They say tall men are more likely to win the popular contest in presidential votes and to be re-elected once in office…

Bisi Daniels

She is envied by her friends. A good job in the oil industry, where her husband also works in an executive position; a rich family and the good life that comes with it. Little do the friends know about her secret pain, which is the reason the couple is not often seen together.

Why unhappy couples stay TOGETHER

Her husband is about 6 inches shorter than her. In fact, he is a short man. She calls him ‘shortingo’ to one of her friends. She had overlooked that for the man’s good nature, and show of profuse love to marry him. But with time wearing those attractions down, the other things she was blinded to started showing.


One evening, when they fought over his late nights, Folashade didn’t know when the words slipped out of her mouth. ‘You shortingo!’ she said.

A while after, she regretted spilling the secret she fought to keep, but it was out, and couldn’t be taken back. If only she knew that short men suffer silently from a complex over their height, she would have been more circumspect. Tade, Folashade’s hairy husband, dashed upstairs into his room and remained there all night.

Studies have shown that short men often suffer poor personal satisfaction, and low self-esteem. These findings are consistent with the data from other studies showing that tall men enjoy an advantage in self-esteem and happiness.

Tall appeal

Experts have observed that there is something appealing about tall men. They say tall men are more likely to win the popular contest in presidential votes and to be re-elected once in office. 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.

Generally, the studies link the dissatisfaction of the shorter men to the fact that women prefer tall men. On the dating pages of some Nigerian newspapers, women who are looking for partners are specific about their preference for tall men. And in a study published in the UK last year, over half of women specifically are looking to date a man who is taller than they are.

The studies

The stature of a potential partner matters more to the fairer sex than it does to their male counterparts, the new study reveals.

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Using data collected from online dating advertisements and experimental research, the study, conducted by Rice University and the University of North Texas found that women are far more concerned with dating a man who is taller than they are than men are with dating a shorter woman.

An investigation of 925 Yahoo! personal dating advertisements found that 13.5 percent of the men wanted to date only women shorter than they are. In contrast, nearly half of the women – 48.9 percent wanted to date only men taller than they are.

Another 2013 study by 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 tall guys to short guys.

Reasons tall men are preferred

Historically, that a tall man would be preferred by women because he’ll be stronger and better able to ward off physical treats to his family. In the beast-eats-man world of primitive civilizations, this argument might have a rationale. However, it is obvious that unless taller equals stronger, faster, and smarter even in this scenario, height wouldn’t seem to offer any particularly unique advantage.

But truly, it seems that women want a man who towers over them because it conforms to gender stereotypes and makes them feel protected, secure, feminine and delicate.

George Yancey, a professor of sociology at the University of North Texas and the study’s lead author, believes that the height preferences of men and women can be explained by traditional societal expectations and gender stereotypes.

He noted that it is a widespread perception that tall stature is a personal asset for men and a personal liability for women. He said that the study’s finding that height matters more to women supports the social system of patriarchy, in which males are the primary authority figures.

‘And in a society that encourages men to be dominant and women to be submissive, having the image of tall men hovering over short women reinforces this value.’

Practically, women also want taller men to envelope them in a hug during romance. The height differential also makes kissing easier.


But some of the recent studies do also observe that No matter what your actual height, it is the personal qualities you bring to a relationship that, eventually, will bring you into contact with your ideal partner.