It's no secret that there are certain stigmas associated with being tall. We should all be basketball players is a big one. The everyday expectations of being a superior athlete, being more successful, and being the designated light bulb changer are also common.
One definite perk to being a tall guy is the excessive attention received from women.
As my sub 6 feet friends continually point out to me, the majority of women seem to be drawn to tall guys like a magnet. At first, I shrugged it off as a paranoid coincidence they were creating to stir me up. The more it seemed to happen the more curious I became.
Then one evening, after having my friend's theory reinforced again, I decided to find out if it was just me or do women generally choose to approach tall men over shorter men. What I discovered was a mixture of fascinating studies and cries for help from short guys.
Let me share my findings.
Why do women like tall men?
In short, pardon my pun, women like tall men for many reasons. Could it be a primal urge lingering from 200,000 years of human survival of the fittest? Or the fact that tall men seem happier, more self-confident, and are likely to be less jealous of other men?
Much to my amazement, my research succinctly pointed towards a definite trend. Women make a beeline for taller guys.
After trolling through articles about why women like tall guys, one statement that predominantly shows its face on every related 'tall guy' article is that men over 6 feet gain more powerful roles in society and higher incomes on average. Could this be a contributing factor to their attractiveness?
According to a study conducted by the American Psychological Association, men over 6 feet earn an extra $800 per year on average above their shorter counterparts. The researcher for the study, psychologist Timothy Judge PhD, deduced that "tall people may have greater self-esteem and social confidence than shorter people. In turn, others may view tall people as more leader-like and authoritative."
If you want more proof that height equates to power, just look at the stats I found relating to USA leadership roles. In the USA population, where only 14% of males are over 6 feet, an outstanding 58% of Fortune 500 company CEOs are over 6 feet!
Need more stats, over the course of the USA political history, the average President stood at 5' 11", with George Washington standing at 6' 2". Bearing in mind that the average American male is 5' 9", and even smaller back in the 1700s, these are some impressive figures.
Looking at evolutionary psychology, there is a theory called assortative mating that indicates humans tend to select mates that are similar to themselves, including height. However, the credibility of this theory regarding height differential is being put to the test. Recent findings indicate that modern women prefer a man to be 8" taller than themselves. Do you think that's a reflection on the size heals they intend to wear?
The study also indicated that the preference for tall people does not transcend the sexes. It seems that when it came to choosing an ideal partner, men were not so picky about height differential.
“The data showed that 13.5% of the men wanted to date only women shorter than they are. In contrast, 48.9% of women preferred tall men only.”
Gender and height stereotypes in the media
In our extremely communicative world, it's very easy to get tied up with stereotypes. We are constantly being fed information about how we should look, feel and act. Society uses mediums such as movies, magazines, news, music, marketing, and influential people to reinforce certain messages.
I can't help but wonder if this constant bombardment is the main reason shorter women and tall women sway away from evolutionary trends in their choice of partner.
Throughout the screen age, women have been looking up into their bows eyes, men have been bending down to kiss, and let's not forget the tall and handsome hero who always sweeps in to save the damsel in distress. It sounds like every Disney movie, and that is what every little girl grows up looking for in a man.
Fun fact: Height is the second most-lied about feature on dating apps, only being outdone by 'job'.
Less talked about, and not very politically correct, is the idea that women look to tall men for physical protection and security. Whether this gender stereotype is perception or reality, there is a level of subconscious security women find alluring that only a tall man can offer.
Taller men seem stronger
So why is it so important for today's heterosexual adult women to find tall partners? Is it vital for them to find that elusive 8" height difference in an ideal partner?
The truth is a little mixed. Women state they don't want to be shorter than their partner when wearing heels. Some women are drawn to the confidence, or perceived confidence a tall guy carries. Another comment I found interesting was women stated they liked tall guys to take some attention from themselves. If their guy is bigger than them, they feel more petite.
Many girls who were interviewed about why they lean more towards taller men say tall guys make them feel safe. They hold the image of being able to protect a woman, to keep her and her family safe. They seem stronger.
Tall Guy Genetics
In the risk of sounding sexist, women have a primal urge to seek a mate who will provide offspring with the best chance of survival. Seeking a tall, strong, and dominating specimen will equate to her children acquiring these same characteristics, thus surviving. Very primal I know.
While these days it's less about surviving and more about thriving, these Darwinian instinctual traits of our ancestors remain there on a deep level. No matter how independent and forward-thinking we regard ourselves, the desire to protect our genetic code still exists. This is a very real reason why women aim for tall partners.
Western perception: height preferences are not universal throughout the world
Is this preference for tall males particular to western cultures? Do women the world over long to be swept into the arms of a tall protective type?
In fact, studies have shown that women from different cultures have different preferences for the height of their males. Many men in other cultures are not fortunate enough to hold the same elite stigma as westerners. An example is women in Namibia. They tend to choose either very similar height partners or shorter.
As a tall guy, you have the upper hand when it comes to meeting women — that's a proven fact. However, this opportunity is very short-lived. It must be backed up with a kind disposition and a sense of humor if you want to win the girl long term.