Brief break from Bittergate: The Post published a fascinating story today on the conflicts kids and their parents have over who the kids should marry -- with the thesis that there's a genetic basis to what kind of mate each group prefers. The story came complete with graphs:

To decode, young Americans are much more concerned about whether a potential mate "lacks exciting personality" or has a "bad smell" than their parents are, whereas their parents are more concerned about whether their kids' partner has a different ethnic background, are divorced, etc, than the kids are. The article provided similar graphs for Kurdish students and Dutch students -- the main difference there seems to be that both those groups are much more unwilling than their parents would have them be to take a ring from an unintelligent or fat person.

There was one particularly depressing-sounding segment of the story, though:

"When it comes to mating, the key is that the kinds of mates who score high on 'good genes' traits" -- such as attractiveness and sense of humor -- "tend to score low on 'good parent' traits, and vice versa," said [Justin H.] Park, a social psychologist who studies relationships.

Really? Attractive, funny people are actually less likely to make good parents than dour, ugly ones, as opposed to just no more likely? If true, time for me to move to another planet.

--Eve Fairbanks