Men prefer shorter women, short women prefer taller men

Height difference makes a perfect match.
Height difference makes a perfect match.
Credit: MDBrockmann, Rice university

If you always wondered why sports players got more female attention in school, it was probably just because they were taller.

Researchers from the University of North Texas and Rice University have established that height plays a large role in the romantic choices of both genders, and UNT’s Dr. George Yancey explained.

Metro: I suppose this is mainly about protection?

Yancey: This was true for shorter women, who gave protection and security as the main reasons. We don’t have percentages but this was a very definite pattern. Tall men reciprocated and wanted to be the protector. Taller women were hardly ever interested in protection.

Was it more important to them than a warm heart and dashing smile?

Height was very important, far more than other physical aspects such as hair or eye color. In many cases, they instigated the height point without being prompted. We asked them how short they would go and typically it was at least four inches taller.

Do they believe tall people have superpowers?

I’m a tall person and don’t know how good I am at protection. Some women wanted tall guys to look smaller themselves, some said they wanted to look up into a guy’s eyes. There’s not much to do with character.

Is this hard-wired from the Stone Age or a result of social conditioning?

We think a lot is social. In an average heterosexual couple, our society expects men to be powerful. But you can train yourself to like other types. We spoke to couples where the woman was taller. It becomes less of an issue with age; older women care less.


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