Height Important In Matters Of Love
February 11, 2014

Study Shows That Height Matters For A Woman

[ Watch the Video: Height Is Definitely A Factor In Romance ]

Lee Rannals for redOrbit.com - Your Universe Online

Height plays a big role in determining who is a potential partner for women, according to researchers at Rice University and the University of North Texas.

Researchers looked at how height is a factor when determining who someone wants to fall in love with. The team used data from Yahoo! personal dating advertisements of 455 males and 470 females. They found that woman tended to care more than men about a partner’s height.

Evolutionary psychology theory argues that ‘similarity is overwhelmingly the rule in human mating,’” Michael Emerson, the Allyn and Gladys Cline Professor of Sociology and the study’s co-author, said in a statement. “However, our study suggests that for physical features such as height, similarity is not the dominant rule, especially with females.”

The average male height in the study was 5 feet and 8 inches with an average age of 36, while the females averaged 5 feet 4 inches and an age of 35 years old. The team found that 13.5 percent of men wanted to date only women who were shorter than they are, while nearly half of the women wanted to date a taller man.

The study continued by recruiting 54 males and 131 females from a US university, asking them to fill out open-ended questions in an online survey. They found that these results correlated with the previous ones, where 37 percent of males wanted to date a shorter woman and 55 percent of females preferred a man who was taller than themselves.

The researchers said the dominant reason a woman preferred to be with a taller man has to do with protection and femininity.

“As the girl, I like to feel delicate and secure at the same time,” said a woman participant in the study who is 5 feet 3 inches tall. “Something just feels weird in thinking about looking ‘down’ into my man’s eyes. There is also something to be said about being able to wear shoes with high heels and still being shorter. I also want to be able to hug him with my arms reaching up and around his neck.”

Those men who admitted that height mattered to them said a partner can’t be so short that it would cause problems in the bedroom.

“I like it when the body of your partner fits yours,” said a male study participant who is 5 feet 11 inches tall. “It also makes it easier to kiss, hold hands and do other activities with your partner.”

George Yancey, a professor of sociology at the University of North Texas and the study’s lead author published in the Journal of Family Issues said the reason for the personal preferences can be explained by societal expectations and gender stereotypes. He said the widespread perception is that tall height is a personal asset for men and a personal liability for women. He also pointed out that this study just gives more support for the social system of patriarchy.

“The masculine ability to offer physical protection is clearly connected to the gender stereotype of men as protectors,” he said. “And in a society that encourages men to be dominant and women to be submissive, having the image of tall men hovering over short women reinforces this value.”