Study Finds Women Prefer Taller Men

Study Finds Women Prefer Taller Men

The next time that special lady catches your eye, ask yourself: Am I tall enough to be her man? One study published in the Journal of Family Issues found that most women just aren't willing to settle for shorter guys.

The taller you are, the safer she feels
Researchers from two U.S. colleges collected data from online dating ads posted by 455 men and 470 women across the country. The men averaged 36 years of age with an average height of 5 feet, 8 inches, while the women averaged 35 years of age with an average height of 5 feet, 4 inches. From those dating ads, a resounding 49% of women said they only wanted to date taller guys, while only 13.5% of men said women had to be shorter to make the cut. The researchers then did an online survey of 54 men and 131 women with around the same height averages as the dating ads. They found the number of women who preferred taller men ticked upward to 55%, while the number of men wanting to date only shorter gals landed at 37%.

The researchers ultimately concluded that ladies prefer guys with more body length simply because they feel more protected by them. One female in the study cited not wanting to look down into a man's eyes, the ability to wear high heels and still be shorter than her date and wanting to reach up to give her date a hug among her reasons for preferring taller men. But scientists think certain gender stereotypes might also explain their findings.

"The masculine ability to offer physical protection is clearly connected to the gender stereotype of men as protectors," said study author George Yancey, PhD, a professor of sociology at the University of North Texas, in a news release. "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."

Short on height? Don't fret
Whether you're short or tall, this study may not come as a big surprise. But the truth is, there's a lot more to attraction than height. Here are two ways to get her attention, regardless of size.

Medically reviewed in January 2020.

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