"Short Men Are More Likely To Be Better Life Partners With More Money"

Study: Abigail Weitzman & Dalton Conley, 2014. "From Assortative to Ashortative Coupling: Men's Height, Height Heterogamy, and Relationship Dynamics in the United States," NBER Working Papers 20402, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.

Original Article: NewRepublic

It's well known that short men or "short kings" get a bad rap in dating. "When a 5’4” blogger added five inches to his height on his OkCupid profile, his response rate jumped from 16 to 29 percent." (NewRepublic)

"In another study, a pair of sociologists found that:

  • 48.9% of women restricted their online dating searches to men who were taller than them

  • Just 13.5% of men wouldn’t consider a taller woman

  • Out of all 925 people, only three left the “desired height” category blank

When the same team took a survey of 181 college students:

  • 29% of women said they would feel “awkward” or “weird” dating a shorter guy

  • 55% of women said they only wanted to date men who were taller

  • 37% of men said they would only go out with women who were shorter." (NewRepublic)

But, it turns out we should give short men a chance!

Study Background

"In a working paper (it has not yet been peer reviewed), Dalton Conley, a sociologist at NYU, and Abigail Weitzman, a Ph.D. candidate, used data from the Panel Study of Income Dynamics—a University of Michigan project that’s been collecting demographic data on 5,000 families for almost 50 years—to look at how a man’s height impacts different areas of his relationship after the initial dating period." (NewRepublic)

"They looked at two sets of data, from 1986 and 2009, and identified 3,033 heterosexual couples. (They restricted their sample to men between the ages of 23 and 45 cohabiting with a woman.) The men ranged in height from 4’6” to 7 feet; their height, in relation to their partners', ranged from nine inches shorter to two feet taller. They categorized the men into three groups:

  • “Short” men were defined as 5’6” or less in 1986, 5’7” or below in 2009

  • “Tall” men were at least 6’1” in 1986 and 6’2” in 2009." (NewRepublic)


"A preliminary new study suggests that shorter men might actually make better partners: They do a greater share of housework, earn a greater proportion of household income, and are less likely than their taller peers to get divorced." (NewRepublic)


"Divorce rates for tall and average men were basically indistinguishable, but 32 percent lower for short men." (NewRepublic)


"They do a greater share of housework:

  • Short Men: 8 hours and 28 minutes per week of housework—constituting about 28 percent of the total

  • Average Men: 7 hours 38 minutes

  • Tall Men: 7 hours 30 minutes"


Short men earn more $$$$.

  • "Short Men: 78% out-earn their partners

  • Average Men: 69% out-earn their partners

  • Tall Men: 71% out-earn their partners"


On Divorce, it may have something to do with the women who marry short men:

"Short men turned out to be somewhat less likely to get married: At every age before 45, they marry at a rate 18 percent lower than men of average height."

“Short men may have a harder time getting married because they’re viewed as less masculine...Women who have traditional gender ideals may find that less desirable.” (Abigail Weitzman, Ph.D. candidate)

Weitzman explains this by saying that women who are “resistant” to marrying short men are more likely to “opt out” before it gets to the point of marriage: “There’s something distinct about the women who marry short men.”

On Housework, "Tall men may be, in Weitzman’s words, “aware of the status that is conferred by their tallness”—which might make them less motivated to pitch in at home."

On Breadwinners, other research has suggested taller men earn more.


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