The genetic correlation between height and IQ: shared genes or assortative mating?

Keller, Matthew C., Garver-Apgar, Christine E., Wright, Margaret J., Martin, Nicholas G., Corley, Robin P., Stallings, Michael C., Hewitt, John K. and Zietsch, Brendan P. (2013) The genetic correlation between height and IQ: shared genes or assortative mating?. PLoS Genetics, 9 4: e1003451.1-e1003451.10. doi:10.1371/journal.pgen.1003451

Author Keller, Matthew C.
Garver-Apgar, Christine E.
Wright, Margaret J.
Martin, Nicholas G.
Corley, Robin P.
Stallings, Michael C.
Hewitt, John K.
Zietsch, Brendan P.
Title The genetic correlation between height and IQ: shared genes or assortative mating?
Journal name PLoS Genetics   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 1553-7404
Publication date 2013-04
Year available 2013
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1371/journal.pgen.1003451
Open Access Status DOI
Volume 9
Issue 4
Start page e1003451.1
End page e1003451.10
Total pages 10
Place of publication San Francisco, CA United States
Publisher Public Library of Science
Collection year 2014
Language eng
Formatted abstract
Traits that are attractive to the opposite sex are often positively correlated when scaled such that scores increase with attractiveness, and this correlation typically has a genetic component. Such traits can be genetically correlated due to genes that affect both traits ("pleiotropy") and/or because assortative mating causes statistical correlations to develop between selected alleles across the traits ("gametic phase disequilibrium"). In this study, we modeled the covariation between monozygotic and dizygotic twins, their siblings, and their parents (total N = 7,905) to elucidate the nature of the correlation between two potentially sexually selected traits in humans: height and IQ. Unlike previous designs used to investigate the nature of the height-IQ correlation, the present design accounts for the effects of assortative mating and provides much less biased estimates of additive genetic, non-additive genetic, and shared environmental influences. Both traits were highly heritable, although there was greater evidence for non-additive genetic effects in males. After accounting for assortative mating, the correlation between height and IQ was found to be almost entirely genetic in nature. Model fits indicate that both pleiotropy and assortative mating contribute significantly and about equally to this genetic correlation.
Keyword Cultural Transmission
Multifactorial Inheritance
Facial Attractiveness
Mate Selection
Body Height
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Confirmed Code
Institutional Status UQ

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collections: Queensland Brain Institute Publications
Official 2014 Collection
School of Psychology Publications
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Citation counts: TR Web of Science Citation Count  Cited 11 times in Thomson Reuters Web of Science Article | Citations
Scopus Citation Count Cited 14 times in Scopus Article | Citations
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