We have many, many friends who refuse to date guys who are shorter than them (and we’re pinging this story to them the minute we’re done writing it).Whether you’re a lanky 5′ 11″ looking for a guy who’s over 6 feet, or a 5′ 6″ woman wondering if she should consider a guy who she can’t wear heels next to, the taller-girl-shorter-guy conundrum is a case many of us just can’t get over. In fact, 48.9 percent of women restrict their online dating searches to men who are taller than them.
Well, ladies, science has decided to take issue with our prejudice.In a preliminary study published in The New Republic, Dalton Conley, a sociologist at NYU, and Abigail Weitzman, a Ph.D. candidate, suggest that short men might make better boyfriends and husbands.Shorter men are less likely to tie the knot (their marriage rate is 18 percent lower than men of average height). But, when they do get married, their divorce rates are 32 percent lower than those of average height and tall men. Why? Here’s the researchers’ reasoning, based on their data:
1. Short men do more housework, performing nearly eight and a half hours of cleaning per week, an hour more than tall men.
2. Short men are more likely to earn more than their partners. Seventy-eight percent are the breadwinners in their relationship, versus 69 percent for average men and 71 percent for tall men.
3. Short men like older women. In the survey, 9 percent of men had partnered with a woman more than three years older than them, and most of them were from the short cohort.
The researchers 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. 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.
The moral of the story: Listen to science and give short guys a chance.