DENTON, TX (CBS Houston) – According to a recent study, size does matter – as in height. Women do prefer tall men.

Researchers collected data from online dating ads by 450 men and 470 women across the country and found that 49 percent of women wanted to date taller men only and 13.5 percent of men said they wanted to date shorter women only.

The average man that posted on an online dating website was 36-years-old and 5 feet, 8 inches tall; the average woman was 35-years-old and 5 feet, 4 inches.

The researchers also conducted an online survey at a U.S. university and found that 55 percent of women wanted to date only taller men; and 37 percent of men wanted to date only shorter women. The average man, out of the 54 that participated in the online survey, was 5 feet, 9 inches tall; while out of the 131 women who participated, the average height was 5 feet, 4 inches.

Feeling protected and feminine were the two main reasons women gave as to why they only wanted to date taller men, according to the study.

“As the girl, I like to feel delicate and secure at the same time,” one woman said in the study. “Something just feels weird in thinking about looking down into my man’s eyes. There is also something to be said about being able to wear shoes with high heels and still be shorter. I also want to be able to hug him with my arms reaching up and around his neck.”

“Evolutionary psychology theory argues that similarity is overwhelming in the rule in human mating,” Michael Emerson, a professor of sociology and co-director of the Kinder Institute for Urban Research at Rice University and the co-author of the study, said in a university press release obtained by HealthDay News.

“The masculine ability to offer physical protection is clearly connected to the gender stereotype of men as protectors,” George Yancey, a professor of sociology at the University of North Texas, and the study’s author said in a press release. “And in society that encourages men to be dominant and women to be submissive, having the image of tall men hovering over short women reinforces this value”

The study was published online in the Journal of Family Issues.


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