Categories: Daily Human DigestPersonal Genomics

DNA dating pseudoscience: Why you can’t find true love based on genetic compatibility

| | March 8, 2018

Described by Wired as “a sort of 23andMe meets Tinder meets monogamists,” Pheramor’s secret to success is your DNA. That’s right—for a low-rate of $19.99 plus a $10 monthly membership fee, the Houston-based online dating startup promises to match local singles who are compatible not only socially but genetically.

The app’s matching algorithm analyzes 11 special “attraction genes” supposedly linked to our pheromones—olfactory signals that some believe trigger attraction. The pheromone profile is sequenced from a cheek swab kit required of every Pheramor user, which is then combined with information mined from your social media activity.

Despite Pheramor’s vaguely eugenicist vibe and creepily literal take on the concept of “chemistry,” it has still managed to attract some hype. By the time the platform formally launched…in Houston, the test kits had sold out.

Dating platforms have always made their bones off of scientifically dubious claims of having the secret to matchmaking, but the concept of pheromones is some of the shakiest science out there.

[T]here has to be a better way to escape the “dating apocalypse” than withdrawing into a Gattaca simulacrum predicated on pseudoscience. While we’re looking for it, let’s all swab left on Pheramor and its ilk.

Read full, original post: Why DNA-based Apps Betray the Open Promise of Online Dating

Published by
Anne Nesathurai

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