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.
lol I’m 4 ft and 10 inch
And I’m 18
I’m 6’1″. I’ve dated girls 5″11″. My ex wife was 5″4″. I prefer smaller women. No taller tan 5″ 6″. They just seem more submissive. I love to engulf them when we cuddle.
I’m 14 and my height is really short! No matter wat others say……I wanna b tall.!
I didn’t like been short when I was your age and now I love it. You can’t change who you are so just make the best of what you have and enjoy it x
I’m 5’10 and I’m 15 I hate my height but should I
I’m the same height and ever man chases me so don’t worry
we are all different sizes that’s what makes us unique, just be happy with what you have. Xx
Olivia spencer says
I feel your frustration. I’m like five ft 10 and am only 13 years old. I’m worried that guys won’t like me.
im 5.7.7 i dont like my height im a girl 15 years old im too short it is really bad
hey hw r u???
dont be bithered ua height is perfect u r just 15 🙂
How are you short?
That’s a great height for you age! Not to tall, nor to short.
I loooooooooooove my height! I am 5’8″ and my first and only love of my life,fell in love for me in first sight!he told me he had always looked for a tall curvaceous girl like me…i love being tall!i have always been praised for my height.dont mind the results of this site at all. Super models and miss universes are always tall,and all men like them.beyonce is tall too.so is monica bellucci and jessica alba…we rock!
Carly McElroy says
lol I’m in 6th grade and I’m already 5.4″ tall!
I’ve been thinking about this a lot. I work around Ohio state campus so I see tons of women of various sizes. The sight of a short woman is unattractive. The girl doesn’t look grown and looks like a younger child. Taller women look more adult and theres more of their body to admire.
Taller women are more interesting, also, be cause yodontdon’t see many of them. I’d love to have a girl 5’10-6’2.
5’9 to 6’2 myself..
I’m 5’9 and a girl. I hardly see any girls my height or taller
Olivia spencer says
That makes girls like me feel better cos we just think most men fall for smaller women
Frank Johnson says
This blog made me think of my early 20’s, as I was rejected by the foxes who chased after the Alfa males and showed no more interest in me than glancing at a blade of grass next to the highway traveling at 75 MPH. And this made me think about my own personal experiences with tall women, a slightly different story from this blog, but same result due to being a Beta male.
One 6’ tall girl, in a gym, talked to me with such a look of disinterested she couldn’t have looked or acted more uninterested if she had wanted to. I approached another, who I estimated being 5 foot 9 or 10 inches. She got angry with me for even asking her out and stuck her finger in my face informing me she didn’t date shorter men. On line, I met a girl 5’11”, and we worked out together once in my apartment complex gym, after that she did not return my two phone calls, there could be others, too, I just don’t remember them all. Now, you may say the rejections were because of my looks, that could be true, but as I approached girls closer to my height, my success rate went way up.
This blog also made me think about the rejections by tall girls, and it angered me, but not at the time the rejection. Only years later, when I actually tallied them up, did I get angry. I was rejected not because I was fat, bald, ugly, deformed or had a rotten personality. No. The reason I was rejected by all of these women was my height. Not a one even bothered to put forth the effort to get to know me much less date me.
I did date three women who were significantly taller than me, two at 5’11” and one at 5’10”. (I am 5’8”) And all three happened to be 32 years of age, which is more than a coincidence and a tie in with this blog. No doubt all three wanted a tall Alfa male, and lost, so a safe stable Beta male was the next best thing in their 30’s, for I certainly didn’t grow any taller and I doubt I got better looking. These women were past their prime and worried. I was in my late 30’s, at this time of my life, after being married for 10 years. It was also at this time, I could easily date younger women, and I did. When I was 38, my first girlfriend was 27, the next was 27 and the next was 24 who became my second wife. I never dated with any intent of marrying a woman my age. Younger women had no issue with me dating them, and I certainly had no issue dating them. I remember going to singles events and seeing very pretty women, who were my age, who I know 15 years earlier would not have given me the time of day. And even now, they may have looked better than myself, but now it was me who had no interest in approaching them. I did not want to take time and money away from pursuing younger women. Why go old, when I could go young? I was amazed how the dating game changed in my favor. And I used it to my advantage, just as women had done years earlier.
I am now married and have 4 sons. I have 3 degrees, and I have co-authored 2 US patents. I could have provided a good life to any girl. I wanted a taller girl because of the physical turn on and to for fill one of my desires, yet not one single tall girl (in her 20’s) gave me a chance. I was turned down consistently and without a second thought. (Maybe due to the Alfa male fascination) So, if you find yourself in your late 20’s or early 30’s with no prospect of a husband or children in the immediate future, you have no one to blame but yourself. There were men like me, who wanted a leggy female, but they, like me, were never accorded the opportunity. (This also applies to average height women, too) And the reality is that the vast majority of tall women will not even consider a shorter man (and Beta males) until it is too late. You would think it would be obvious that if you included shorter males (and Beta males) in your suitor selection, your odds would increase of finding a mate. There are a lot more short and medium height males than there are taller ones. So my advice would be to accept the advances of all men and get to know them. I, who would have relished the opportunity of having curvy broad hips and a tapered waist to hold all night and to make love to into the early hours of the morning, was never, not once, even given a chance to start a relationship. Throw away the yardstick, for you may find someone like me, who would love to share his life and love with a tall girl.
By the way, another tie in with this article and be found at this web site.
This writer tell about his rejections in his 20’s by women only to find that women now chased after him, in spite of his height, now he is in his early 30’s. He warns of the dangers of the “Reformed Heightest Woman” who are desperate after wasting their life chasing the Alfa male and now want a stable Beta with a steady pay-check.
Here is anther on how women who found the Mr. Average (Beta Males) were worth nothing in their 20’s and now that these women are in their 30’s can’t buy a date, even from the Beta Males
Why women lose in the dating game
During their 20s, women compete for the most highly desirable men, the Mr Bigs. Many will readily share a bed with the sporty, attractive, confident men, while ordinary men miss out. As Whiskey puts it at whiskeysplace.wordpress.com: ”Joe Average Beta Male is about as desirable to women as a cold bowl of oatmeal.”
”I can’t believe how many men my age are only interested in younger women,” wails Gail, a 34-year-old advertising executive as she describes her first search through men’s profiles on the RSVP internet dating site. She is shocked to find many mid-30s men have set up their profiles to refuse mail from women their own age.
Talking to many women like her, it’s intriguing how many look back on past relationships where they let good men get away because they weren’t ready. American journalist Kate Bolick wrote recently in The Atlantic about breaking off her three-year relationship with a man she described as ”intelligent, good-looking, loyal and kind”. She acknowledged ”there was no good reason to end things”, yet, at the time, she was convinced something was missing in the relationship. That was 11 years ago. She’s is now 39 and facing grim choices.
this is funny the most desired men in Hollywood are not even tall so how does it workout women prefer taller Johnny deep is only 5ft 9 and Brad Pitt is 5ft 11 same a me to be truthful talk women bodies is not as nice as small look at Kim kardasian her body is nice and small an curvy.
when you talk about feeling alpha vs beta, i think youre thinking of the womens reasons from the wrong perspective. as a tall woman myself it isnt because i dont think a guy is “good enough” for me that i dont want to date him, but the inverted version of your own mindframe. if tall is masculine and short is feminine, then tall woman dont feel “woman” enough for many men especially those that arent taller than them. a man shorter than his girlfriend is likely to feel “not very manly” and the “weaker” one in the couple. well, its the same for women, except with a shorter boyfriend, they feel like a big ungainly heavy masculine lump next to their boyfriend. they dont feel pretty or dainty or feminine, whereas a man bigger than them makes them feel better about themselves. they too struggle with alpha vs beta feelings, but in ways relevant to feminine traits instead of masculine. it annoys me when men talk about their own feelings and struggle and then dismiss women as simp,y evil for its own sake, the thought that they too could be humans struggling with actual feelings, with actual reasons better than “wanted to be mean for no reason’ for doing things, and these men dont even consider trying to think of their perspective. the thought doesnt even occur to them, these women must just be bad people, the bitches.
You are speaking from your personal experience, which is all well and fine, but in my own experience men tend to shun women taller than them. Don’t assume that women don’t get crushed on me shorter than them because that is not always the case. In high school I reached near close to my full adult height of about 5’7”. I had a crush on an immensely attractive, but tiny (talking about 5’0”) lad in my year group. I never plucked up the courage to ask him out directly but I certainly did indicate I was interested in him and having three sisters even if he didn’t know they would have known. What did he do? Him and his group of cronies proceeded to (sometimes physically) bully me and went for the tiniest girl in the year group who must have been about 4’9”.
Okay, so you say, he was obviously a jerk, there are other men smaller than you who would be interested, but no, really, this isn’t what happens. The only guys who date me and seem to be interested are taller than me, even it’s just by an inch. Every guy shorter than me that I’ve posed the question ‘Would you ever date a woman taller than you?’ has said no because ”it isn’t right” or some other crap. Frustratingly all of my crushes have been on men shorter than me so I’m left with the options of getting ignored and staying single or breaking some sweet tall guys heart because I’m not attracted to him
Please don’t act like all women will reject a short guy.
Most tall girls get rejected by shorter men so they just automatically fear that rejection so they often do the rejection first to spear their feelings. I’m 5’11 and trust me I get rejected a lot.! I have dated shorter men but they felt emasculated. So its not that they want to turn you down. They’ve had bad experiences before so they’re scared.
Body image is so important to girls and women that it makes or breaks their enjoyment of life. As the father of a fairly tall daughter (5’9 1/2″) I work very hard to support her happiness. Sadly, a tall girl who rejects a shorter guy is usually doing it because of her own body-image problems — NOT because she thinks he is worthless! She is afraid that she will feel like a big clumsy oaf when she is walking beside him. She wants to feel dainty and feminine.
So guys, if you ask a taller girl out and she says no, don’t feel insulted and don’t hate her. Feel a little bit of sympathy for her. If you really like her a lot, buy a pair of tall-heel cowboy boots or lift-shoes and ask her again later. Point out the shoes and ask “Am I tall enough for you now?” With a friendly smile.
This worked for my daughter’s new boyfriend! She thinks it was an adorable gesture and she respects his persistence.
Hi Everyone! I am nearly 14 and 4ft 11 almost 5 I am the shortest girl in a ll my classes, but i am often told i am pretty, i like taller guys, usually alot taller then me.
There’s this really cute tall boy Vernesias i think (dont know how to spell it), who is hispanic but he looks white, light skinned like me. he is like the cutiest boy in the whole 8th grade and i have a big crush on him. He’s only ever talked to me once cause we don’t have any classes together i only see him in the hallway. But i have gotten some signs he likes me and some signs that its really doesn’t, prob just thinks i look ok.
Ive gotten my friend to ask him if he likes me, wasnt the best response. But his friend told me he liked me, he never talks to me though. Maybe he thinks i’m too short for him, What should i do?
Plus i have seen him looking at me before in the hallway or at lunch, never says anything though, and sometimes he just walks right past me its like a mystery game…
And a tall women will find it harder to be rejected so reject her first then she be chasing you. Women ha sky get rejected so it have a bigger a effect on them. Men are used to it and only happens because men make is easy for women. I’m sure that’s why women dress how they do to win the mating game.
Don’t worry how short you are cause I am 4’7 and almost 15.
Athena Grinch says
“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.
Isn’t this general knowledge? You don’t need to do research to come up with this.
But sometimes. Research is necessary to verify to prove a claim ( thats scienece ) because they used higher sample size. Like 1000s. To get a hard factual claim
short women with a in-shape body can look so sexy and attractive.
Everyone is beautiful! I’m short 4′ 10″ and I’m finished at growing says my doctor and I’m almost 15. Yes I wish I am taller, but it’s my genes and wishing is not going to change anything. I want to say ALL Tall women, short women, and average are all PERFECT! Men and women should NOT care about height, because appearances do not matter, your personality does!
my girlfriend is several inches shorter than me but i find her reaally cute. being short is part of her charm. i prefer short girls. so no probs sis 🙂
Im 5’9 and asian but really want to grow taller
5’9 is a good height for asian
And what about being ‘inbetween’ height?. I am 5ft5 – taller than many shorter women and smaller than taller women. I rarely see women of my own height and they are mostly shorter or occassionally tall.
My very good looks, regardless of height, attracts men of all kind, yet mainly shorter men – don’t know why this is and do not wear heels or dress in a very feminine way. My preference is for taller men like many women but can’t explain why this is the case. I have had shorter boyfriends and found them to be a lot more insecure than taller men.
Negative media has a lot to answer for regarding ‘tall’ women however and because the vast majority are not tall, let alone super-model tall!. I know one woman who is 5ft7 and always trying to make herself taller than all the women in her immediate circles – makes me annoyed that she does this when it is not necessary at all and she knows that I feel not so great about my own height but I am physically more attractive than she is and perhaps why she does it?.
I’m also 46, and will be married for the first time to a 5’10” at a minimum woman, because I’m 6′ 2″ myself-if I had one complaint about her, I’d truly love her to be 6′ 2″ or taller, and wear stilettos!
Tall women are so astonishingly beautiful, and all of those legs to caress-WOW!
MJ Hernandez says
I am 46 years old and my personal tastes in women to have broadened but one thing is certain and for me the height of a woman was never an issue for me,
John Devlin says
So men don’t like tall women? If a man and a woman are friendly with each other, why should the difference in their heights have anything to do with it? It is, or should be, about personality, rapport etc, not about differences in physical appearance such as height, skin colour, hair colour etc. Why should the man always be taller than the woman? The television personality Ronnie Corbett is just over 5 feet tall while his wife is several inches taller, which proves that there can be exceptions to the stereotype of the man always being the taller member in a relationship. It’s about whether a man and a woman like each other and enjoy each other’s company. I wouldn’t mind being in a relationship with a woman who is several inches taller than myself or who is dark-skinned, red-haired, left-handed or has a disability if I liked her and enjoyed her company.
Now that’s the real deal.
The article is not saying that men don’t like tall women, only saying that the findings of their research on men’s preference for ‘ideal’ size – height of women – falls directly outside of (popular media culture) and stereotypes female beauty to reinforce the negative assertion that very tall/men women are supossed to be the ideal of human species. What I don’t get however is the fact that women who are ‘between’ height – 5ft4/5 who are neither small nor actually tall, appear to vanish somewhere in the survey or even commentators response to it.
In my view, I totally agree with you that ‘If a man and a woman are friendly with each other, why should the difference in their heights have anything to do with it?’. Indeed, personality traits are just as important as physical attraction.
I am 5’9 and I a quite happy with my height and I don’t like sports. I don’t get the point of fussing over height. Its natural and there is nothing u can do over it. So, I guess its all abiut being happy with what u have…..
Here in India, its all different. i am tall, fair and 6’2″ but shorter girls find me too tall and taller girls(not available). Well i don’t care if she is short or tall; only thing i care for is love. Also, girls here cling to their boyfriends, even if they don’t love and care for them, until they kick them out. And after first bad experience, they don’t try another or even if someone takes first initiative, they think all boys are the same.
I’m a woman that is 5’2 and I only like men that are usually 6’2 less drama.
You think you all have it bad? I’m 16, weigh 139 and I’m 5’11…. Yes, I’m on the volleyball team but MOST of the guys are shorter than me, so it sucks…
Hi.. i am 23 years old female with 5’4 height..my boyfriend is 6ft and i always worry about my height..i wish i would be 5’7..but what is your opinion friends? Is it good height i have?
Yes it’s a great height there’s nothing wrong with short people