Women want taller men more than men want shorter women

Gert Stulp, Abraham Buunk, Thomas Pollet

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

42 Citations (Scopus)


Physical characteristics, such as height, play an important role in human mate preferences. Satisfaction with one’s own height and one’s partner height seem likely to be related to these preferences. Using a student sample (N = 650), we show that women are not only more selective, but also more consistent, than men, in their partner height preferences. Women prefer, on average, a larger height difference between themselves and their partner (i.e. males being much taller than themselves) than men do. This effect is even more pronounced when examining satisfaction with actual partner height: women are most satisfied when their partner was 21 cm taller, whereas men are most satisfied when they were 8 cm taller than their partner. Next, using data from our sample and that of a previously published study (N = 52,677), we show that for men, height is more important to the expression of satisfaction with one’s own height than it is for women. Furthermore, slightly above average height women and tall men are most satisfied with their heights. We conclude that satisfaction with one’s own height is at least partly a consequence of the height preference of the opposite sex and satisfaction with one’s partner height.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)877-883
JournalPersonality and Individual Differences
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2013

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