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Revealed: Why women prefer taller men

sex-and-relationships Updated: Feb 16, 2014 17:12 IST

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Does your heart swoon when you spot the tall, brooding actor Adrian Brody or the goofily cute basketball player, Yao Ming, on the telly? Chances are apart from their appearance, it is their height that attracts you.

Don’t believe us? Even a recent study says that. To women, the height factor mostly pertains to femininity and protection, says the study.

"Evolutionary psychology theory argues that similarity is overwhelmingly the rule in human mating,” said Michael Emerson, the Allyn and Gladys Cline Professor of Sociology at Rice University in Texas.

According to the study, dominant reasons that females cited for preferring a tall partner are matters of protection and femininity. "As a girl, I like to feel delicate and secure at the same time,” said a woman in the study.

She adds, "something just feels weird in thinking about looking ‘down’ into her man’s eyes". According to her, "I also want to be able to hug him with my arms reaching up and around his neck."

Men were much less likely to say that height mattered, and for those who did, they preferred shorter women, but not so short that it would cause problems with physical intimacy.

It is a widespread perception that tall height is a personal asset for men and a personal liability for women, said George Yancey, professor of sociology at the University of North Texas.

The finding, that height matters more to women, supports the social system of patriarchy, in which males are the primary authority figures.

"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," Yancey added.

The study appeared in the Journal of Family Issues.