Friday, August 12, 2011

Amy Alkon has an interesting post on whether or not short men should wear lifts:

Women, across cultures, are typically attracted to men who are taller than they are. Some women will date and marry shorter men, although it seems to help greatly if a man makes up for what he lacks in height by having piles of money and a private jet.

My question: What if a guy's the perfect man -- minus three four inches (in height, ya gutterbrains)?

What if he makes up for some of that with lifts in his shoes?

And let's say he would always wear those lifts, except at the beach and in bed.

Would you be able to overlook the actual height difference if he made himself taller in that way? Would it be a turnoff?


I never had a height preference when it came to men, but many women do. Would you wear lifts? It seems kind of absurd to me but then, I don't have to deal with the problem.

34 Comments:

Blogger Jerry Blondell said...

I’ve been surprised at the large percentage of women on match.com that are only interested in much taller men. About half specify at least 3" taller and a quarter 5" taller. According to health statistics, only 7% of women are taller than 5'9" but one-third of women prefer a man, at minimum, taller than 5'9". Isn’t this as superficial as men who will only settle for women with “a great rack”? See http://abcnews.go.com/2020/story?id=123853&page=2
http://www.edatereview.com/blog/2005/08/online-dating-and-height.aspx#comments
J. Blondell, Ph.D., MPH

3:25 PM, August 12, 2011  
Blogger Jerry Blondell said...

Here's some old statistics I collected over 10 years ago from two groups of 100 women on match.

Health statistics for the USA show 7% of women taller than 5'9" which is the exact height of an average man. However, 35% of self-described slender, average, or athletic women (group 1) would not accept a man that height or shorter and 24% of women, self described as large or a few extra pounds (group 2) said the same.

Only 6 percent of group 1 women and 9 percent of group 2 women said they would positively date someone shorter than themselves.
Less than 8 percent of all women did not specify a height range in my sample of 200 randomly selected in the metro DC area.

The same analysis for men showed that 39% of men specified they would go out with someone taller and another 14% gave no specification for height.
in both groups 1 and 2, only 2% of women specified they would go out with someone more than 3 inches shorter than they were.

The average increase in height (rather than minimum acceptable) women wanted their men to be (in both groups 1 and 2) was 7 inches. However, the average man is only 5 inches taller than the average woman. No wonder women feel compelled to always be pointing out men's 'shortcomings'.
Hmmmm, and they say men are superficial when it comes to looks?

3:39 PM, August 12, 2011  
Blogger dr.alistair said...

firstly, it should be plainly obvious that women are superficial when it comes to looks...make-up, hair, nails..shoes, so of course that would generalise out others.

secondly, i'm six two so the height thing was never an issue for me, but my hair fell out when i was 35 so the question for me would be um, hair replacements.

and the answer is no.

my hair loss bothered me for about 30 seconds...until i found out what i looked like shaved bald.

does shortness equate to hair loss?

i don`t know, but i certainly wouldn`t wear lifts to try to impress anyone....i might work on my personality though, i hear that helps.

5:16 PM, August 12, 2011  
Blogger ZorroPrimo said...

Q: Should men wear lifts?

Should women wear wigs?
Should women get breast implants?
Should women use makeup?

6:31 PM, August 12, 2011  
Blogger Doom said...

I almost wish I could meet a woman tall enough that I could reasonably be considered for lifts. I still wouldn't wear them. I'd just play Mutt & Jeff, in reverse for once. I can handle a taller woman, just haven't met one. I saw a picture of a woman, buxom too, who was like... 6'9" or something. Did I say buxom? And she could still do a bikini. Yeah, I would have tried for her. But without risers or anything.

But I'm not a sizist, either. As I like to say, I only like short, tall, and medium women. Well, like might be a little generous. ;) Okay, when I'm not being a 4th grader I like them.

6:58 PM, August 12, 2011  
Blogger Oligonicella said...

In solidarity with my shorter male brethren, I have no interest in women taller than 5'6".

8:05 PM, August 12, 2011  
Blogger DADvocate said...

Funny how we question this kind of vanity in men and almost unquestionably accept it in women, as Zorro alludes to. Lifts? High heels?

There's a guy where I work who's rather short, but handsome (with some help, you could say). He wears a toupee. I've heard he wears lifts. He's always extremely well groomed, a modern day Dapper Dan type. But, he's a great guy, so who cares about the other stuff? Maybe some women, no other guys do.

At 6' 3", I buy shoes with the lowest heels possible. I've hit my head enough on low hanging objects. My 15 year old daughter is close to 5' 9" and avoids any heel for the most part, also.

I think the height preference goes back to evolutionary biology. In rougher times, a bigger, taller male was more likely to survive and be able to successfully protect his family.

8:13 PM, August 12, 2011  
Blogger colderwater said...

At 5 foot 6, any lifts that make me look tall would be bizzare. Any that are not bizzare would be pointless. So I found a 5 foot zero wife.

c.w.

11:02 PM, August 12, 2011  
Blogger randian said...

does shortness equate to hair loss?

It's far worse, in terms of turning off women.

I'm surprised that 39% of men say they'd go out with women that are taller than them. If less than 10% of women say they'd go out with a man that's shorter than them, the actual number is a lot less than that. That's just the number that will tolerate a date, and many of those are probably there just for the freebies; how many would longer term? It's probably more like 3-5%, maximum, of women that would honestly accept a shorter man. Given those odds, it's admirably open-minded to say you'd date a taller woman, but actually doing so isn't likely to be successful.

The question as worded is misleading as well. Not only is "would you go out with a man that's shorter than you" almost certainly no, so is "would you go out with a man who is 1" taller than you". It's not enough to not be shorter, a man must be sufficiently taller in order to be a viable candidate in most women's minds.

1:08 AM, August 13, 2011  
Blogger ZorroPrimo said...

I'm sure shortness sucks for men, but consider Tom Cruise: status, wealth and power can sure make you a lot taller.

1:13 AM, August 13, 2011  
Blogger randian said...

Cruise also has high facial attractiveness and a well-proportioned body.

3:00 AM, August 13, 2011  
Blogger papabear said...

Women also take into consideration how tall a man has to be if they are wearing high heels. (Some even say this explicitly.)

3:55 PM, August 13, 2011  
Blogger Mario said...

I'm 5' 10", and to put things delicately I've been with some women who were my height or very nearly that. At least a couple of them were bigger boned than average. And in my experience I think I know what's going on in the heads of some of these women.

A woman, especially a larger woman, prefers a man who is taller than she is because it more clearly establishes the kind of sexual physicality that women enjoy. If a man and woman are more or less on par, physically, than the woman doesn't feel all that feminine. In fact, she's made to feel like a big, clumsy oaf. It's difficult for a man to relate to a woman, in certain respects, when she's as big as he is.

I don't think what these women are displaying is a baseless prejudice. It's just that in both love and war, -- but for different reasons -- no one wants a fair fight.

9:45 PM, August 13, 2011  
Blogger randian said...

In fact, she's made to feel like a big, clumsy oaf.

Well, no. Do not allow women to evade responsibility for their feelings. They choose to feel like a "big, clumsy oaf".

I don't think what these women are displaying is a baseless prejudice.

No more baseless, I suppose, than preferring men who look like George Clooney. The difference is that eliminating George from your mate list leaves you with 99.999% of men on your list. Eliminating shorter than average men takes out half of them.

3:43 AM, August 14, 2011  
Blogger Joe said...

The average height for an american male between 20 and 29 is about 5-9 1/2.

The average global height for a male is about 5-7.

The average height for females in all countries is less than that for males by about 4-5 inches (it's not surprisingly consistent.)

12:22 PM, August 14, 2011  
Blogger Eric said...

If a woman loves a man who because of lifts looks taller than he is, does that raise questions about the sincerity of the love? It might depend on whether she loved him anyway, and just wanted an outward appearance to go with the existing inner love. Men can love women with breast implants even though they know they are not real.

For examples of famous men known to wear lifts, there's Al Pacino, Michael Fox and Tom Cruise in the entertainment field... and there's Nicolas Sarkozy, Kim Jong Il, and Josef Stalin in the political arena.

Don't forget James Madison. Fascinatingly, Madison's height has been estimated at anywhere from as short as 5' and 0.5"" (whose lifts brought him to 5"4"), to as tall as 5'6" inches -- depending on how much the height estimators liked Madison! The more people liked him, the taller they said he was. Could a man of that height be elected today?

12:48 PM, August 14, 2011  
Blogger Amy Alkon said...

Thanks for posting this...nice surprise to come to read you and see it. I've actually read a bunch of studies that show that women, across cultures, prefer tall men. That's the one thing they really care about in terms of looks -- along with symmetry (which they probably see more on a psychological level). It probably comes from an evolved preference for a protector.

1:04 AM, August 15, 2011  
Blogger autothreads said...

I'm 5'6". Based on the stats in this thread, most attractive women who aren't extremely short wouldn't consider going out with me. Oh well, I guess they'll never find out how funny, smart and creative I am. OTOH, I was married for 25 years to a woman who was 5'11 when we met. We're both redheads and when we started dating, people would assume we were brother and sister. I don't know what those women are concerned about, all the important parts fit just fine. Okay, so her thighs being 8" longer than mine made some issues with doggy style, but for the most part, her being taller than me wasn't an issue.

5:43 AM, August 15, 2011  
Blogger TMink said...

Don't lifts for men = a wonder bra for women? Same thing, different area.

Trey

9:55 AM, August 15, 2011  
Blogger dr.alistair said...

amy, i think symmetry is an indicator of healthy dna as well as access to good diet from an early age, and height, up to a point, is a further re-enforcement of that...as a tall symmetrical person i would like to think so, but in our post-industrial hypermonetised culture money trumps all.

the short guy with the long wallet wins in the long run.

10:15 AM, August 15, 2011  
Blogger Jerry Blondell said...

@Dr. Allistar "the short guy with the long wallet wins in the long run"

Please see the link:
http://abcnews.go.com/2020/story?id=123853&page=2
It shows that not only does the short guy with a big wallet lose. He loses to all but pedophiles and murderers. Yes, there are examples of women dating and marrying shorter men, but I think it's less than 10% of them.
Also, men will date taller women, one high-priced prostitution ring in Europe required blond women that were AT LEAST 5'9"
Jerry

10:46 AM, August 15, 2011  
Blogger Peregrine John said...

Combine what Amy and Trey said, and I think you have the truth of it: As a certain famously opinionated blogger put it, Biomechanics Is God. My belief is that we should recognize these things consciously so we can deliberately select how much difference it makes in practice. Yes, a big guy makes a girl feel safe... which probably isn't all that practical unless dangerous situations are expected. I stay out of jungles, personally, whether arboreal or cement.

For the record, while I entirely adore tall women (though at 6'4" I am vanishingly unlikely to meet one taller than myself), my romantic partner average has been around 5'3-4". Not a preference, just happenstance (and hanging around dancers, who tend to the smaller). I simply don't filter for it; my height may have exempted me from the concern.

12:19 PM, August 15, 2011  
Blogger Leatherwing said...

Also, men will date taller women, one high-priced prostitution ring in Europe required blond women that were AT LEAST 5'9"
Jerry


Prostitutes call it a date, I don't think most other people really consider it a date.

2:30 PM, August 15, 2011  
Blogger dr.alistair said...

jerry, while i don`t have the stats on it, my observations in suburban toronto seem to suggest that women like money first and will sort for who has it, no matter their height/looks/predisposition.

and prostitution (escorts) isn't dating. only the happless mark thinks it is.

again, my observations regarding escorts in coffee shops, restaurants or social events says that women will go for the money first, and be seen hanging off the most unlikely types.

11:20 AM, August 16, 2011  
Blogger dr.alistair said...

though malcolm gladwell says that while less than 15% of men are six foot or taller, 58% of ceos are over six feet tall.

gladwell suggests that our unconscious bias has much to do with that and points to ait tests to discover our unconscious biases.

but, i don't think that a potential ceo candidate could get away with lifts, any more than a man on a first date....those shoes have to come off sometime.

11:30 AM, August 16, 2011  
Blogger dr.alistair said...

and i think that while women's natural tendency is toward tall men, it's also toward home,children and family..and they fight that urge each day to fight tooth and nail for domination in work, relationships and finance.

so whether they post a preference for tall men on a dating site or comment in conversation, they still go for the money first, and will jump ship to get it.

11:34 AM, August 16, 2011  
Blogger Jerry Blondell said...

Dr. Alistair is wrong. Height is more important than money, not that money doesn't come in a strong second! I sent him a private email that I feel confirms it - plus I have more appropriate credentials as a former government epidemiologist to study such matters.
Jerry

12:33 PM, August 16, 2011  
Blogger Jerry Blondell said...

Looking across age groups for US men, exactly 20% are taller than six feet (6'1" or taller) and less than 0.5% of women are. See
http://www.census.gov/compendia/statab/2011/tables/11s0205.pdf

12:37 PM, August 16, 2011  
Blogger dr.alistair said...

maybe i live in an area where more short guys have money jerry. any stats on that?

i'm six two and don't often see men taller than me, though i do have a friend who's six seven.

4:44 PM, August 16, 2011  
Blogger Leatherwing said...

dr. alistair said i'm six two and don't often see men taller than me, though i do have a friend who's six seven.

I'm also 6'2". I used to "feel" taller than average. I moved from Dallas to Winston-Salem, NC. I have often found myself the shortest guy in the room. Not sure what's in the water (or maybe just the people I've met).

9:20 AM, August 17, 2011  
Blogger Eric said...

Every rule has exceptions, and I'm surprised no one has mentioned the existence of bizarre women who are actually turned on by shorter men.

http://www.tallpeoplelife.com/tall-women-short-men.html

http://tallwomen.biz/tall/tall-women-sex-and-attraction-to-short-men.html

http://www.thesun.co.uk/sol/homepage/woman/969720/Short-men-and-tall-women-WAGS-Wildly-Attracted-to-Gnomes-Sarkozy.html

It's considered a social taboo, but that doesn't stop the practice from occurring.

9:32 AM, August 17, 2011  
Blogger dr.alistair said...

interestingly, when i go to waterdown where the dutch live, i see more tall guys, and tall women too, but they are still a small percentage of the population here. where i now live in hamilton there are a lot of italian and portuguese and asians who are mostly in the 5'5-7" range.

10:33 AM, August 17, 2011  
Blogger dr.alistair said...

and jerry? try amkinnear@yahoo.com for a private message. i haven`t seen one as yet.

cheers.

10:34 AM, August 17, 2011  
Blogger K-Man said...

Here's a classic on this topic excerpted from WhatMenThinkOfWomen.blogspot.com:

30.7.07
50 year old spinster wants a husband (ATM) and babies......
Desperation setting in ?


Have a look at this blog by a 50 year old spinster desperately trying to find a mate and still wants to have babies, babies and more babies...

She says this.

"I always dreamed of having a husband and children. When I turned 50, I realized that my dream was never going to come true. Now I'm just a lonely old woman."

I, like everyone else here thinks that this must be a parody site as no-one can be this stupid, inconsiderate and self-focussed....I forgot which sex I was talking about for a minute.

I'll get the violin out for the next comment..

"The clock is ticking. My body is aging rapidly now. Men are visual. I’m losing my looks and any chance I might have of attracting a man. And there is the problem of children. I want babies so badly. And the longer it takes for me to find someone and marry, the less chance I have of actually being able to conceive, carry and deliver a healthy child. And I want more than one. I have their names picked out. Even the themes of their nurseries."

Looking for a suitable ATM can be tiring and one does have to have standards to maintain even when your over the hill and down the other side.

So it receives a response from a sucker, I mean a guy...

"I live in [town] outside of [town] Pa. I live alone except for my Australian Shepherd.(check out her picture). I have a great property on 65 acres in the Mountains. (Beautiful Log Cabin with a great stone Fireplace). Makes a great Weekend getaway. My friends call it the Ponderosa. I bought it for Horses but never I got around around to buying them.

"I'm a programmer. I own a small software company that writes graphic software mostly for newspapers. I could really relocate anywhere because I could work from home also.

"I also have a degree in History/ political science as well as computer science. I taught high school for a few years also. I like reading Autobiographies, Historical books and historical based Novels. I just finished "1776" by David McCullogh. Like jazz & NPR.

"I love to bike & tend to do long trips. We have some rail to trail bike/horse paths in this area.

"If you are interested in chatting you can drop me a line.

"The tux picture was taken a year ago Christmas at the royal Bahamian Policeman's Ball in Nassau Bahamas. I was the guest of the Publisher of the Nassau Guardian and The Commissioner of Police. A very cool affair.
[Name]
"Hope to hear from you"

Now one would think that this rabid nonentity would brave oceans and climb mountains to even receive this type of response. This guy is classy, rich, intelligent and willing to move anywhere for this bitch and guess what ?

She refuses to even contemplate it as....

"He’s 5’ 8” tall."

Nonentity says...

"I'm beginning to wonder if anyone actually reads all the way down to the bottom of my profile where I state my preferences about the men I would like to date. It very clearly says that I am looking for men who are a minimum of 6' tall. As stated in my profile, I am 5' 7" tall and like most women I love to wear heels. I DO NOT love towering over my dates. I am looking for a man that I can look up to both literally and figuratively."

I am happy that no guys are available for these women and they have been spared the divorce payouts and years of slavery....
Posted by Christian J. at Monday, July 30, 2007

6:46 PM, August 17, 2011  

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