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Tuesday, 4 April, 2000, 12:35 GMT 13:35 UK
Does being short hold you back?
Boys in Australia are being held back at school because of their height, according to research.Disclaimer: The BBC will put up as many of your comments as possible but we cannot guarantee that all e-mails will be published. The BBC reserves the right to edit comments that are published.
Of course other factors like a child's maturity and ability figured into the equation, but their height may have "tipped the balance" in favour of keeping them back a year. The report found no relation between a girl's height and classroom success.
Do you think the research rings true? Have you ever been discriminated against because of your height? Do you think people treat the shorter among us any differently? Send us your views and experiences.
Even though we try to ignore matters such as height, colour, and shape - we still find ourselves discriminating others for these reasons. It is unfortunate, but hey, that's life. Just accept and deal with who you are and make the most of it.
Kids in Australia are discriminated for many other reasons than their heights more often than not for their lack of interest on "sports" especially if they are brighter than their athletic classmates.
I'm constantly picked on for my height at the age of 28 and I'm sick of it. When will people learn that short people are not freaks for tall people to laugh at.
Who cares whether you are short or tall, it's not fair if you are held back from doing something.
I think it might be possible
to be discriminated against because
of stature. However 2 of my very
best friends are over 6' tall. I'm only
5'6". Both of the above friends are
caring kind people.
One cause of height discrimination
here in England was the fact that
Joe Brown (A so called singer)
actually sang a song called "I don't
Like Short People". But of course that
only shows his own ignorance.
Matt (5'3"), UK
That is the silliest thing I've ever heard! Did someone pay good tax money for this study? Oh, by the way. I'm only 5 foot six inches tall and was always one of the shortest kids in my school when I was growing up.
Being short never held back many film and TV stars. It can be a problem if it means you can't reach things from shelves, see over people's heads in crowds, and catch the eye of the barman/maid. The only disadvantage I have is when shopping for clothes when retailers and dress designers seem to think everyone is over 5' 10".
The thing to remember is that the best things come in small packages
Being short can be a disadvantage, I've become a specialist at climbing supermarket shelves!
I was also bullied at school partly to do with my height making me seem more vulnerable.
On the other hand seeing as I like tall guys - nearly all are taller than me!
In reality by the time you reach adulthood height is normally ignored.
Though I can quite believe it will play a factor in discrimination against children at school.
Children should be taught to realise that what matters is from the neck upwards, not down.
What about the really tall people? Like 6'5 and up, it's awful! Daddy long legs, giraffe, what's the weather like up there? These sort of things are what we constantly hear. And NO I do NOT play basketball!!!
Roman Hendrickson MD, USA
I'm 6'3", my sister is 5'7", we have the same parents and both of us are at universities in England. Height has nothing to do with intelligence, so why don't we all stop wasting money, time and energy on such useless topics of discussion and put the research into something useful such as creating more teachers or discussing social inequality caused by economic disparities, something that definitely affects children's chances at having a decent education.
A person's height is set in stone---that cannot be changed. What governments should be concentrating on are more pressing problems, like the state of a nation's economy, it's schools and the general welfare of it's people---not their height.
I feel I have been discriminated against in the past, as I'm only 5 foot three and have been told that if I had of been taller I could of been a model, I'm 23 now and feel that it's very unfair that people are discriminated against because of their height.
My husband is over 6ft tall and I must say I tend to go for taller men as my "protector" was shorter. Men should realise (and this isn't a sweeping statement to them all) that sometimes making up for shortness of height with confidence can come across as aggressiveness instead.
I am 5"9 and still growing, but sometimes I find this a disadvantage, being short is quite cool.
I think that the idea of being short does not make any difference to your academic ability
There are many people that I know who are short and they are very clever. I think the government should stop wasting money and start spending it on useful things such as the NHS.
I am 5'8 (includes an added inch) and I have personally found being short to be an advantage. People do not tend to be intimidated by me which gives them a false sense of security. Watch out you tall people, here I come!
I'm 4'11" and I've been at university in Aberdeen for 4 years with no sign that I'll ever finish my thesis and start contributing to society. But that's probably because I'm hopeless.
Australia stands out in educational terms - schools rarely promote "advanced" children, and would not count IQ or high achievement as sufficient grounds to advance a child a grade. But, keep kids back seems to be the educational catch-cry. Children are frequently held back in pre-school! And a parent will tell you with pride they kept their darling back. If you ask for a child to be put ahead schools and other parents will regard you as a psychopath!
Thomas Noerper, USA
I am 5'7 and though that is not short I have seen evidence of short people being discriminated against and this lowers their self confidence, their pride, their future (e.g. education). In my school it is certainly true that people notice boys heights more: a short one would be discriminated against.
Andie Baldie, England
I noticed women tend to prefer tall guys, since they're seen as more capable of "protecting" them. We are far from the caveman age now and physical characteristics should not matter much in 21st century.
Even when it comes to "masculine" abilities, shorter men are more agile and stable than tall opponents. When it comes to a fight, tall men are not often victors, unless they've been trained to use their feet and arms to benefit.
I think short people have a right to be worried - I'm tallish (about 6ft 1) and quite large, and tend to eat about three or four short people a day. I find those between 4 foot 8 and 5 foot are the tastiest, as their muscles haven't got too gristly from having to lug excess weight around!
Matt Shelley, London, UK
I agree with Mick Philby, the press picks up yet another 'tall story' and attempts to present it as scientific fact or statistical evidence for some previously unnoticed 'fact of life'. This type of 'information' should be given 'short shrift' by people of all sizes.
It's a sad fact of life that human nature causes people to judge us by our outward appearance, and it's something that "shorties" just have to come to terms with.
I think being slightly taller than average is definitely beneficial in terms of a person's career. Taller people have always seemed to do better. It's no big deal though, being short and successful aren't mutually exclusive and in today's workplace discrimination is such that if you're a black middle class woman you could be 4'3" and still find work everywhere
In general, tall people have a superiority complex and short people an inferiority complex. It all depends what is meant by short. However, bias towards tallness is endemic within the most cultures due to the subconscious belief they have a better chance of survival and procreation than their shorter contemporaries.
Really being short is pretty good, girlfriends parents trust you, cars/planes/trains etc are comfortable, you don't have to stoop in old country pubs and you have no problem in buying clothes that fit. Personally, I have had many girlfriends, two fiancées (one of which was 6ft1") am married with a lovely daughter, run my own business, have lived in Europe and the USA through promotion in a previous company and can highly recommend it medically for low blood pressure.
Simon Dickinson, England
I'm fairly short at 5'6", but this has little impact on my life. OK, I'm seldom the tallest person in the room, but confidence can make you seem taller. One can fixate on any imperfection, but it's up to us whether we let such irrelevancies rule our lives.
Self-confidence, self-worth and self-respect are all that are important.
At only 5ft tall, I think I am well qualified to speak! Short people either have a height complex or, like me, simply accept the diversity of human heights being as inevitable as diversity of eye colour or width. Should children be held back because they have grey eyes instead of blue? Or because they are left-handed?
Many years ago I was kept out of the school swimming team due to my height, despite being considerably faster than most of those swimmers in the team. The explanation given was that I would not progress as quickly as the taller swimmers as we grew.
However, at inter-house events I consistently won the 100 and 200 meters breaststroke, right up until the sixth form. I was very disappointed about this - particularly since it was the only sport I was ever any good at.
What is all this? Every week we hear of some dubious statistical inference being drawn about height, gender, date of birth or whatever else, and its effect on material, academic or some other type of success, without regard for the ten million other factors which could be responsible. It's always presented as some kind of gee-whiz "finding" as well. I suspect that the practitioners of the pseudo-science of sociology are getting "short" of PhD topics, and need to justify their continued funding!
I haven't had much discrimination in reference to height (being 5 foot, and 23 years, yet I am a female maybe it is different for men) Though people think I look younger than I am. I have never not got a job or not passed a level because of my height. If anything, I use it to my advantage.... buying children's clothes etc etc. I can see the disadvantage to children who want to play different sports, but I don't think it should make any difference to educational grades. If they are it would be the same as the black and white issue!
I think it would hold you back: a key part
of how we determine 'masculinity' is height.
This must be true for men as women are said to prefer those who are tall, dark and handsome.
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