Couple homogamy and quality of the relationship

Zuzana Štěrbová, Klára Bártová, Jan Havlíček, Jaroslava Varella Valentova


People do not choose their partners randomly. Assortative mating can be either positive (homogamy), meaning people couple with self-similar partners, or negative (heterogamy, complementarity), meaning they couple with self-different partners. More than a hundred years of research have shown that in mate choice the principle of homogamy is significantly more prevalent. Being one of the most prominent principles of pairing, homogamy is studied across disciplines, varying from psychology, sociology, psychiatry, ethology, to anthropology. The aim of this narrative review is to comprehensively present and critically summarize the current state of knowledge in the field of positive assortative pairing, with the focus on empirical support (partner similarity in socio-demographic, psychological, and physical characteristics), factors influencing homogamy (sexual orientation or culture) and the effects of homogamy on the relationship (satisfaction and stability of the relationship). Finally, the methodological pitfalls of the research are discussed and the directions for the future research are suggested. Due to the interdisciplinarity of the topic and the large number of papers investigating positive assortative pairing, we believe that this review will help readers to navigate themselves through the complex issue of homogamy.

(Fulltext in Czech)


mate choice, partner preferences, assortative mating, partnership satisfaction


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