Quoting David Buss (2005): The Handbook of Evolutionary Psychology
Chapter 10: Lawrence S. Sugiyama - Physical Attractiveness in Adaptationist Perspective.
Men tend to have partners who are shorter than themselves and vice
versa (Gillis & Avis, 1980). In modern populations, there is generally a positive as-
sociation between male height and health (Kuh & Ben Shlomo, 1997; Kuh &
Wadsworth, 1993; Macintyre & West, 1991; Silventoinen, Lahelma, & Rahkonen,
1999) and reproductive success (RS; Mueller & Mazur, 2001; Nettle, 2002;
Pawlowski, Dunbar, & Lipowicz, 2000). As noted earlier, relative height provides
some information about phenotypic quality. Height is associated with the rated attractiveness of men (e.g.,Feingold, 1982; Gillis & Avos, 1980; Hensley, 1994), with American women rating short men undesirable for either long- or short-term mates. Tall, strong, athletic men are strongly desired as marriage partners (Buss & Schmitt, 1993), and taller-
than-average men are preferred to men of short or average stature as dates and
mating partners (Ellis, 1992). In analyses of personal ads, 80% of women who
stated height preferences wanted men 6 feet tall or taller (Cameron, Oskamp, &
Sparks, 1977). Ads placed by taller men receive more responses (Lynn & Shurgot,
1984; Pawlowski & Koziel, 2002). Women even seem to take height into considera-
tion in sperm donors (Scheib, Kristiansen, & Wara, 1997).
Further, there appears to be a positive association between
height and socioeconomic success (Bielicki & Szklarska, 1999; Frieze, Olson, &
Good, 1990; Frieze, Olson, & Russell, 1991; Hensley & Cooper, 1987; Jackson,
1992). In an experimental study, 72% of recruiters for sales positions preferred
the taller of two job applicants, but only one recruiter preferred the shorter candidate (the remainder had no preference; Kurtz, 1969). Among a large sample of
British men, taller-than-average men had higher numbers of live-in partners and
lower chance of either being childless or having had no significant mating rela-
tionship (Nettle, 2002). However, Nettle found no significant association between
total number of offspring and height, although the men had not yet completed
fertility: They were not yet of the age where they were likely to have had all children from a second marriage, and they had ready access to contraceptives.
preference for taller males is also expected to vary with resource stress: Be-
cause taller males are those who could better afford the costs of growing larger,
relative height provides a costly signal of phenotypic quality, amplified under
resource and pathogen stress.