Dating can seem difficult and overwhelming sometimes. With so many made-up rules and “facts”, it can even start to feel discouraging. Rather than perpetuate one of these common “facts”, we’re going to look at a common question we get asked — “Why do women like tall men?”
At BeyondAges, we’re all about giving you helpful, actionable advice rather than recycling what other websites have said on a topic. If height is a concern for you, we have some good news that other sites just haven’t talked about — not all women like tall men. There’s no strong backing behind this notion at all.
A simple Google search of the question will give you a host of articles that make a whole bunch of claims as to why women have this preference. In reality, the more I dug into these claimed reasons, the more I realized they’re mostly nonsense. Shaky at best.
Admittedly, before researching for this article, I was guilty of believing this notion too. Believing that most women like taller men. As is often the case, it’s just that women who do prefer tall men tend to be more vocal about it. For the average woman, stating that she’s attracted to men of average height is like telling your restaurant server that you don’t have any dietary requirements. It’s neither interesting nor helpful.
“Why Do Women Like Tall Men?”
Despite the lack of evidence, this is a “fact” that still gets peddled across social media constantly. Why? Because it plays on our insecurities and that makes for easy clicks. This is so frustrating because even though it isn’t true, it can make shorter men feel inadequate for no reason whatsoever.
Gentlemen, your height isn’t hurting your dating chances. If anything, the lack of self-esteem this rumor has given you is what’s (ironically) holding you back.
Let’s get specific about the reported reasons behind this rumor to better understand them.
Tall men are considered more masculine
This is easily the most common claim. There may be some truth to it, though it seems impossible to verify.
Many of these articles mention a study conducted by the University of St Andrews, though they never link to the study. The closest I could get was an article on the university’s website with an old link to a page that no longer exists.
According to the articles that reference the study, anyway, there was a correlation noted. They found that the face shapes we associate with taller (and heavier) men were the same shapes women rated as being more masculine.
Unfortunately for the study, it also found that participants often incorrectly identified the height of these men when just looking at their face. Essentially what this tells us is that some face shapes are considered more masculine and don't inherently have anything to do with height. With little more to go on than some cherry-picked quotes, we can’t pull much value from this claim.
At a base evolutionary level, it would make sense that larger men (in height and stature) would be more desirable. That they’re more likely to be stronger, faster and more capable of providing food and protection. It’s something we still see in animal behavior today and may very well be baked into our DNA.
All in all, it seems this explanation is the most plausible, though finding a definitive study on the topic proved impossible. Humans have evolved significantly in the last century alone. Today, a 4’2”, 120lb man is just as capable of “hunting” at the local grocery store, so these traits of height, strength and speed just don’t carry the same value.
All of this to say that while this is the most plausible reason, it still has no solid scientific backing and is probably still just nonsense.
Tall men make better, more confident leaders
This is another common claim that I wasn’t able to find any real source for. In fact, every article I came across that claimed tall men have better leadership ability did one of two things. They either didn’t link to a source for this statement or they linked to an article about the traits of a great leader. . . which never listed “height” as a trait. Interesting.
Instead, the articles they link to tend to highlight more likely factors like extraversion, assertiveness, empathy, and social intelligence.
Logically, it makes no sense that growing 4 inches taller would make me or you any more capable of leadership.
Tall men are more educated
This claim seems equally far-fetched, although there are some studies behind it that we can view. Or, at least, we can view the abstract of.
The most commonly-linked study was published in 2006 which looked at 950,000 Swedish men. Perhaps the most important section from this abstract:
“Men taller than 194 cm were two to three times more likely to obtain a higher education as compared with men shorter than 165 cm. The association remained within brother-pairs, OR 1.08 (95% CI 1.07-1.10), suggesting that non-familial factors contribute to the association between height and education attainment.”
As we all know, correlation does not equal causation — As the abstract also notes in conclusion, “... residual confounding cannot be ruled out.” In other words, this study may have flaws we haven’t accounted for which may invalidate the data.
More specific to women and their attraction to tall men, this correlation between height and education is not common knowledge. Since it’s not something all women are aware of, it just cannot be a factor in what they find attractive. Your preferences can’t be based on something you don’t know!
Tall men live longer lives
Another common “fact” that gets brought up on this topic is that taller men have longer lifespans. They say women like tall men because they can expect a longer, healthier life from their partner than with a shorter man.
The thing is, there’s really no solid research behind this claim either. Rather than referencing science, they often base these claims on other articles like ABC News’ Height Linked to Longevity.
Had they taken the time to read the whole article, they’d see that while interesting, it’s hardly compelling evidence. Sure, there was a correlation between taller people and longer lives. . . of unmarked skeletons from some time between the 9th and 19th century. . .
This article even points out a very important fact that can’t be ignored:
“Predicting any particular person's chance of dying due to height is difficult because so many other factors, such as weight, disease and smoking, come into play.”
If this weren’t enough, we can also look at what modern studies and scientists have to say about it. Most importantly, that “...no association between height and all-cause mortality in a study of 10,700 male and female students at Glasgow University ... observed for 40years.”
We could go on but you get the point — the claimed reasons behind why women like tall men is incredibly flawed if not total nonsense.
What to Do if You’re Shorter Than Average?
If you aren’t in the “tall” category, you can breathe easy knowing that your height just isn’t a factor. Sure, some women will prefer a taller man. Some women also prefer a different skin color, personality type, facial hair or fashion choice. You can’t and never will appeal to all women and that’s okay.
Rather than stress about something you can’t change based on a “fact” that isn’t true, here’s what you’re going to do.
Accept that there are some things you just can’t change
Every single person that’s ever existed has at least something we wish they could change about themselves. How we cope with this is a matter of how well we can accept ourselves for who we are.
I’m not one for generic “learn to love yourself” advice but at a certain level, it’s important to being happy. Whether you’re 5’0”, 7’0” or somewhere in between there are plenty of women out there that are into you.
This part of the article is probably where I’m supposed to talk about ways to make yourself look taller. Honestly, that’s the exact opposite of what I want you to do. Wearing shoes with a larger heel is like wearing a wig and pretending you’re not bald — it doesn’t solve the problem, it temporarily masks it.
In terms of dating, that’s only effective until you bring a woman home and take your shoes off. Now you have those same insecurities along with the guilt of having lied to your date.
You want to know the hottest thing anyone can be? Confident. It’s one of the ways a modern man can be sexy. Take some time to work on yourself, get comfortable with your height and you’ll realize it’s just not a factor.
Improve the things you don’t like about yourself
If there are things you don’t like about yourself that you can change then it’s time to get to work changing them. I used to be severely overweight and hated myself for it.
After spending a couple of years in that downward spiral, I finally pulled myself out of it and joined a gym. Now, 110lbs lighter, I can’t begin to tell you how much my life has changed. Although I obviously look better, the two most important things I gained from that journey were self-respect and confidence.
Whatever it is that’s holding you back from liking yourself, it’s time to make a plan and go change it. When you feel good about yourself, others feel better around you. There are so many ways you can become more attractive to women but it’s up to you to take action.
Learn to convey confidence
I’ve already used the ‘C’ word twice in the last two sections and that’s for a reason. As I mentioned, it’s one of the few things all humans find attractive.
If this is something you’re struggling with right now, you’re not alone. The best thing you can do is stick with the old saying of “fake it ‘till you make it”. It worked for me when I was starting my own dating journey and it’ll work for you too.
Learn to relax, be decisive, make decisions, stop using self-deprecating language and you’ll already be making huge leaps. I can assure you from personal experience, once you can get that dialed in you’ll start to see some of the signs women are into you. It honestly doesn’t take much.
So why do women like tall men? The easy answer is: they don’t. It’s a preference for some, but it’s not the be-all-and-end-all.
The next time you hear about how girls like tall guys, remember this article. It’s almost entirely nonsense with just a portion of women having that preference. Forget those lazy articles, focus on yourself and let dating be the fun and exciting journey it’s meant to be!