It looks like height matters for many after all. American researchers at Rice University and the University of North Texas found that the height of the partner is more important for women than for men. To find this out, a survey with the participation of 455 men and 470 women was conducted.
It turned out that since time immemorial nothing has changed: many women still dream about a partner who would be taller than their height. Such a wish was expressed almost by half of the participants.
Why do women want a tall partner? As shown by the research, for aesthetics. For example, some women reported that they do not like the “look down into the eyes of a man”, others complained that when dating a short man, they can’t wear high heels.
In addition, it was found out that a tall man is a perceived quality of a ‘protector’ for a woman and that is why ladies want to have such kind of men near them.
But if height matters for women, according to this survey, men were quite indifferent to the height of their female partner. Only 13.5 % of men wished to see a shorter woman next to them.
And yet, according to the researchers, couples where the man was taller than the woman were characterized by stereotypical gender roles. That is when the man dominates and protects, and the woman submits and provides tenderness.
The Ideal Height?
Not so long ago, American scientists found what the ‘ideal’ height for both sexes is and how it is associated with starting a serious relationship and family. A survey was conducted with the participation of 50 thousand people.
It turned out that, according to women, a man should be about 20 cm taller than their own height, while men like to see a lady 8-10 cm shorter than they are. On the basis of this, the scientists calculated the average of the “ideal” height: for women, it is 173 cm, and for men – 188 cm.
It is noteworthy that the experts also found a link between the height and the sense of happiness of the person. It turned out that men and women, whose height is above average (women – above 162.6 cm, men – above 177.8 cm), feel luckier and happier compared to those below this height.
Height Matters for One’s Happiness and Self-Perception
The above-described survey suggests that there is a relationship between a person’s height and… the role he or she plays in a romantic relationship. But how can the person’s height affect an emotional state of his or her mind?
A recent survey by the University of Oxford studied how short people perceive the world around them. With the help of avatars, the researchers put the participants into a virtual experience, during which they were in the metro along with other people… being a few inches shorter than their actual height.
The volunteers were able to move and interact with other virtual passengers, for example by exchanging glances. Each virtual journey lasted about six minutes, while the participants were ‘shorten’ by 25 centimeters.
According to clinical psychologist and study leader Dr. Daniel Freeman, the participants reported that in this way they felt most vulnerable, developed negative feelings about themselves, and had a greater sense of… paranoia.
“There was no reason for anyone to feel a lack of confidence. Yet, when the participants saw the world around them … from a lower height, they believed that people were more hostile towards them or they were trying to isolate them,” said the professor, according to a report in National Geographic.
This does not mean that most short people always feel a lack of confidence or are more paranoid, added Dr. Freeman. However, he said that their findings reinforce the common perception of a person’s height.
“The height seems to affect the feeling of social status and being tall is associated with being socially desirable,” he continued. “The height makes you feel more confident in social interactions.
All of us have noticed that when we do not feel very good about ourselves or in general, we tend to slouch, while when we feel more confident, we stretch our body and feel taller,” explained the professor.
What is a possible explanation for this correlation?
“Maybe it is not that strange, considering how young children feel towards adults, as they have to look up to them,” said clinical psychologist Susan Heitler.
It is that “unequal gaze” that connects the greater height to the highest power and influence.
“It’s not a perfect correlation,” she adds, “However, experts have noticed that patients with depression, when being asked to close their eyes and talk about what they see, tend to describe themselves as much smaller compared with other figures in their lives.“
According to Timothy Judge of the University of Notre Dame, who has studied the effect of height on professional earnings, we live in a society that places great emphasis on outward appearance.
“But as our society relies on technology more and more, there are reasons to believe that these perceptions and judgments based on appearance will begin to disappear.
Moreover, if people meet only through their computers … probably the height will cease to be so important criterion.”
So it turns out that to this day, height matters and people still judge each other by their looks and other physical parameters.
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