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Last Updated: Wednesday, 12 March 2008, 18:07 GMT
Short men 'are the most jealous'
Researchers quizzed over 500 people
Short men are the most likely to be jealous, scientists believe.

Spanish and Dutch researchers quizzed 549 men and women to rate how jealous they felt and to identify the qualities that made them feel the most insecure.

Men felt most nervous about attractive, rich and strong rivals, but the taller ones were the most relaxed, the New Scientist magazine reported.

Women were most jealous of others' beauty and charm - with short and tall women the most jealous.

Average-height women, while being the least jealous, were mostly likely to feel insecure by women who were of a different height.

Jealousy is a type of fear
Simon Gelsthorpe, of the British Psychological Society

The report, produced by the universities of Groningen and Valencia, said women with average height tended to be more fertile and healthy and, as a result, would be unlikely to be jealous of women with similar attributes.

Instead, the researchers added, the findings showed they would be more jealous of taller women possessing masculine features such as physical dominance and social status.

Meanwhile, the report, originally featured in the journal of Evolution and Human Behaviour, said taller men may be less jealous because male height is associated with attractiveness, dominance and reproductive success.

The researchers said the animal kingdom illustrated this where larger males were likely to win fights and obtain dominance and monopolise access to females.

They said in humans height was one of the first features others notice and was therefore associated with status.

They pointed to previous research which showed taller men were likely to be more successful in their careers, earn more and have more attractive girlfriends.


Lead researcher Abraham Buunk said this research now showed that taller men enjoyed psychological advantages as well.

"The present findings suggest that height may have important psychological consequences."

But psychologists said there were other factors that played a role in jealousy.

Simon Gelsthorpe, of the British Psychological Society, said: "Jealousy is a type of fear. It is about being afraid you are going to lose someone you love.

"One of the key components is self-esteem and obviously height is related to this but then so may other characteristics such as baldness.

"Another key element is how strong the relationship is."

Study reveals world's most jealous men
07 Jul 03 |  Science/Nature

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