyes was just an expression of a regressive gene.

  2. Trinity says:

    I have very blue eyes and light hair with fair skin and I am mostly attracted to White female brunettes with brown eyes. Of course if the woman is attractive, who in their right mind is going to worry about eye color.

    Cue: “Brown Eyed Girl” by Van Morrison

    • Replies: @Dutch Boy
    , @Bardon Kaldlan
  3. “Within certain limitations, blue eyes came about, in part because a man wants to nurture his own offspring … yet be sure that they are his.”

    Wow. No offense to the author, but this ‘conclusion’ is a bit pedestrian at best, bordering on a sort of scientific religionism.

  4. Bookish1 says:

    ain’t dat racist? If I like blue eyes like I have I’m putting my race before darkness with dark eyes. Or is all this racial talk we hear a bunch of bullshit.

  5. Dutch Boy says:

    Agreed. I like friendly, intelligent women who are nice-looking but eye color is not all that important (my wife has dark-hair, fair skin and hazel eyes). She was mightily impressed with my baby blues, however.

    • Agree: Trinity
    • Replies: @Bro43rd
  6. gay troll says:

    Blue eyes are quite simply the sexiest thing on Earth.

  7. Lance Welton writes: “Now, if only we were all lucky enough to have eyes like Paul Newman!”
    That might not be such a good idea, as Paul Newman was colorblind! He served in the United States
    Navy during World War II in the Pacific theater. He wanted to be a Navy pilot but was dropped from
    the pilot training program when his colorblindness was discovered. He became a radioman-gunner
    instead, flying torpedo bombers during the war.

  8. Bro43rd says:
    @Dutch Boy

    Green eyes, fair hair & skin here but mostly attracted to brunettes, eye & skin colors negligible. I have always figured that was because my mother is brunette but maybe it’s something genetic. Noone knows for sure so it’s all just guessing.

  9. anonymous[358] • Disclaimer says:

    Despite most people think pigs ugly, pigs still prefer pigs.

    What a surprise?

    • Replies: @Prof Watson
  10. Anon[218] • Disclaimer says:

    Theory here is way too complicated and unnecessary.

    Blue eyes evolved because they are pretty and improve sexual selection. That’s it.

    They evolved specifically in Europeans because blue eyes have a downside of poorer performance and resistance to intense sun. If we waited another 20k years they’d likely be common in Siberia and NE Asia too.

    In Southern Europe blue eyes are favored for their rarity and association with wealth, and still confer genetic advantage.

    Within Northern European communities, blue eyes are basically at an equilibrium and preference for them isn’t very high compared to how common they are.

    • Replies: @songbird
  11. @Trinity

    I thought you stated a very strong preference for black women??

    • LOL: Truth
    • Replies: @Trinity
  12. Trinity says:
    @Bardon Kaldlan

    Nah, I stated that I like my coffee black and enjoy a few half and half pints at the pub from time to time.

    Cue: Brother Louie by The Stories

  13. Dear Mr. Unz: I sent you a new comment yesterday regarding my comment on Paul Newman’s
    color blindness, published as Comment #7. Thanks for publishing my comment. However,
    something went wrong in the transmission and my comment was published with fractured lines
    in a jagged layout that looks like horrid modern verse. I typed my comment in one solid paragraph
    in the Comment Text box before I sent it. Could the editors please rearrange the sentences in
    Comment #7 into one solid paragraph like I originally intended? Thanks for your attention.
    Sincerely, Sidewalk Meanderings.

  14. What about people who are born with heterochromia—that is, different colored eyes
    in the same person? Since heterochromia is much more rare than blue eyes, maybe
    the genetic trait for heterochromia is even more recessive than the genetic trait for
    blue eyes. Should a male born with one brown eye and one blue eye look only for a
    female who was also born with one brown eye and one blue eye, so he can be
    assured of the paternity of his children? However, the biggest flaw in Paola Bressan’s
    theory is that there are millions of men with blue eyes, so a blue-eyed man who
    marries a blue-eyed woman can never be absolutely sure of the paternity of his
    blue-eyed children that he works so hard to provide for. If the father has doubts
    about his children, he should ask for DNA tests—they’re more reliable than
    eye colors!

  15. Rosie says:

    And light-eyed men feared other light-eyed men more than dark-eyed men feared light-eyed men.

    Hmmm. Does that mean that light-eyed men have more to fear from other light-eyed men than from dark-eyed men?

    What would be the implications of that for White male racial solidarity?

  16. Truth says:

    I guess all of the Unzistas with Chink wives are brown-eyed?

    • LOL: loren
  17. songbird says:

    Blue eyes evolved because they are pretty and improve sexual selection. That’s it.

    This would ignore the evidence (a bit dated) that

    80% of Superbowls have been won by Quarterback with blue eyes, a ratio of over 4 to 1. What’s more, of the twenty-three modern era quarterbacks in the NFL Hall of Fame, twenty-one have light colored eyes. That is not a misprint. That is over 90%. If you were to include guaranteed first ballot HOFer’s Peyton Manning, Bret Favre and Tom Brady, it climbs to an astounding twenty four of twenty six.

    Anyway, it is obvious that there is an allotropic effect, that makes them useful in certain situations, if not others.

    • Replies: @mc23
  18. FKA Max says: • Website

    Thus, it might not be coincidental that as Darwinian selection pressures have weakened, blue eyes are dying out among white Americans. Among those born between 1899 and 1905, 57 percent had blue eyes. But just 33.8 percent born between 1936 and 1951 had blue eyes.

    In absolute terms the blue-eyed population has actually been increasing in the U.S., and selection for blue eyes among white Americans has interestingly not fallen as significantly between 1950 to 2020 (-25%) as it did between 1900 and 1950 (-57%):

    About half of Americans born at the turn of the 20th century had blue eyes, according to a 2002 Loyola University study in Chicago. By mid-century that number had dropped to a third. Today only about one 1 of every 6 Americans has blue eyes, said Mark Grant, the epidemiologist who conducted the study. or

    1900 U.S. population ~75 million of that blue-eyed 57% / 88% white = 43 million 65% of whites
    1950 U.S. population ~150 million of that blue-eyed 33% / 90% white = 50 million 37% of whites
    2020 U.S. population ~330 million of that blue-eyed 16% / 58% white = 53 million 27.5% of whites

    The “secular trend of decreasing assortative mating by ancestry” might be starting to reverse or at least be flat-lining, because certain relatively higher birthrate groups of whites with blue eyes (my guess would be Mormons, who mostly have British ancestry) are intermarrying at higher rates than non-blue-eyed whites.

    The LDS Republic
    Anatoly Karlin • June 5, 2019

    Projecting forwards another century after 2100, and Mormonism may well have come to dominate the entire Western US, as opposed to just its Mountain heartlands.

    • Replies: @FKA Max
    , @Dutch Boy
  19. loren says:

    violet-eyed Elizabeth Taylor, who converted to judaism.

  20. FKA Max says: • Website
    @FKA Max

    I looked up some more figures on Mormon intermarriage rates (endogamy in this case not exogamy, i.e. marrying and reproducing within one’s faith, culture and/or ancestry group of origin not outside of it (Mormonism and blue-eyed English, in this example), and I found some interesting information, that also confirms that Mormons tend to have married and reproduced at the highest birth rates of any American religion “have more children than other U.S. religious groups” and with the highest frequency (except for Hindus) than any other major American religious group “Mormons who are married or living with a partner (85%) are married to or partnered with another Mormon” within their own cultural blue-eyed “eyes in the country are now 48 per cent blue” British “most Mormons [] of predominantly English ancestry” ancestry group for various different reasons. I believe, this explains why blue eyes won’t be “dying out among white Americans” anytime soon, and why there might even be a fairly high possibility that we actually could experience an “American Renaissance” of blue eyes by the end of this century, should “The LDS Republic” become a reality:

    Why Mormons Have the Lowest Rates of Interfaith Marriage or
    May 7, 2013

    7) People don’t like Mormons.

    This to me is the most surprising reason for the low rates of part-Mormon marriages. Frankly, a whole lot of Americans flat-out don’t like us, or at least don’t know much about us. Interfaith marriage tends to increase when a religious group becomes assimilated, which is slowly happening with Mormons. But 2007 research indicating that “only 53% of Americans had a favorable opinion of Mormons.”

    Source of Images: or

  21. mc23 says:

    Interesting link. I am almost sorry to say this but it seems there’s more going on than meets the eye.

  22. @songbird

    Thanks for the link in Comment #17 to website and the article by
    Benjamin Barrett, “How Do You Like Your Blue-eyed Boy?”, which notes that
    80% of Superbowls have been won by quarterbacks with blue eyes, a ratio of
    over 4 to 1. That is an astonishing finding. Does it also apply to football coaches?
    Are football coaches with the best winning records more likely to have blue eyes,
    like Bill Belichick, the head coach of the New England Patriots, who has won
    a record six Superbowls?

  23. @anonymous

    You don’t see the color of the eyes when you are looking at the back.

  24. Dutch Boy says:
    @FKA Max

    Wouldn’t the decreasing frequency of blue eyes among the population be most simply explained by the mass importation of a Third World population rather than this paternity confidence mating theory? Blue eyes are extremely rare outside northern European populations and their descendants.

  25. Pffft.

    Hazel eyes with dark limbal rings are the best eyes. I know, I’ve got a pair – with eyelashes so long that people have accused me of wearing mascara. The Lovely also has hazel eyes.

    Don’t get the ones that come with keratoconus pre-installed though… those ones are shit for seein‘, lookin‘, perusin‘ and other non-reproductive ocular doin‘s – which is, after all, mostly what you want eyes for.

    Blue eyes look like fish eyes. They speak to a cold soul – no offence to my blue-eyed Dad, who is the exception that proves that rule (likewise… Mum is the exception to the ‘warm brown eyed’ trope: Mum is downright vicious when the mood takes her, like her blue-eyed red-haired Dane-Finn mother who was a nasty old harridan).

    The only two Lovelies who’ve ever cheated on me (that I know of) had lovely bright blue eyes.

    OT… here’s a question for the HBDers.

    We all agree that the folk who became White Folks, migrated out of Africa into areas populated with other, different proto-Sapiens.

    Why did they have to leave?

    It clearly was not ‘in search of greener pastures’, because they were migrating to places that were pretty fucking inhospitable and not remotely pasture-ish.

    If the proto-wypipo were the cognitive superiors to the ‘Left Behind’ Afro-darkies, how come the proto-wypipo tucked tail twixt legs and ran up into the arctic wastes?

    How come the proto-wypipo weren’t organised enough or smart enough or tough enough to capture Africa for themselves, and sit around and get fat and happy doing ‘r’-selection, rather than slinking off to the frozen wastes and having to do all that planning?

    Just seems to me like proto-Whites had no choice but to ‘make a go of it‘ in the frozen inhospitable shithole of Northern Europe, because they were too weak or stupid or chicken-shit to compete for the lower-hanging fruit back in Africa.

    So having been kicked out of Africa for being uncompetitive, they were subject to significantly higher levels of environmental competitive pressure – which meant that there were higher (relative) yields to development of technology (including social technology like storage and planning).

    And after hundreds of generations, they got to come back and flex on the people whose ancestors beat them… like a former-geek at a high-school reunion, paying out on the former jock who is now unemployed and has bad knees.

    Fair enough, I s’pose.

    Anyhow… it’s a fair question, and one that in recent weeks has been much on my mind.

    It parallels quite nicely with the idea that my Maori forebears ‘left’ Polynesia and voyaged southwards until they found some people weak enough to slaughter and cannibalise: why did the proto-Maori get into their canoes?

    That’s not what you do if you’re the local ‘Top Man’: you can slaughter and eat your local competitors, which is much easier than traversing 5000 miles of open ocean.

    Anyway… so it turns out that on one side, I’m descended from the ‘losers’ of the Paleolithic Battle for Africa, and on the other side it’s the ‘losers’ of a 16th-Century Battle for Some Pacific Islands.

    After all, on the one hand you can’t get more extreme ‘flight from Africa’ than the frozen corners of Europe – Denmark, Finland, and Ireland … and on the other: after Ao Tea Roa, it’s “Next Stop Antarctica”.

    Seems to me that the winners benefit from the adversity faced by their loser ancestors.

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