Are short guys doomed in sex and love?

August 9, 2007 10:54 PM

Samantha Brett of Ask Sam posed the question, “Does Size Matter?” She’s not talking about penis sizes this time but the height of a man. According to the research she quotes, the general perception is true: taller men are more desirable to women.

The study, carried out by evolutionary psychologist Professor Robin Dunbar at the University of Liverpool in England, found that of the 4419 respondents of healthy men aged between 25 and 60, blokes who had at least one child were 3cm taller than those who had none. They also found that on dating websites, shorter gents were reluctant to declare their height to women on a manhunt. Why? Dunbar reckons the reason is simple: men know what women want. And it ain’t short blokes.

Intellectual folks at the University of Essex backed up this theory when they analysed speed dating sessions – (apparently the new microcosm of the dating world) – and found that every extra inch on a lothario’s head equals a 5 per cent rise in the number of women interested!

I didn’t wade through all 506 comments on the post (at last count) though there were a few common themes in the responses:

  • Generally, men prefer shorter women and women prefer taller men. But some men are just idiots. There were a few guys who said that they were around 6′ tall (183cm) and they wouldn’t go out with women who are that tall or beyond because what happens when they wear heels they asked. Why the hell not?! You are both tall enough that you wouldn’t look small next to her. Gees.
  • Then there were the guys who said that they preferred shorter girls too when they are short themselves. They wouldn’t even entertain the idea of going out with a taller woman even if she fancies them. It’d just be too awkward, they said.
  • There were also girls who are 6′ and beyond who also wouldn’t entertain the idea of going with shorter guys. Like the short guys, they thought that it’d be too awkward.

Those kind of comments annoyed me. I remembered this quote from “Ally McBeal” (I used to watch it, shut up):

We spend so much time worrying about finding true love, but when we find it we wonder if we are getting it the right way.

I don’t mind taller girls and had once dated a girl who was 5’7″ (170cm; I’m 5’4″, 164cm) but generally speaking, I’m in the minority and so are women who don’t mind dating a shorter guy.

If more people can be like Sophie Dahl and Jamie Cullum (6′ vs 5’4″ respectively), or Katie Holmes and Tom Cruise (5’9″, 175cm vs 5’7″ respectively), then there would be less lovelorn people in this world. Obviously not all short men have money, fame, talent or all of the above to snag themselves tall gorgeous women but my point is: by artificially limiting your options, you are potentially missing out on something great.

China's tallest man Bao Xishun stands with his wife Xia Shujuan
China’s tallest man Bao Xishun with his wife Xia Shujuan
All you people who’d complain about physical awkwardness
ain’t got nothing on these two!

24 thoughts on “Are short guys doomed in sex and love?

  1. nadnut

    my bf and me are 30cm apart. (thats cause im very short and bf is of normal height)

    i wouldnt mind dating a shorter guy but i think its very hard to find one! and im not a paedophile. lol

  2. blur ting

    I believe most people obsess about different things at different stage of their lives. When I was younger (and foolish), looks were more important but as I get older, it doesn’t matter so much anymore. We focus more on the person’s maturity and character. That said, there are people who obsess about looks all their lives.

  3. mooiness Post author

    nadnut: haha good for you. I mean even if there aren’t many guys at that height, you are still willing to consider it. Some in the comments on Sam’s post are about 5’3″, 5’4″ and wouldn’t even think of going with guys of that height. They all want taller.

    Rachel: yeah there are guys who are self-assured enough to not care. In fact I think it makes the man look good. Like it’d make ppl think, “What does he have???” 😉

    blur ting: true that. And I guess those kinda ppl are not that kind you want to be with to begin with.

    lupin: well yeah but look around you, the general rule still holds – man always taller than woman. Still, when love hits the rule may not apply anymore.

  4. yurl

    having worked in the world of darstardly tabloid newspapers, A lot of celebrities and men of prominence are shorter than you think. Their handlers and image consultants make them wear disguised platform shoes in public to make them appear “sexier, more powerful, more masculine” ie all the superficial stereotyped crap that taller men are supposed to be.
    I can confirm that Tom Cruise is actually about 5’3″. he’s 5’7″ in his platforms. Tony Blair is 5’7″ and 5’11” in platforms.

  5. mooiness Post author

    yurl: interesting and I know they do it, but does this apply to the women as well? because from the pictures, even with platforms and Katie presumably in heels, he isn’t that much shorter than her. So would that mean Katie is not as tall as people think she is?

  6. girlstar7

    I am pretty short for a girl, only 160cm or 5’3″ which means that not many guys are shorter than me or even my height. Even the short ones are generally taller. So I don’t really care that much about height. I’ve dated guys well over 6ft (my ex was 6’4″) as well as guys that aren’t much taller than me. As long as I”m physically attracted to them, and I like their personality, it doens’t really matter if they’re not that tall to me.
    However, I do have girlfriends who have a big preference for tall guys and won’t date anyone who’s under a certain height. But me personally, I don’t really give a shit!

  7. Xinyi

    i’m 152cm and i notice that guys who are attracted to me are generally on the shorter side.

    I think short girls like me represent hope to them.


  8. mooiness Post author

    Xinyi: what do you consider short though? And what would be a desirable height for you? 😉

    You can’t blame these guys. Like I’ve said, most men want women who are shorter than them. At the same time, women who are short themselves want guys taller than the average – guys who are the same height as them aren’t as desirable.

    If only we could just get past this, there’d be a lot more happy ppl around.

  9. Xinyi

    hmm I think 160 is short, 180 is tall, and anything in between is average. Fair enough?

    Me? I talk about preferring tall guys! But, truth be told, when I fall, height doesn’t really factor in at all =P

    Then again, I haven’t met any guy shorter than me! Haha

  10. AP

    I’m 5’6, and like you I have no issues with dating taller women. I rarely attract shallow women (which is a blessing in disguise), but on the whole if you show a confident persona height doesn’t matter.

    Height never mattered when I started going out with my ex (about 2 inches taller), but it annoyed me whenever she got self-conscious about it and never wanted to wear heels on nights out.

    On ‘girls nights’ where I stayed home, she would sometimes wear heels…an insult.

  11. mooiness Post author

    AP: well did you tell her that it was ok for her to wear heels? Maybe she thought that you may not like it. But if she’s still self-conscious after that, then perhaps it could have been more her problem.

  12. AP

    Yeh she knew I didn’t mind, and that I actually liked her in heels. It was more her problem…to be seen with a shorter guy.

    Many tall girls are self-conscious about their height (ie evil girls in high school calling them daddy long legs etc.), so they desperately seek to look shorter (just as low confidence short guys wear platforms).

    Standing alongside me made her look taller than she was, and hence brought out old insecurities.

  13. Dabido

    I’ve dated girls taller than me [in fact, one VERY MUCH taller than me in High School].

    Personally, I prefer them at about the same height as myself. I like to look them in the eye when I talk etc, as an equal, not look up or down at them.

    Yes, most girls have rejected me for being ‘Too Short’. I don’t hold it against them, as they must know what they want. And after all, we all reject people fro some reason or other. Even if that reason is frivolous in some peoples eyes, but important in ours. So, I never hold it against someone, no matter how lame their excuse is. [And let’s face it, if it is genetic, then it isn’t even them rejecting me!]

    But, we have to put our best foot forward, and if we have personality, good humour and intelligence, then we have some good attributes to bring to the mating table. [I hope!] 🙂

  14. blur

    I remembered when bf (now my hubby) asked me to be his gf, i was comtemplating coz i’ve always dreamt of a taller bf. He has all the qualities i looked for in a man. My family members would sometimes joke about it behind his back… but in the end, i choose love instead of height.

  15. Amber

    I love reading everyone’s thoughts and opinions. I’m almost at the 6 foot mark (5’11 3/4) and my husband who thinks he’s 5’7 although I really think he’s 5’6 are an odd pair. I grew up thinking that the boy had to be taller then the girl so I put off dating my now husband. Imagine if I had let one little difference get in my way. I would never have married my best friend and soulmate.


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