Seeking marriage? Try shorter men

Science has been backing up the worst kept secret about women for some time—they go for the tall guys. Two sociologists, one from the University of North Texas and the other from Rice University found that 48.9 percent of women have a height requirement for their online profiles—he needs to be taller. They collected data from Yahoo dating personals and used open-ended questions in an online survey they conducted. The reasons women offered for their height preferences were connected to societal expectations and gender stereotypes. 29 percent of the women also talked about feeling awkward about being out with a shorter guy. Interestingly, the men came in at 13.5 percent who wouldn’t date a taller woman. Among college students who were also surveyed as a separate group–55 percent of women required taller men and 37 percent of men said the women needed to be shorter.

Now a new study that has yet to be peer reviewed is suggesting that shorter guys might make better partners. According to this new research—they do more housework, earn more than their taller peers—and are less likely to get divorced. Take that, tall guys. Two sociologists from NYU used data from a University of Michigan project that’s been collecting data on 5,000 families for almost 50 years—and used it to see how a man’s height impacts his relationship once he is past the dating/courtship stage. It’s hard to argue with such a rich trove of data and what it shows.

They also found that short men are less likely to get married—their marriage rate is 18 percent lower than taller guys. Their sample included men from the ages of 23-45—so who knows if it goes up later, when women are more savvy about who they choose and why. Apparently short men are seen as less masculine and this impacts their marriage rate. This might explain the “Napoleon” syndrome. Perhaps because finding partners is harder for these guys—they are more likely to marry older and less educated women. One theory the authors came up with is that older women may help them feel more mature, worldly and masculine. Yikes.

My take away from this is that SMART women who seek a good partner who will make both a good husband and Dad should look twice at shorter men. What’s wrong with wearing flats—easier on the back? Of course, I have a bias here—I am married to a man who is shorter than my type was when I met him, taller than me by only a small inch or two. He is successful, masculine and aggressive, and his height has never been an issue-ever. I’m certainly glad I was able to see who he was in the package he came in back then. Or otherwise—I would have missed out on a great life/family.

Author: Toni Coleman

Toni Coleman, LCSW, CMC is an internationally recognized dating and relationship expert and founder of Her expertise is sought frequently by local and national publications and top ranked dating and relationship websites and she has been a guest on a number of radio and TV programs. She is the featured relationship coach in “The Business and Practice of Coaching,” (Norton, September 2005); the author of the forward for, “Winning Points with the Woman in Your Life, One Touchdown at a Time;” (Simon and Schuster, November 2005) - and her popular relationship articles can be found in several magazines and a number of self- help, personal growth and dating/relationship websites. Toni holds a Master’s degree in Clinical Social Work, is a licensed psychotherapist in the state of Virginia, and earned a certification in life coaching.

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