The results of a new study, published in the American Journal of Physical Anthropology, shows that if a child’s parents come from different regions, the higher the chances are of their child being taller, and that the farther apart the locations, the likelihood gets even higher.
The researchers, led by Dariusz Danel from the Institute of Anthropology at the Polish Academy of Sciences, believe that this happens because of the sheer difference of genes of the mother and father, versus if they came from the same town. The increased genetic diversity allows the children’s bodies to behave more efficiently, notably during age 6 to 18 years old.
The researchers studied 2,675 boys and 2,603 girls in Poland, whose heights were studied every year in school. While many factors aside from marital distance contribute to offspring’s height, such as socioeconomic status, it [marital distance] accounted for 20 percent of the height variations among boys and 14 percent among girls.
Marital distance was considered to be only an indirect approximation of genes, since the study didn’t’ take into account the children’s genomes for heterozygosity, which is the “genetic diversity present in an individual”.
Source: • August 4, 2011. Stephanie Pappas. “Want a Tall Kid? Try a Long-Distance Relationship” livescience.com • August 6, 2011. Jaspreet Virk. “Want to have tall kids? Marry ‘out of town’ – study” themedguru.com