Creepy New Study Suggests That Men Are Just Hoping to Marry a Mother Clone

Illustration for article titled Creepy New Study Suggests That Men Are Just Hoping to Marry a Mother Clone

Thanks to biological anthropologist Helen Fisher, author of the lurid sex book Why Him? Why Her? How to Find and Keep Lasting Love, the Oedipal complex has received a much-needed 21st-century update. It's not that all men want to kill their fathers so they can marry their mothers — what they really want to do is find a suitable proxy for their mothers and marry that unwitting lady so as to keep mother close forever and ever. It's way less creepy the way Fisher explains it, but CBS This Morning anthropomorphized seat cushion Anthony Mason does his level best to paint Fisher's segment (creepily titled "All in the Family" to really emphasize the incest angle) in the most lurid brushstrokes possible by posing the titillating question, "Should [men] date their mothers?" I don't know, Anthony, does the V.C. Andrews estate have a new book out that I'm not yet aware of?


Fisher talks about a study from the cold netherworld of Finland that suggests men are more likely to marry women who looked like mother. Researchers figured this out by surveying 70 married couples and comparing pictures of each spouse with pictures of each spouse's parents. Men were far more likely to marry women who resembled their own mothers than women were to marry men who looked like their fathers. This is not, Fisher cautions, after giving Freud a not-so-subtle eye roll, to say that women don't also listen for paternal echoes in a potential partner, but, since men are more visually oriented, their predilection for mother-clones is way more apparent. Women, being more mole-like when it comes to physical appearance, might, says Fisher, be looking for unseen fatherly qualities in their potential husbands, such as the ability to not be a layabout, as well as the strength to give good piggyback rides.


Why men marry their moms [CBS This Morning]

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I'll admit, one of the reasons I have so much trouble with dating is that one of the things I want in a long-term relationship is a guy who can hold a conversation with my dad. Not a guy who is my dad, but one who would have something to say to him.

I have a lot of trouble with this. I'm in grad school, living in a good-sized city, and a big nerd. I tend to date geeks and nerds and law students and artists. But I grew up in a rural area with parents who didn't even finish high school, and the interests I share with my dad include hunting, fishing, and working on classic cars. Most of the guys I date don't know the difference between a transmission and a radiator, much less the difference between powdercoating and painting. I just want to take someone home who won't just sit there in awkward silence at the dinner table.