A while back I wrote on the subject of height differences and the effect that has on romantic success. The long and short of it is that tall women believe that they are discriminated against because guys are intimidated. Guys argue that tall women are disadvantaged because they cull their dating pool to only include guys that are taller than they. I took the position that there is probably some merit to both, but that the bigger issue is that women want guys taller than they are (or at least roughly the same height) and therefore the fewer guys taller than they are, the fewer options they will consider.

The discussion was launched on an article from The Frisky. Well, another article from The Frisky and a poll suggest that the guys are more right than wrong. They took a poll and nearly three out of four respondents said that they would only date a guy taller, the same height, or only slightly shorter than they are.

The only caveat to this is that if you polled only tall women, you might get different results. It’s easy for 5’5″ women to say that they will only date taller guys than them because they’re only excluding pretty short guys. I don’t know how long a 6’1″ woman has to go lonely before deciding that there are more important factors in height, but I doubt it’s an indefinite drought. On the other hand, a 6’1″ woman is more likely to be self-conscious about her height than a 5’5″ woman and so height may be a bigger deal.

Either way, three out of four is a much higher number than I would have expected on a self-reporting survey. At the least, I would have guessed that more women did it either subconsciously or would deny it even in an anonymous poll. We have to accept the poll, though, because Internet polls are always accurate.


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About the Author

Will Truman (trumwill) is a southern transplant in the mountain east with an IT background who bides his time taking care of their daughter while his wife brings home the bacon. You will probably be relieved to know that he does not generally refer to himself in the third-person except when he's writing short bios on his web page.

13 Responses to Heightist Women

  1. web says:

    The only caveat to this is that if you polled only tall women, you might get different results. It’s easy for 5?5? women to say that they will only date taller guys than them because they’re only excluding pretty short guys. I don’t know how long a 6?1? woman has to go lonely before deciding that there are more important factors in height, but I doubt it’s an indefinite drought. On the other hand, a 6?1? woman is more likely to be self-conscious about her height than a 5?5? woman and so height may be a bigger deal.

    Speaking only from personal experience, observations of various dating-site profiles, and the observations of a few statistical studies I have seen which actually compared dating-site listings by height (listing the “average height” requested by a women), women almost-universally “demand” a guy no shorter than they are, and generally mark off the systems to not receive messages from guys anything less than 2 inches taller. I don’t know whether it’s been taken offline, been lost over time, or I’m just not typing in the right search criteria to hit it quickly, but the analysis was very similar to (and I believe used the same dataset) as this analysis regarding race/religion preferences on a pretty large site.

    This held true even for the 5’11 Amazons, by the by.

    So no… I doubt if you polled the “tall” women only, you’d get different results.

  2. Clancy says:

    Hmm. I’m 5’9″, and I dated guys with a range of heights from 5’6″ to 6’5″, the tallest being Will. 🙂 I don’t think I worried quite so much about height as I did about weight; I really preferred not to be the heavier one of the pair. That being said, I don’t know the weights of everyone I ever dated, but it was again a range of weights, body types, and fitness levels.

  3. trumwill says:

    Let me know if you find that study, Web. I thought I recalled something like that, but I did a search before the “Weather Up Here” post and found nothing.

    I suggested in this post that it’s odd that women would be as up-front about their desire for a taller guy. I wonder if maybe it’s the opposite. Women overwhelmingly state a preference for height that they become more flexible with when the rubber hits the road and a guy has other things going for him. Guys do that when it comes to physical attractiveness in general.

    That’s not to say that there’s not great privilege in male height or female attractiveness, but it might be one of those things that might not be as big of a deal once you cross a certain plateau. Like if a guy is 5’8″ or above or a woman is no more than moderately overweight or moderately unattractive.

  4. Peter says:

    Being right at the American male average of 5’10” I hardly ever think of my own height. It’s just not a relevant factor. What’s more, I rarely notice or think about the heights of other people, unless they’re unusually tall or short. It’s almost as if being of average height pushes awareness of height very low in my consciousness.

  5. Abel Keogh says:

    Height was important to both MG and I as far as future spouses were concerned. I’m more attracted to taller women than shorter women. And since MG is 5’9″ she wanted someone that was at least 6 feet tall. Thankfully we were both able to meet each others height requirements. 🙂

  6. Sheila Tone says:

    The Internet says that the average American woman is about 5’4″ and the average American man is about 5’9.” So it’s not hard for the average woman to find a taller man. A *shorter* man would be a serious outlier, and thus perhaps undesirable for that reason alone.

    I’m 5’7″, and I can’t remember any guy more than a shade shorter making a serious play. Because I was kind of tall, it was OK to me if a guy was a little shorter, because it didn’t mean he was a freak or anything. But I’ve spoken before about having worse relationship results with shorter men. They fall into the same category as nerds. Chips on their shoulder perhaps.

    With guys who are substantially taller, one gets smothered during sex. I like the missionary position so it was an issue.

  7. Peter says:

    With guys who are substantially taller, one gets smothered during sex. I like the missionary position so it was an issue.

    As I understand it, Cowgirl is a better choice if the man is substantially taller and/or heavier than the woman.

  8. web says:

    What I want to know is, who named these various positions?

  9. Peter says:

    Allegedly, the missionary position was named after European missionaries in the South Pacific, who had urged the native people to use that more “civilized” position as a replacement for the positions they had been accustomed to using. There’s some debate as to whether this account is an urban legend.

    Cowgirl should be self-explanatory.

  10. trumwill says:

    I always thought Missionary position was named because it was the most direct and clean route (ie the “cleanest”) so it was given a religionish name or that it was named because it was the direct route and thus it was for a “man on a mission.” Not that I spend my time thinking about such things…

  11. john says:

    Missionary is pretty obviously the most civilized position. It creates the most direct human connection between the participants.

  12. jay says:

    Im 6’3. I dated taller men than me, but always preferred shorter men. I think they have better personalities. I also like stocky men. Tall men are usually very skinny. The bad thing is when I go out with a shorter man, people look at us as if we a from a space ship. A lot of times its annoying!

  13. Heightism is a disease that primarily affects women. These women base their self-esteem in proportion to the inseam of a man. The bigger the inseam, the bigger herself- esteem. And it is an all or nothing proposition i.e. everything will be all right if I only get the right height man or my life will be crap. I suspect some have daddy issues? Some I suspect had a male missing in their lives and so a tall dominating male will make all things right. He will make up for the father they never had. Other women I suspect never matured. They are stuck in a fairytale of their own making, influenced by Disney or Hollywood. Their 6’ plus Prince Charming will arrive, so no need to check out anyone less than 6’. This is what an insecure girl would believe, if she were 12. I think Heightism is more of a mental illness. It is a female heightist version of Ground Hog’s Day, where each day, she searches for the mythical tall man that will magically complete her life, and repeats the same actions each day, with the same results. But unlike Bill Murray, she doesn’t escape the pattern. Not because she can’t change her actions, but because she won’t change her actions. And 40 years from now, you will hear about her on the news, and her body in found in her home, surrounded by 30 cats.

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