WHY GETTING TALLER?
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Short Men Less Likely to Marry, Have Kids
What’s behind the phenomenon — whether women prefer taller men or those men are simply more outgoing — is up for debate. But the numbers clearly stack up against shorter guys.
20- to 50-Year-Olds
Abnormal Sizes Scrapped
It is not surprising that taller men are preferred more often than shorter men. While the medium height for men in the United States is 5' 8½", the most preferred height for a man is 6' 0". This is true for almost any combination of woman's attributes. We did find some interesting differentiation. For a short man (5' 4" and shorter) living in the United States, the best states to live in are Idaho, Maine, Vermont, and Wyoming. A short man has a greater chance of being included in a woman's preferences. This is probably because these states have relatively low populations. Women have fewer choices and so are more likely to compromise and include a shorter man in their preferences. In contrast, California, New York, New Jersey, Washington D.C., Nevada and Arizona are the worst states for a short man. In these states, women's expectations are highest, again probably because the states are so populous and there are many choices.
There is significantly less data available for other countries than for the United States: only 9,701 vs. 177,427. The reader should understand that statistical errors are more likely to appear for other countries because less data is available. However, we can still determine that country is a significant determiner of preferences. In general, a small man is twice as likely to be preferred by a women outside the United States as within. There are two possibilities. First, people in the Unites States are more superficial than in other countries. Second, women in the United States are taller and so prefer taller men. The table below shows in rank order, from worst to best, how well a man 5' 4' tall would fare in each country. Only countries with 50 or more records are listed. The third column shows the mean height of women in that country. Except for the Philippines, Indonesia and Thailand, there does not appear to be a significant correlation between women's height in a country and their preference for a tall man.
There are interesting distributions in age and race. Women 18 to 39 are most likely to include a short man in their preference. Between 40 and 59, they prefer a taller man and from 60 on, they seem less concerned about height. This is somewhat counter intuitive. One would expect younger people of both sexes to be more shallow and to gain depth of personality as they age. One possible explanation is that the middle-aged women were married and divorced and now have higher expectations than they did when they were young. Preferences also varied by race. Those women who described themselves as Other or Didn't Say, where most likely to include a short man in their preferences. Asian women preferred short men to a greater extent than any named race. Those who described themselves as Multiracial, Hispanic or White were in the middle while African-American/Black women most often preferred taller men.
Correlations by body type are easier to explain. Women who described themselves as Petite or who Didn't say were more likely to include a short man in their preferences. Not surprisingly, women who are Slim/Slender or Athletic were least likely to include short men. It is easy to conclude that these woman have many choices and are less likely to compromise. Women who described themselves as Average, A Few Extra Pounds or Large were in the middle between the other extremes.
Other analysis shows that smaller women are less likely prefer a man less than or equal to their own height. Taller woman are more forgiving. In the U.S., about 7% of women between 4' 10" and 5' 6" are will choose a shorter man. 18% of women 5'7" and taller will choose a smaller man. As the woman's height increases, so does her propensity to prefer a shorter man.
A short women will choose a man whose height is less than or equal to her own 16% of the time, while taller woman will make that choice 42% of the time.
Outside the United States, 22% of short women are likely to choose a man the same height or smaller. Just over half of taller women will choose a man the same height or smaller. The table below shows the details of the analysis for each woman's height between 4' 10" and 6' 8".