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Does Size Matter?

Does Size Matter? | Jo Divine

Apparently it does when it comes to romance and height.

A recent study conducted by Rice University and the University of Texas in January 2014 found that the height of a potential partner matters more to women than men.

Using information from Yahoo! personal dating advertisements, the study found that of the 455 male participants (average height of 5 feet 8 inches and average age of 36 years) 13.5 % wanted to date women shorter than them, whereas of the 470 women (average height of 5 feet 4 inches and average age of 35 years) a whopping 48.9% preferred to date men taller than them.

The second part of the study surveyed 54 men (average height 5 feet 9 inches) and 131 women (average height of 5 feet and 4 inches) recruited from a US university and produced similar results. 37% of the men wanted to date shorter women and 50% of women only wanted to date taller men.

Some of the female participants comments were as follows:

“I like to feel secure and delicate at the same time”

“I want to be able to hug him with my arms reaching up and around his neck”

“It’s nice to be able to wear high heels and still be shorter”

Some of the men commented that they preferred shorter women but not too short that it would affect their physical intimacy:

“I like it when the body of your partner fits yours”

“It makes it easier to hold hands, kiss and do other activities with your partner”

It is generally believed that couples tend to be attracted to a partner similar to themselves in physical features but this does not apply to height.

Throughout history, there has been a widespread perception that height is an asset for men and a personal liability for women.

The height preferences of men and women can be explained by traditional societal expectations and gender stereotypes. The gender stereotypes of men being the protectors is clearly connected to their height and the way being with a taller man makes a woman feel protected and feminine. In a society which encourages men to dominate and women to be submissive, the image of tall men towering over short women reinforces this stereotype.

Power and Money

According to an Australian study conducted in 2009, published in The Economic Recorder, taller men are able to earn more money than their shorter counterparts because they are perceived to be more intelligent and powerful. The study found that the average man could earn an extra $950 for every 5 centimetres of height!

A study conducted by Gonalo and Duguid in 2011, published in Psychological Science, found that the psychological feeling of power makes people feel taller. They found that people literally perceive themselves as taller when they have a more powerful position!

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