How do all these partner differences translate to personal satisfaction?The findings for women were surprising in light of the partner preference data.However, unless taller equals stronger, faster, and smarter even in this scenario, height wouldn’t seem to offer any particularly unique advantage.
In an intriguing 2013 study, Dutch psychologists Gert Stulp, Abraham Buunk, and Thomas Pollet followed up on some of their earlier work on male height to find out more about what leads women to prefer those lanky guys.
They were also curious to learn how and why people are satisfied with their own height.
If the treatments don’t pay off in terms of intended benefits, there’s even less reason for parents even to think about going through with such radical interventions. Stulp and his colleagues sought to understand not only who prefers whom in terms of height, but also how people feel about their own height.
The participants in this study were 650 first-year heterosexual psychology students who received course credit for completing the survey.
Napoleon aside, tall men are more likely to win the popular contest in presidential votes and to be re-elected once in office (Stulp, 2013).
Their greater leadership potential may have something to do with the fact that tall men have higher self-esteem (whether or not deserved), are happier, and less likely to feel jealous toward other men.However, I would argue that tall women are portrayed highly favorably in the celebrity world from models to Hollywood actresses, and that these images actually may be having a positive effect on women who might otherwise feel that they are “too tall” for their man.Unfortunately, in the area of personal satisfaction, there was some bad news from this study for short men, who- like the shorter women- reported being dissatisfied with their height.Second, being “looked up to,” quite literally, may at some subconscious level lead taller men to feel that they have superior qualities.Third, and most importantly from a scientific perspective, we simply don’t have the experimental cause-and-effect data to back up the idea that social attitudes and not the caveman explanation are behind any particular set of mating advantages being conferred to taller men.We tend to think that we’re stuck with the height our genes and environments jointly determine.