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Sunday, 16 January, 2000, 19:47 GMT
Tall men: Does size matter?




Do tall guys have more pulling power than short blokes? Are beanpoles more likely to make good husbands, or do women look for more from their men?

Research based on a study of Polish men suggests shorter men are more likely to be childless, leading the scientists to conclude that women actively select height when looking for a partner.

Do small men have a tough time finding a partner? Or do you associate happiness and success with more than height?

Your reaction



Well, I'm 6' 5" and it never seems to do me much good
Barry, Australia
Well, I'm 6' 5" and it never seems to do me much good... Apparently, I'm too nice/safe to be of interest. That's what I'm told anyway!
Barry, Australia

Put it this way. All other things being equal, a good tall man will always beat a good short man
Ray Q, Singapore

A great man is great. A tall great man is greater because there is more great man! For that same reason models are tall........just because there is more beautiful woman.
Margot, Holland

I am a Vietnamese man studying in Finland and I am 5ft 2in tall. My experience is that short men have a hard time when it comes to getting attractive women. I have only met two or three women here who are smaller than me but they don't seem to be interested either and I am sure that it's because I am so tiny. I have joined a dating agency but as yet, after two months, they have failed to match me up to anybody. All of my friends are at least six inches taller than me and they all have girlfriends.
Pham Van Tuam, Finland



Many screen heart throbs are short - very short.
Stewart, Phoenix AZ USA
Many screen heart throbs are short - very short. I am sure the list of short men desired by women is considerable: start with dear Dudley Moore.
Stewart, Phoenix AZ USA

I am 17 and will be 18 in May. I'm only five feet eight and a half inches tall. I have always been concerned about my height and only really want to grow to five feet ten inches (anything else is a plus, of course). Some people say that guys stop growing at 18, some say 20. What is true and being real what are the chances of me growing to five feet ten inches?
DS, London, UK

I am 5 5' and get laid more often than Allied Carpets! The only women who find height attractive are the short ones. You look in the Lonely Hearts columns and the only women looking for giants are the very little ones. What this research is saying is that all tall guys should do their kids a big favour and date only tall women.
Robert Osei, UK

It's all in the head. At least that's the way I look at it. Some people look for handsome partners so that they can show them around, others prefer innate qualities. Height matters where you want it to matter and doesn't where you don't want it to.
Aatif, USA

I'm 6 feet, and I still don't have a girlfriend.
Torstein, Brit in Norway

to whoever said that people only sleep with one another if they have money - are you INSANE??????????? I have never read such nonsense in all my born days. Who would WANT to sleep with someone who was only interested in your money? Bizarre! I had many more encounters when I was on the dole than in my more recent days of earning six figures. I'm 5'10 by the way!
Mark Scott, Brit in the USA



Honey, Size DOES matter. I am SICK to DEATH of dating short men. NO more!
Brooke Llewellyn, United States
Honey, Size DOES matter. I am SICK to DEATH of dating short men. NO more! Ugh, haven't they heard of bone banks, hello!? Just get a little bone implant in the old leg bone and maybe some personality as well. Short men are annoying. The only good thing is that if they look young enough, you can get them into a movie using a child's ticket!
Brooke Llewellyn, United States

I'm a short bloke, but I never let that get in the way in my tireless pursuit of the opposite sex. Yes, I like to think that I make up for my vertical deficiencies with my horizontal capabilities. I find that by conveying extreme confidence (and wearing my Nike Air platfroms) I have all the girls I want to melting.
JP, Philadelphia

It's all about appeal. I see gorgeous men, who are just slightly taller than me and I'm 5'6.The man who stands the tallest has confidence, is courteous, caring of others, and reasons with his brain not his...
Melanie, USA

Being smaller than the average woman - how do I stand a chance? I get a bit depressed and resort to eating large quantities of vegetarian food (I don't agree with the slaughter of animals - I find it makes me more marketable to the opposite sex).
Jason Carter, England

Could it be that choosing a taller man as a partner is due to the influences of evolution?
Chris Keller, USA

The study is right on. I spent enough nights in bars when I was young to know who the ladies went for....the taller guys. But even though I'm only 5'7", I was funnier and more charming so I was the one they went home with. On another note...my wife is three inches taller than me...but she will never wear "heels" when we go out together.
Dave, USA



All you tall guys, don't think you have it made, because a shorter, decent, honest, guy will win every time when it comes to a long term relationship.
Barb, Canada
I have always been attracted to tall, slim men. Unfortunately, this does not mean that they are nice people. The attraction soon disappears if you find out they are a jerk. Yes being taller makes men look more attractive, but they still have to be a nice person to keep anyone attracted to them for any length of time.
So all you tall guys, don't think you have it made, because a shorter, decent, honest, guy will win every time when it comes to a long term relationship.
Barb, Canada

Small, dark and handsome. Well, two out of three ain't bad! 5'6" and proud of it.
Jim H, UK

Let us not forget that many women prefer women these days. Male height is of little relevance to this fast growing section of the population.
Claire Richardson, UK

I am only 5 feet and 2 inches. I can't say that I have often thought about men's height- maybe because they are generally taller than me! My only experience with a shorter man wasn't pleasant only because he was rather clingy- wanting to hang off me all the time. Perhaps because he was smaller he was more in my personal space?
JMD, England

If height really was such a factor, how come at 6 feet 4 inches woman don't throw themselves at me in the street?
Jazz, UK



This height difference gives the woman an optimal view of the man's nose hairs.
C. Demel, USA
The women who do say they prefer a taller man mostly prefer one who is only a few inches taller. Some might blame this on the cultural programming one gets from looking at wedding cakes, but in fact this height difference gives the woman an optimal view of the man's nose hairs.
C. Demel, USA

Like others have said; short men do better if they are wealthy. They can stand on their wallets. (Many Hollywood moguls are short.)
Michael, USA

I have recently fallen in love for the first time with a wonderful man who is an inch shorter then me and even more so when I wear heels. Guys you have nothing to worry about, the right women probably won't even notice.
Sally Hargreaves, England

I'm a 6'2" woman and am engaged to a man who is much shorter than I. When I fell in love with him, it was his intelligence, wit and sensitivity that made him attractive not his height. We get along great, I consider him fit, attractive and a turn on. While I'm sure we will get plenty of stares, we are secure in ourselves and our relationship and do not find this to be a problem.
Dee, USA

I don't really mind what height men are as long as they're in the right proportions - ie shoulders broader than hips, long legs etc. However, I'm not a great fan of bean-poles!
Heather, Scotland



Short men are more likely to have a nasty streak as they need to prove that they every bit as much a 'man' as their taller counterparts.
Darren Fletcher, England
I agree with a comment made earlier. Short men are more likely to have a nasty streak as they need to prove that they every bit as much a 'man' as their taller counterparts. This makes the personality of tall men better. I'm 6'2" by the way.
Darren Fletcher, England

God, now I've got to worry about that too? Women, your demands are making our lives a misery. If it's not sexual prowess, then it's height, I get it.
David Dando, England

Of course height matters! Not too tall of course but one that compliments rather than over powers. How else will my love find me in a crowded room or whisk me off my feet! At 5'1" I certainly do not wish to be the TALL one in the partnership. Have we discussed muscles yet??
Sheila, Canada



Some of the nicest people I know are short fat and ugly, and I am proud to include myself in this category.
Jeff Dray, UK
"Real" people use more serious criteria than height when choosing a life partner. People who would reject a partner purely because they don't conform to a specified size must be so shallow as to be not worth bothering with. Some of the nicest people I know are short fat and ugly, and I am proud to include myself in this category.
Jeff Dray, UK

I'm only 5,4" and never really get a look in when it comes to meeting a woman. BRING BACK PLATFORM SHOES!!!
Michael l Smith, UK

I'd like to make the comment that size does not matter. I'm 5'1 and I've fathered 5 children. I have a beautiful wife and have never had any problems dating women. I think this research is completely unfounded.
George Sheal, England

My best friend is 4 inches taller than me, and built like a pencil. Hugging him is my only yardstick of taller people, but it doesn't leave me feeling dominated or protected, rather empty-handed
Marvin, Austria

Size is not important, money is. People only sleep with people that have money
David Winter, UK

The theory does appear to be correct. I am 5'9" and I prefer my girlfriends to be max 5'4". But at the end of the day, women do look for a big wallet (but never admit it) so if taller men appear to be more successful then it stands to reason that women will be after them. Women always say that its personality that counts. This is why you see mis-matched couples in the appearance stakes. At the end of the day, it's how much you earn and how much status you have that counts. Women are materialistic but pretend to be holier than thou.
Ian, UK

From the comments on the board it seems clear that height is an issue for some women and not for others. I'm sure the same is true of many possible measures of attractiveness - hair colour for example. Mind you if this discussion page was about fat as a measure of desirability and a man patronised women as "sensitive little souls" on the issue he would be out of order. Janet please note.
Owen, England



An ex-girlfriend of mine from Sweden commented on arrival in England that she'd had never seen so many short people.
Neale Reynolds, UK
An ex-girlfriend of mine from Sweden commented on arrival in England that she'd had never seen so many short people - men and especially women. I've also noted that since I've travelled a lot in Europe the English are some of the shortest people around. Bad diet and high poverty levels are some of the reasons I've been told - so I think it's far to say size does matter 1 metre 78 is the average height of Scandinavians.
Neale Reynolds, UK

Height certainly captures my attention. I spotted my first husband who was 6ft 3 inches, across a crowded room in University. However, despite his good looks, the marriage did not last.
My subsequent husband is only 5ft 10inches, not as strikingly handsome, but has very endearing qualities. Maybe we should all look beyond the surface?
Pat van der Veer, A "Brit" in Canada

The only "size" that matters to women is the size of your wallet.
Collin, Canada

Beauty is in the eye of the beholder! However, I think most women prefer a man who is taller than them. If she is 4' 11", probably a 5' 2" guy will suffice. Obviously, a tall man who is a prat doesn't have an advantage over a shorter man with good qualities. Short men shouldn't be intimidated because I have many tall friends who like short men. Unfortunately, really tall women don't have a lot of choice! At 5' 10" tall I have never actually dated anyone shorter than me; now that I am hitched to a bloke of 6' 4" all I can do is wonder what I missed out on.
Angie, Brit in USA

Height doesn't matter. It all depends on how somebody feels about themselves and how they portray themselves to others. If you are confident with your height you will have no problems. Personality wins every time....
Monster, London, UK

6'1", attached, not a goldfish and loving every moment of it! :o)
Dave, UK



I don't think that being tall makes men more attractive per se. It's just that they're nicer people.
Ali, Scotland
I don't think that being tall makes men more attractive per se. It's just that they're nicer people.
Ali, Scotland

I am intensely attracted to tall men. I don't have a problem with shorter men but I'm not immediately attracted to them. If I hadn't worked with my present boyfriend and had plenty of time to find out how wonderful he is, I probably wouldn't have looked twice at him (even though he's darn cute), since he's only 5'8". Any man under 6' seems small to me, even though I'm only 5' tall myself. I guess tall men seem more heroic and therefore Romantic (in a Byron-ish way), something that greatly appeals to me. Tall is very sexy.
Lilliana, USA

Short men are a big turn off for me, the closer to six foot four the better.
Jane Wagner, UK

We are all the same height lying down!
Tommy Lai, UK

This is really funny, my experience is just the opposite. My shorter friends are all married while my 6ft 3inch self is single. Mostly by choice. I have two daughters by marriage, but I have never re-married. Totally unenjoyable experience.
To me, women seem to go for the bad boys, they seem to have all the women they can handle. The stable men usually suffer.
Collin, Canada

In the old days men were shorter on average. Go to old homes from 200 years ago and see how low their ceilings were, and how short the beds were. Maybe this study from Poland demonstrates natural selection at work on humans.
Jon, USA

For those who think it's size that counts - Get a life! My Dad is 5'4" and my brother is 6'4" and they are the best! As for a boyfriend - well if you can make me laugh when I cry and cry when I laugh then your the man for me!
Sandra Hawkins, Irish (living in London)



It tends to be the less intellectually robust woman who is attracted to a man taller than herself.
Mr Fish, United Kingdom
At a Maradonna-esque 5' 5", I have found my relatively diminutive stature a positive asset in attracting the discerning female. Or putting it another way, it tends to be the less intellectually robust woman who is attracted to a man taller than herself.
Mr Fish, United Kingdom

I am a short woman and I prefer and married a man who is considerably taller than myself. I like feeling small and taken care of by someone taller and obviously stronger. My only bother is stretching up to kiss is sometimes a bit uncomfortable.
Amy, US

Didn't you mother tell you as a child: "Good things come in small packages!" ??
Brandon Hartford, USA

I'm only 5 foot 5 inches and I've a girlfriend in every province of our country.
Andy Mule, Zambia.

I think it's not so much height, as confidence that attracts. So, a man who is insecure (e.g. about his height) will probably be less likely to attract a partner than his (tall) confident friend. Maybe this height thing does have some importance at first sight, but when looking for someone to share your life with, personality will or should always be the main factor.
Tania, Belgium

Being tall certainly has its advantages for getting noticed, and it's one of the more accepted ways of being different. Of course, most people would like to believe that you've got to be able to back that up by being a good, attractive all-around person. Of course, if you're going for quantity and not quality, a tall person standing in the shallow end of the relationship pool has an easier time, both in getting noticed and making an impression. But height by itself is not everything.
C M Sanyk, USA



As much as the feminists would deny it, women want a protector and somebody with the appearance to have that ability would make a better mate.
Neil, USA
I'd assume that women would want to be with somebody who is taller than them. As most women seem to be about 5' 6" and more with heels nowadays. It would seem logical that they'd rather be with someone between say 5' 10" and 6' 3". It find it funny that most of the women with short boyfriends say they have complexes about it and the one guy who says he's happy being short describes himself as 5' 6 1/2". Nobody I know who is 6' says they are 6' and 1/2". So even he has an in built desire to make himself taller. As much as the feminists would deny it women want a protector and somebody with the appearance to have that ability would make a better mate.
Neil, USA

What a load of twaddle! Just think how many girls lusted and still hanker after Davy Jones (part-time Monkee) who's 5ft 2inches. I'm 4ft 10ins and when I've met him I've loved being at eye-level.
Claire Powell, Begium

Of course women don't go for taller men! I've had loads of girlfriends and I'm only 5"4 in my socks, I also have the added disadvantage of being a ginger! So there you go...
Bob Blacker, England

Yes, I would say that women do go for tall men, or at least someone who is taller than themselves.... Why? I dunno, I guess it sort of shows a sense of being masculine and women want MEN not boys!!!
Rolit Lansangan, England

I have a flatmate who is short, and he can 'get away' with saying anything no mater how obscene to a woman. More often than not they find this attractive. My tall friends just get a slap
Chris, England



I think that really tall men (over 6 foot 4) are rather ungainly.
RDV, Italy
I am 6 foot myself but I don't actively look for men that are my height or taller. In fact I think that really tall men (over 6 foot 4) are rather ungainly. However the majority of men have a real problem with my height (which is usually increased because I like to wear heels). Funnily enough now that I live in Italy, where the men are on average much shorter than in England, I find that men make much less of an issue about my height!! I think a lot of it has to do with how self-assured the man is.
RDV, Italy

Women, what's the difference between refusing to go out with a man because he's short and refusing to go out with him because he's black? Both height and skin colour are genetic traits but it seems discrimination is OK if it's against shorter people.
C. Franklin, UK

Yes it does matter at first. But then again so do many other factors. In my opinion, people are generally consciously or sub-consciously prejudiced about colour, faith, disability, money etc.
Paul, England

5-5" and not a problem, there lots of good-looking women who don't seem to care about height.
John Carriso, NYC, USA

Janet - of course it's mostly men who have written comments, in the same way as it's usually women who keep talking about their weight :) Try calling a man short and a woman fat and see who loses their cool first ...
Gwilym Ellis, England, EU



Most film star sex-symbols are short - Tom Cruise, Mel Gibson and Sylvester Stallone to name but a few.
Tim Smith, UK
I'm only average height, but I have to admit that in my experience women prefer a taller man. Only one woman I know actually prefers her men to be short, and hasn't everyone heard of the phrase tall, dark and handsome? Having said that, short is hardly synonymous with repellent - my friend is a complete ladies man at 5' 6", and most film star sex-symbols are short - Tom Cruise, Mel Gibson and Sylvester Stallone to name but a few.
Tim Smith, UK

Um, I believe that pulling is all to do with your appearance, so therefore I suppose that size does matter for the women unprepared to look any further than skin deep.
However, a lot of blokes dismiss women out of turn for all sorts of reasons (weight, hair colour, dress sense, make up effort, personality, drinking capabilities (either too much or too little), smile, whether they smoke, etc etc etc¿ 6 of one and half a dozen of the other!
Alex (as in Alexander not Alexandra), Wales

Napoleon might not have had any trouble pulling women, but then how tall was Josephine?! I suspect that most women will go for not necessarily the tallest men, but men who are taller than they are.
Irene, Scotland

I know a very tall boy called Dave who seems to have no problem "pulling" women. Unfortunately, he has the personality of a goldfish, so being tall may be a help at the start, but it's what you're really like as a person that counts. That's where Dave falls down a bit!!
Lawrence Chapple-Gill, Manchester UK



Tall men certainly do the business for me.
Annette Dobson, England
Tall men certainly do the business for me. I have a thing about very tall men (taller than 6'4") - for me, they exude power, wealth and success.
Annette Dobson, England

I am not much over 5 feet tall, but my girlfriend has no problems with me. Size doesn't matter, it's what you do with it that counts!
Dr. R A Coxall, Scotland

Height is a sign of maturity, but so is beard growth. The stereo-typical female model is tall but there is never much prejudice against short women.
Daniel Cuddeford, UK

SIZE DOES MATTER! NOT! At 6 foot, most girls are shorter than me. Nothing wrong with that at all. Looks are an instant like/dislike with people, personality, honesty and a sense of humour are what really matters though. Who wants a girl the 'ideal' height if she's no fun to be with.
Shaun, NW England

How hysterical that most of the comments so far are from men! Blokes are sensitive little souls, aren't they!
Janet, UK



I have nothing against short guys, or rather guys shorter than myself, as they all perform the same 'functions' I guess, tall or short.
Rolly Akinkugbe, England
Being a lady myself at 6'1, I would naturally prefer a guy at least 3 inches taller than myself, although it does a lot of women tend to prefer tall guys who seem much 'nicer' and 'acceptable', and stand out more. That is not to say that is the only criteria we look for in a guy, but it is very important.
I have nothing against short guys, or rather guys shorter than myself, as they all perform the same 'functions' I guess, tall or short. The tall ones are more appealing and women always seek some sort of strong-towering protector. But I guess if the worse came to worst and love was really indeed blind, I wouldn't mind he had to stand on a stool, when the priest goes; 'you may now kiss the bride'!!!!!!!
Rolly Akinkugbe, England

My boyfriend is just slightly taller than me, and I'm only a petite 5'3. I've no complaints about his height. In fact, height has no influence at all on what I find attractive in a man. Surely what's more important is that he's fun, caring, generous, has a good sense of humour and can make a wicked chocolate cheesecake!!
Jenny, England

I am 5 feet 7 inches tall and my boyfriend is 5 feet 4 inches tall and he is seriously insecure about it. Most of the time we end up in huge fights because of this. Does anybody know why this happens. I have on several occasions told him that it does not bother me. He loves me and so do I, but still this complex in him does not go away.
AND, UK



I just can't find men under 5 ft 7 appealing, but maybe this is because I haven't met enough of them yet!
Elizabeth, UK
Despite being only 5 foot 4 myself, I find tall men more attractive. Most of my boyfriends have been over 6 ft, and my current is 5 ft 11. I just can't find men under 5 ft 7 appealing though, but maybe this is because I haven't met enough of them yet!
Elizabeth, UK

Surely if this is true then men are also subconsciously using this criteria during there selection process? If this were true then would tall men mainly procreate with tall women and short men do likewise with short women. Thus creating a world of giants and midgets? I think not!
PP, UK

I'm 6ft and married. My best friend is 5ft 10ins, he's not married. The theory is correct. Say no more!!
Nick Southwood, England

I wonder what the hundreds of millions of Chinese and Japanese think of this?
Chris Klein, UK

We've all seen the comedy sketch where an attractive woman gets into a nice chat with an attractive man while seated at a bar. Then it comes time for both parties to stand up...surprise, it's a mini-man! Personally, I want a man to be taller and to weigh more than me. I am an ordinary sized woman and, although I can respect them intellectually, I have a hard time viewing small men as prospective emotional or sexual partners.
Madeline Crowley, USA

What happened to dark and handsome?
Drew, UK



I have always believed that if you lack a few inches in height you make up for them elsewhere!
Paul Bennett (5" 5'), UK
I have always believed that if you lack a few inches in height you make up for them elsewhere!
Paul Bennett (5" 5'), UK

I had a boyfriend who was at least a head shorter than me and while I did not care in the least, he was massively insecure about it. Obviously some women will prefer men to be taller than themselves, but everybody likes different things. The most important thing is for the man concerned to be happy within himself. When that hurdle has been overcome, everything else will fall into place.
Kate, UK

Yes, I'm afraid tall blokes are more attractive. Maybe females are designed to recognise that taller men are more fertile, but it's more likely that they want a man to look up to, at least physically!
Squeaky, Scotland

I'm about 6'2". I'm not sure that height matters to women at all. Napoleon was short wasn't he? He didn't seem to have any problem attracting the opposite sex, despite certain other reputed shortcomings.
Mike, England

Well, 'tallness' is one attribute amongst many. While being tall might be seen as a 'positive' (albeit subconsciously in some cases), there's not a lot of point in having a tall lanky boyfriend who is dull, unattractive, boring, and possibly rubbish in bed.
Also just because someone is 'taller' doesn't mean they are genetically 'better', it just means they may see more in a crowd! In this life it takes all sorts and we all have to make the most of what we have. I'm deliriously happy at 5ft 6 (and a half) inches :-)
Martyn Day, UK

I'm 5 foot 3 inches and have had many girlfriends. My friend is 6 foot 5 inches tall and has never had a girlfriend. Attraction is initially physical. From there on it's personality. If you have it, then you will have relationships. So in reality, short men do not have problems finding partners.
Tommy Lai, UK

Of course women look for more than one particular trait in their men, nobody has suggested that height alone is the deciding factor. However, being tall is generally advantageous in my experience. Obviously, deviations in every aspect of appearance and behaviour will occur in each new generation of women, so it won't be an all-encompassing rule.
Rob Harris, England

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12 Jan 00 |  Sci/Tech
Tall guys get the girls

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