Everyone has that certain something they look for in a partner, whether it’s humor, intelligence, or a kind heart. Physical attributes, like buff arms or large breasts, usually are not deal breakers for most, yet it turns out one physical feature is elevated above the rest.
According to a new study conducted at Rice University & University of North Texas, height plays an important role in romantic preferences. This is especially true for females. Out of 131 female participants, a whopping 55% wanted to date only men who were taller than them. This might explain why male athletes get so much love from the ladies…
I must whole-heartedly admit to this. As a female of above average height (5’9”), it’s crucial for my guy to rest at a higher altitude than myself. Regardless of my feminist girl-power beliefs, I want to feel “protected” by the presence of my date. While I’ll get pissed if a guy tries to assist me on my climb up a mountain, nothing compares to being carried or swung up into his arms.
Apparently, I’m not the only one who seeks to feel “protection and femininity,” which the study cites as the dominant reason for the preference. These desires are embedded deep in society’s expectation of what women look for in a spouse and reinforced throughout history, especially in media today. The famous kissing in the pouring rain scene from the Notebook would’ve unfolded much differently if Ryan Gosling were half the height of his lover.
George Yancey, Professor of sociology at University of North Texas, explains the social implications of the results:
The masculine ability to offer physical protection is clearly connected to the gender stereotype of men as protectors… And in a 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.
Yikes. Everyone knows old habits die hard, but I’m not ready to give up my heels just yet.
Dating Checklist Reaches New Heights.