A friend and I were discussing this very issue today while having lunch in an outdoor cafe. We decided to count couples and see how many had a taller man and shorter woman, and how many had a shorter man and taller woman.
There were over 20 couples and all of them was of a taller man with a shorter woman.
This is all fine and good but not very scientific. What does science say about this important issue?
A study by Gillis and Avis in 1980 found that for every 100 couples, only 2 are likely to have a taller woman and shorter man. This suggests that in general, men tend to choose women who are shorter than they are and/or women choose men who are taller than they are.
Do Men Really Like Shorter Women?
The Gillis and Avis study shows that couples very frequently consist of a taller man together with a shorter woman.
However, this does not necessarily mean that men like shorter girls. In fact, one can argue that the height preference largely comes from the woman’s side. Perhaps the man has no height preference, but simply dates shorter women because shorter women find them more attractive.
To get a more comprehensive view of this tall vs. short women issue, I also examined data from Yahoo Answers!. In particular, I did a search for “tall vs. short women” questions.
I collected a total of 54 responses over about 20 related questions. 29 of the responses were from men, and 25 from women. Of the men,
- 52% said that they like shorter women,
- 31% said that height is not an issue, and
- only 17% said that they like tall women.
These figures seem consistent with the results of my Attractive Women Survey which showed that only 19% of voters like tall women.
Of the women,
- 24% said that men like shorter women,
- 36% said that height is not an issue,
- 40% said that men like tall women.
What is especially interesting about the Yahoo! Answers data is that the woman’s view differs so greatly from the man’s view. Upon greater examination though, we found that of the 10 women who claimed that men prefer taller women, 7 were 5’8”-5’9”, and 1 was 5’5”. Therefore, the relatively small data-set and abnormal height distribution of respondents likely skewed the results.
Data from more rigorous scientific studies also support the hypothesis that men have a preference for shorter women.
“We found that shorter, slimmer females with long slender legs, a curvy figure and larger breasts are more attractive,” said lead researcher Dr William Brown of Brunel University.
Nettle’s study on 10,000 people born in the UK in 1958 also showed that –
Shorter women are more likely to have long-term relationships with men, and more likely to have children …
Why Do Men Like Shorter Women?
Most female models are very tall. Based on this female ideal, it seems that all of us have a preference for the tall, thin, and willowy look.
Therefore, why does the survey and scientific results show that men like shorter women? It seems that here, at least, there is an inconsistency between the media feminine ideal and our real-world feminine ideal.
Certainly tall women have the following advantages –
- Clothes fall and drape more naturally on taller women.
- Tall women can handle extra weight much better than shorter women.
- Tall women get noticed more easily because they naturally stand out in a crowd.
All of these attributes make taller women especially suited for the modelling profession. We want models to stand out from the crowd and we want them to look especially good in a wide range of dress styles.
However, a woman’s greater height becomes more of a liability during mate selection because height is often associated with strength and power. These are traditionally traits that are highly regarded in men but less so in women. A tall woman may therefore have an emasculating effect on a shorter man.
In addition, while women frequently select mates based on strength, success, and power; men are more likely to select mates based on fertility. Nettle further pointed out that –
… girls with late sexual maturity will be taller than those who mature early, because they are growing for longer.
According to Nettle, taller women become fertile at a later date when compared to their shorter counterparts. This could also be another contributing factor to a man’s preference for shorter women.
Don’t Men Want Tall Sons?
What’s strange is that I would like to be taller and I would like my future son(s) to be taller. So it would really make more sense to choose a tall mate with genes that will produce a son who is tall. And yet I’m attracted to short women.
Another related factor to this tall vs. short women question is the height of our resulting children. If men do indeed select based on fertility, it seems that part of that fertility question would involve the strength and power of the resulting offspring. As was pointed out in the comment above, selection of a taller woman would increase the chances of producing a taller son.
However, based on all the data it seems that the attributes of our offspring are less significant than the social effects of having a taller female spouse, as well as possible maturity issues as related to height.
Are Tall Women Out of Luck?
Finally, it should also be mentioned that height selection and preference is a relative thing.
Most men like women that are shorter than they are and most women like men that are taller than they are. Men who are over 6 feet tall will have less problems dating tall women because they will still be the taller one in the relationship.
However, the distribution of heights for men and women follow the usual bell-curve shape. This suggests that tall women will have a smaller selection of men to choose from.
I’m 15 and 5’1/2 and I hate being short. My experience with males indicates that they like taller girls. I have this one friend and I don’t like him in that way, but he told my friend that he would like me in that way if only I was taller. Also, every time I wanted to do any sport other than gymnastics, my parents would tell me that I wouldn’t be any good at it because I’m short… So those of you who are tall as lucky
I am 4’10”. I was a great swimmer , could beat about all, butterfly was my stroke of choice. Also I played soccer and was always center field because I could weave in & out of the tall lanky girls. Dont listen to your parents on that, with practice you can do what you set your mind to! 🙂
I am 14 and 4 ft 9 1/2inches! You think you are short!
In response to Kayla; you simply only need to have stronger calf muscles to be a sucessful gymnast – height is actually a hinderance in this type of sport and why petite/average built girls excel best at it. I was trained as a gymnast up until the age of 12 yet grew too tall and lanky to balance myself effectively. Tall girls are great at many kinds of sports, yet gymnastics not really one of them if my own personal experiences are anything to report.
Hi Small and Tall Women! 🙂
I have read almost all your answers and I have been really surprised to see that tall women are not happy because being tall and that men prefer most of the time shorter women. Incredible… I always thought men adore tall women. I feel so sorry for those of you who are tall women and suffering because men pay attention to shorter women…
Me too I’m suffering, but because being short. I’m not an American girl, I’m Italian, 157 cm and 32 years old. In Italy many girls are taller than me, most of them around 165. I always hated my height, I wish I could have been taller… Men like me as I am, most of them, because I am slim (50 kg, small breast). But I still feel complexed. For being so complexed, I even declared to authorities that I am 160 cm tall, for my identity card and passport…
And like it was not enough, years ago I knew on line a man tall 191 cm, the perfect man from all points of view. I’ve been always attracted by tall men. And even if I wanted to meet him so much and he was ok with my height, I got more complexed everyday. One day he told me to stop thinking like this because LOVE IS NOT ABOUT HEIGHTS. I should have listen to him…But I didn’t, I kept thinking that when he will meet me he will not like me because too much short for him and when he will reject me, I will suffer so much. So I didn’t meet him face to face. We met other people in these years, but we kept talking like friends. He is always there for me when I need him, giving me advices, listening to me when I am happy or sad. I never had such a wonderful and deep feeling with a man…I care so much about our friendship, but in all these years I never forget him, I’m still thinking about him because the truth is I love him, but I don’t have the courage to tell him…We planned to meet this year some months ago, just to meet each other. At the last moment something happened and I didn’t meet him yet…I am single thinking about him, he is with another woman but as it seems not very involved… And sometimes I am still scared that he would prefer a tall woman than me…What I know is that I want to meet him so much…
What would you do if you were me?
Greetings to all of you!
I’m 5’2 and 15 years old and I wish I could be taller than I am now.
Buff Stud says
Be happy you are the height you are; you have a MUCH larger dating pool than taller women do.
If you were a guy and only 5’2″ tall at 15 years old, you would have a tough row to hoe when it comes to dating; women ALWAYS go for taller guys.
Select a guy that is between 2″ and 6″ taller than yourself if you want a long lasting relationship; 87.93% of marriages in the USA that last twenty-five years or more, include a man that is just 4.1″ taller than the woman on average.
Women that are looking for a one night stand elect a man that is 8″ taller or more… While men select a woman that is more than 6″ shorter for those one night stand.
Same here. I’m Asian (I live in Asia) and I’m actually short compared with my friends. I also don’t have any curves and I’m just waiting for a growth spurt to happen!
I’m a Zimbabwean gal very tall and very slim I find short boys going after me
women have hangups over height, npt men. men only stick to shorter women because she has to be at least 4 inchest shorter than you to even consider you as relationship potential. sure there are exceptions, in like 1% of women who just don’t care. problem is even they have their fair share of suitors so they can pick and choose regardless. it’s just not worth the investment to date a tall woman unless she goes out of her way to prove that she’s not wasting your time.
I wish i could be taller im only 4’10-4’11and weight 100lbs.which im kind of heavy..everytime i walk with ky husband on the st.or in the store man are staring at me i got all the attention i dont think if it call attractive but for me its make me feel uncomfortbale..some guys they just giving me their # random..
I’m 5 1/2, 100 lbs
There is a difference between liking a shorter women and liking a short women.
there are so many comments of sob stories about you guys’ heights and not being able to achieve a romantic relationship or having rummors spread about you because you were too tall or too short and i just wanted you all to know that i think you are all damn hot wether you are 5ft or 6ft im here for you and think you are hella beautiful and if the people around you cannot see that you should get new people because you are stunning and i love you so much
I’m 5’9” and most men that i date are basketball players (6’2″- …) and evry single one of them told me that they love my height so much
But honestly if he likes you he wont look the height
(Sorry if I speld something wrong, not american)
Don’t worry 🙂
I’m 5 foot 11 and in high school I really liked this guy who was a lot shorter than me. He was the shortest guy in class, but I didn’t really care and we got along really well. I eventually had the courage to ask him out and he rejected me because I was quote on quote “To tall” for him.
It was a bit depressing and I felt really crappy even though my height is not really something I can control. I have the tendency to like shorter guys and it’s always tough when they reject me because of my height.
On the bright side, as a powerful tall woman, you won’t be attracting the immature and weak men. Only powerful men can approach and handle. I’d say take advantage of your height!
I’m 5’1.5″.. I was like an average girl in the school.. no one flirted with me, but now I’m of the same height and now few of my school mates like me a lot saying I’m cute…few guys say I’m ok with my height and any boy could ever prefer, but now I love my friend a lot he love me too, he cares me such a way that i’d give my life to him, but he never expressed.. but he says he likes tall girls.. he is 6’1.5″ I feel I’m a way too short for him. May be he likes me if I’m chubby.
Actually that’s false. A lot of taller guys are weak inside depending on extrinsic factors like their height and not developing their mental cultivation much. The best man will be one that is strong inside and has overcome challenges, not one who has been given more. A strong shorter guy is truly an exemplar specimen of a man who can overcome his shortcomings
Implying men of shorter stature somehow lack maturity and power. Many men go against what you say such as Bill Gates and from my personal experience shorter men seem to have more academic drive.
Just for clarification I’m 5`10″ so I’m the un-bias mid-ground in this debate.
Everyone seriously look IM TALLL TOOOO what the hell should I do huh
I like your comment ! That’s right .. I do agree with you . LOL
I just didn’t like one guy i liked had told me that he like’s cute woman , like small and short .. and I was like smh smash it left and right LOL ..
I’m Asian but I kinda tall 5’6
I been wanted to have a tall guy I always get a tractive to a tall guy but I ended up marry to a short men smh .. and now Im stuck! ! No turning back I’m married so this would be it 🙂
I don’t think power has anything to do with height. Short girls are not less powerful than tall girls. It’s about personality.
I’m just 5ft.(152.5)
But I’m still happy everyday:))
Is it ok if I’m a little tall cause XD I’m not that tall but people always say I’m soooo tall my best friend is so tall ok done XD SOMEONE SAY WHAT THE HELL WE sHOULD DO EH WE DK BUT ITS JUST THAT pEOPLE WANNA BE SHORT BE HAPPY who you are your like a celebrity cause tall girls are rare you can’t find them everywhere just like Zendaya she’s very tall so be happyyyy turn DOWn FOR WHAT
I’m 6’2″, 16, and female. I personally find this post to be very true. All of my friends are short and I constantly see them get flirted with and hit on. Even the guys that are really tall go for my friends. I find myself physically attractive and always have, but the male population never seems to think so. Of course, girls often hit on me (because obviously if I’m tall, that automatically means I’m a butch lesbian).
I hate the “powerful” and “aggressive” image that comes with being a tall girl, because despite an athletic and curvy build, I really wish I was “cute” and “adorable” like my friends. I work out six days a week to have an ideal body, and yet men would rather a short, chubby girl that’s standing right next to me. I would honestly give anything to be desirable to men, even if the age group was above mine. Even older guys don’t find me attractive.
Maybe I’m just one of those people that’s not meant to find love or something, lol…
Hey chick im 37 married with 3 young boys n i feel your pain… i struggled with my height when i was younger n im 6 ft 1 n size 10 feet… as iv got older n wiser iv realised men did find me attractive but intimidatin. Some men have a chip on there shoulder n cant deal with strong women.especially tall strong minded women b confident n cheeky. That gets you everywhere. Embrace your beauty someone out there will adore you one day i hated my height now i deal with it n smile n wave… hope this helps
I’m a 5’10” 19 year old girl. I feel your pain. Even more so because your taller than me. But in high school these girls started a rumor my freshmen year that I was a lesbian- just because I was tall!! So not only were the boys throughout high school too intimidated to approach me, but the stigma of being a lesbian followed me the entire time I was there. I feel just as disheartened as you in terms of I’ve never been asked out on a date, never been flirted with, never even been kissed, and I’m pretty sure it’s because of the height, because, like you, I acknowledge that I am beautiful (all the catcalls I get from all the s*** men proves it) . It seems even harder because I’m smart and I love intellectual conversations. I love to run, and I was very athletic in highschool so I have the skinny, athletic build. I never once got asked to a school dance. I remember asking a guy I liked sophomore year to the sadie hawkin’s-esque dance and he showed up in his taller dress shoes because he was maybe an inch shorter than me and he told me “I’m so glad you didn’t wear heels” and I cried for a week after. I just wanted to say you’re not alone. Even now, in college, I’ve never once been approached, even by the taller guys, and I feel desperate and it sucks. Like, is it so bad to want even the smallest positive attention from a guy? It makes me feel totally rotten to be ignored by the opposite gender when I’m attracted to them…especially when I’m attracted to a specific person.
It’s easer to make fun of other people’s differences then to take a long deep look at your own shortcomings ( no pun intended ). I’m 5 foot 2 male and when I was younger I was teased so much I, could not even sit next to pretty girl never mind look her in the eye. I wish I could run away from my own self. The only thing that saved me was my dad!!! He was 5 feet 5 but really strong mechanic he showed my how to build my body how to make witty comebacks when teased about my height.
I had to toughen up and not take any crap ( this did take almost five years). I’m still only 5″2″ but I’m the guy at work they come to first when they have a problem because I finally found confidence ,maturity , strength of will . I will not be beaten by a what life throws at me, be it stupid little comment about short guys are weak
Your are not weak you can find inner strength and the strength drawn from family and close friends . And by the way tall girls rock!!!!!!!’!!
Aw!!! Seriously I have the same problem. Just tell youself that you are a model and that guys are too intimidated to ask you out because they’ll think you’ll say no (because obvs they think you’d probably be taken if you’re a model!)
Hey, I’m a dude 6′ 4″ and personally, I find tall girls extremely attractive, I just like their slim beutiful features, so don’t be sad if you’re tall.
Hey, I am still growing and I have size 12 feet, but I am only 5’9.5! So, I just wanted to say that I know your pain.
Wish you could lend me 4 inches of your height we would both be happy! lol.. I’m 5’2 and I absolutely hate it. I would like to become a VS Model, everyone tells me if I was taller I’d be perfect and idc my height is my biggest insecurity as well. I feel like people don’t take short girls seriously.
Head in the clouds says
It is not easy being tall. I am 5’11” and in great (excellent) shape at a size 6-8 with hips. I don’t get hit on much. And now days men can be passive and women go after them, I don’t play that game, maybe that’s my problem – I like men-men not she-men that like getting picked up. Height is not all its cracked up to be.
I’m 14 and 6’4
But I have a bf that is about 2 inches taller than me and he is 17
Men like petite and has curves..like me lol
Honestly, guys only like shorter girls better. Guys don’t want to be with someone who is taller them and have to bend down just to kiss them. They want to piggy back them and carry them. Not something you can do with a tall girl.
When a tall skinny guy is easily out-lifted in weightlifting by either a short fat girl or a short stocky girl, especially when he towers over her by more than a foot while she outweighs him by more than fifty pounds, he sometimes feels ashamed or embarrassed (or both). However, he often becomes REALLY TURNED ON (and so does she!!!).
Yes, height is often associated with strength and power but that is not always the case, even when there is a male vs. a female. I was a tall skinny guy (I am still tall and skinny) when I met a short fat girl who became my girlfriend. I stood 6-foot-1 at 125 pounds. Very tall and very skinny!!! She stood 4-foot-11 at 190 pounds. Very short and very fat. AND VERY STRONG (which I soon found out!!!). One day, early in our relationship, we decided to lift weights in my apartment. While she was watching me, I grabbed a big heavy (fully-loaded) barbell from the floor. I tried to lift it over my head. I COULDN’T EVEN GET IT ABOVE MY THIGHS!!! Then came her turn. While I was watching her, she grabbed that big heavy barbell and, while I continued to watch her, she easily lifted it RIGHT UP OVER HER HEAD!!! She easily saw that I was embarrassed losing to her because of my being a male and her being a female and also because I stood way taller than she did (towering over her BY MORE THAN A FOOT!!!) so she walked over to me where we both stood in front of each other and then I was looking way down at her while she was looking way up at me when she and I suddenly began kissing each other tenderly and passionately (our first kiss as girlfriend and boyfriend). My embarrassment vanished right there on the spot!!! I realized that she was way bigger and stronger than I was even though I towered way over her and I had no problem accepting that (especially after she and I began kissing each other!!!).
Interesting article although not fully accurate. At one point they mention that around 5’5 is considered to be tall. I’m that exact height and I’m no where near being tall. I’m not short either. It depends on the country from where you are from but I know in the U.S between 5’4 and 5’6 is just about average, 5’5 being exactly in between. There always seems to be debates about tall and short girls, but everyone seems to forget about the in between girls.
Emily Aria Hanna Spencer says
I miss being called cute, all I do is intimidate men. The boy I have been obsessed with for months said I am too tall for him even though he is 5’11” and I am 5’5″. I am too short to model but to tall to attract anyone I like. When I was in middle school I was 5’4″ and everyone thought I was short and now I’m like a monster to everyone.
Dude I was in middle school,and like 5’6… I’m 5’11 now.
I’m assuming this guys on the shorter side? 5 foot 5 inches is certainly not tall. It’s perfectly average. Between 5’4 and 5’6 is the average height on a scale for females, everything else is shorter or taller. Do not get discouraged and love yourself for who you are. Obviously if some douche bag guy can’t appreciate you for who you are than he doesn’t deserve you and you can do a hell of a lot better girl!
My bad I didn’t see that you wrote he was 5’11…never the less I stand with what I said!
I’m in middle school and I’m 6’1. the guy that I like is like 6’2, and he thinks I’m too tall for him.
GTFO try telling that to the girls that are 5′ 10″ and up lol I’m a 6 foot tall girl
I’m 14 and 5’5, its actually tall in my country. Asians don’t tend to be tall. I am NBSB, so idk why tall guys in my school likes short girls. I even asked my crush, also taller than me (well actually, a boy whom I like for 2 yrs and secretly wished that he is my boyfie, and dont forget that I’ve got like 10 pics of him pinned on my bedroom wall) which he prefers, and you know what he said? — “Louisa is my crush. You know the pretty girl short and stuff. I really don’t know but I think short girls are cute ya’ know? Unlike you.. but hey you’re pretty too hahaha bla bla bla” Ughh, sometimes I hate that I’m tall
HANNAH EMILYNA says
5’5 is not tall or short so you have the best of both worlds, not towering for men but you have good length legs
5’5 is considered tall for east asian. Mine is 5’2 but i always wish i could be taller..not for any boys, but its just what i want. Whenever i look at models and how i wish i could be more like them. Like the jenner girls. With height that i have now, yes, there are boys attract to me but i really do wish i have your height. If only i didnt hit my puberty early i would be a tall woman by now. I had my puberty at 10 so no more growing height for me
ethel nyathi says
Come on gal dont be shy abt who u a….luv urself too bits and all shall be well