According to a study, women always prefer taller men whereas tall men often choose smaller women during brief relationships.
According to experts from universities in Cuba, Canada, Norway, and the United States, attraction to shorter women for romantic relationships is more than just a matter of personal taste; it is grounded in biology and psychology.
The preference for height is well-known, especially in Western nations, where an increase in height from the 25th percentile to the 75th percentile – or roughly two inches – would likely result in a rise in annual compensation of between nine and fifteen percent.
The team’s findings suggested that men, on average, preferred women around five to five feet tall when they were looking for more casual, short-term relationships.
The classic feminine descriptor for a good-looking man ? tall, dark, and handsome ? also held true for the study, which found that shorter women prefer men who are taller than them for shorter and longer relationships.
Men prefer shorter women for short-term than long-term relationships, while women’s preferences for men’s height did not differ according to relationship type, both long and short
Men were shown these minimalist drawings of women from behind to choose their preferred heights for short and more committed long-term relationships
Women also rated their preferred height in a male romantic partner, with most choosing men who were about an inch taller than the average in their country
The researchers behind the study recruited people from their general population and enrolled 536 people, 333 of whom were women. The vast majority of them, about 93 percent, described themselves as heterosexual.
The average height of the men was 178 cm, about 1.55 meters, while the average height of the women was 165 cm or 1.55 meters.
Female participants were shown two sheets of paper with five different minimalist drawings of men from the back with different heights, ranging from 1.55 to 1.80 metres.
Men received similar sheets with drawings of women from the back with a height of five feet to one and a half feet. Each drawing was labeled with a height measure.
When asked about their ideal height in a woman for “no strings attached” short-term relationships, men typically chose women who were shorter than them, ranging from about 5’6″ to 5’4″.
But men tended to favor women who matched their own height more closely for long-term relationships such as marriage, which the researchers said was indicative of “assortative mating preferences.”
Assortative mating is a form of sexual selection based on certain observable criteria more similar to their own, including relative height, social status, personality, and the risk of passing disease to offspring.
This means that tall men are more likely to marry or enter into a steady relationship with taller women.
The authors of the study, published in the journal Boundaries in psychologysaid, ‘Our results further confirm a positive relationship between participants’ own heights and their partner’s preferences, that is, positive assortative preferences for height.
“However, different height preferences were qualified by relationship context…Taller men preferred relatively shorter women for short-term relationships than for long-term relationships.”
Women, meanwhile, preferred men who were taller than them on average, regardless of the nature of their relationship. This follows from years of population studies that indicate a general preference of women for taller male partners.
A 2014 study published in the Family issues magazine found that less than two percent of women wanted to date exclusively men who were shorter than them, while nearly 49 percent said they preferred to date only men who were taller than them.
Men, however, seemed less stubborn: only 13.5 percent said they would exclusively date shorter women.
Another study published in 2013 in the journal Personality and individual differences reported that women care more about having a taller man than men about dating a shorter woman.
Women preferred and were most satisfied with greater height differences than men, about eight inches, while men were content with only seven inches taller.
Many men are attracted to shorter women for a variety of reasons, but a major one is evolutionary in nature. Men are primordial beings who are often fixated on fulfilling the role of ‘protector’, protecting their female counterparts from the big bad world.
Researchers behind the study said their study is the first of its kind to measure men’s height preferences across a variety of relationship contexts, from one-night stands to marriage.
They wrote: ‘The absolute height preferences of each gender observed here support a general tendency of raters to favor taller-than-average males and shorter-than-average females.
“These observed absolute preferences confirm studies suggesting that the costs of shortness outweigh the benefits of being tall, especially for men.”
Tall men prefer short women for flings, study suggests