Assortative human pair-bonding for partner ancestry and allelic variation of the dopamine receptor D4 (DRD4) gene

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The 7 repeat (7R) allele of the dopamine receptor D4 gene has been associated with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder and risk taking. On the cross-population scale, 7R allele frequencies have been shown to be higher in populations with more of a history of long-term migrations. It has also been shown that the 7R allele is associated with individuals having multiple ancestries. Here, we conduct a replication of this latter finding with two independent samples. Measures of subjects’ ancestry are used to examine past reproductive bonds. The individuals’ history of interracial/ancestral dating and their feelings about this are also assessed. Tentative support for an association between multiple ancestries and the 7R allele was found. These results are dependent upon the method of questioning subjects about their ancestries, with only finer-scale measures of ancestry being associated with 7R. Interracial dating and feelings about interracial pairing were not related to the presence of the 7R allele. This study provides continued support for a role for the 7R allele in migration and/or mate choice patterns. However, replications and extensions of this study are needed and the way ancestry/race is assessed must be carefully considered.

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