The Long and Short of It

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Similar to Captain Capitalism I have noticed discussion regarding the female stated preference for taller males. While I hope this post avoids a Napoleon complex, I will try to keep it short. [God! Who writes this stuff, Rob Delaney?

When asked (or even when unasked) to specify a preference, many females will hope for a partner of six feet or taller. Of course, “hope” is the operative word, as that requirement rules out about 85 percent of all men.

On its face, it seems silly, as even below average height men will be taller than most women. What the women are really asking for is a man that is attractive to them; height is a proxy for sexy, hot, attractive, cool, status bearing, or any number of other desirable traits. Just as a man who specifies “slim” will not accept a woman that is slim but otherwise unattractive, a woman will not accept a man that is tall but otherwise unattractive (Default Maxim #{insert random integer}: Five and half feet of confidence beats 6′ 4″ of dork). In a similar manner, a man will probably accept a woman that while otherwise attractive is not perfectly slim, a woman will probably accept a man that while otherwise attractive is not perfectly tall. It is obvious that in both case there will be limits to the wiggle room, but the important point is there is wiggle room.

What we have is the difference between expressed preference and revealed preference. In simpler terms: look at what she does, not what she says.

Only 15 percent of (United States) men are over six feet tall yet far more that 15 percent have female partners. Either the men are understating their heights or the women are overstating their preference.

Whether you Manute Bol or Tyrone “Muggsy” Bogues don’t worry about it too much, all “those must be over…” statements are just so many tall tales.

One Response to “The Long and Short of It”

  1. Bhetti Says:

    Seems particularly unreasonable for really short girls to express the preference!

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