Whatever the case, if sexual imprinting is behind the same-sex preferences in zebra finches, brain-imaging studies are necessary to really flesh out the link, Banerjee said.
Importantly, studies have also suggested that humans are susceptible to sexual imprinting. For instance, men often date women who resemble their mothers, and women date men who resemble their fathers, according to research published in 2009 in the journal Proceedings of the Royal Society B.
But the results of studies on sexual imprinting in animals, including the current one, don't have much to say on human sexuality, Banerjee said. "Human mate choice is so much more complex."
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