Height: Bad News for Short Guys

HeightA new study asks one simple question: does height matter? When it comes to height, it is bad news for short guys. A new study from Rice University and the University of North Texas has determined that height matters somewhat more to women than to men.

According to the study, men are somewhat less fastidious about height. About 13.5 percent of them preferred to date shorter women. Nearly half of the women, on the other hand, only wanted men who are taller than they are.

The women indicated that being with a man who is taller than they are is more romantic. They did not want to be looking down into a man’s eyes and preferred stretching upward for hugs. In addition, being with a taller man did not hamper certain style choices, such as the shoes they might wear. Apparently, women also feel more protected with taller men.

For men, the preference was more practical and involved the mechanics of intimacy, indicating that it is easier to hold hands with a more diminutive woman. A shorter woman is also better for kissing and cuddling.

The study leader, George Yancey from the University of North Texas, explained that the height preference expressed by women is part of societal expectations and gender stereotypes. He indicated that height is an asset for men and a liability for women.

Science, it seems, has data on just about everything. Another study from McMaster University in Ontario discovered that men with low-pitched voices are both sexy and untrustworthy. Apparently, a little extra height on a man with a low voice is not only more sexy, but also a bit rakish. That is not a bad combination for those still in the dating game.

When it comes to height, there is still more bad news for short guys; but this time women also get the short end of things. A group of researchers at Oxford University found that feeling shorter than others can have a negative effect on self-esteem.

This study was a virtual reality experiment in which participants were shortened virtually. When the height of a participant was virtually reduced, they experienced a feeling of inferiority and became more mistrustful.

Daniel Freeman, who led the Oxford study, points out that being taller is generally associated with success in both relationships and careers because height conveys authority and power.

Finally, here is some good news for short guys. In a study from the Netherlands released last month, researchers concluded that when it comes to height, women do indeed prefer taller men, but not too much taller.

For most couples, a five inch difference seems about right. Couples where the male partner is more than about nine inches taller than the female are relatively rare. In addition, tall women and short men were inclined to prefer less of a height difference while short women and tall men tolerated larger differences.

While it seems that when it comes to height, taller is generally better, that may be less true in reality. Plenty of short men, from Mickey Rooney to Tom Cruise and even Henry Kissinger, have been famously successful with women. In the height department, the news is not all bad for short guys.

By Sharon I. Fawley


The New York Daily News
The New York Daily News
The New York Daily News

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