17 January 2013

Height Of Person Is An Important Preference In Human Mate Selection

A study shows that height, a previously unimportant factor in mating preference, is believed to continuously persist in a person's choice for a partner.

Mate Preference refers to how one person chooses a partner to mate. Preference covers many factors such as economic status, job stability, and physical features.

Mate preference rely on a persons cognition and emotional state. The factors covering mate preference are the cognition of the various factors desired in a partner and these cognitions have clear links to the emotion of the person.

Although both sexes share common preferences, there are also differences. A study by Shackleford, Schmitt, & Buss, finds that men rate physical attractiveness in a mate higher than how women will rate it. Women value good financial prospects in a partner more than men do.

Another study also by Shackleford, Schmitt, & Buss cites four dimensions that can predict the compatibility of two persons based on their mate preference. 9,800 people were surveyed across the world for this study. The four are:

  • Love vs. Status/Resources — compromising between a loving relationship and adequate resources and status
  • Dependable/Stable vs. Good Looks/Health — choosing between an emotionally stable partner and one that is physically attractive
  • Education/Intelligence vs. Desire for Home/Children — trade-off between educational factors and domestic factors such as having kids and chastity
  • Sociability vs. Same Religion — compromise between having a sociable partner and a partner that is religiously similar or compatible.

Height as an important factor in mating preference

Finding Mr. or Ms. Right is a complicated process, and choosing a mate may involve compromising on less important factors like their height. However, research published January 16 in the open access journal PLOS ONE by Gert Stulp and colleagues from the University of Groningen, Netherlands suggests that despite the many other factors involved, people's preferences for a partner's height are reflected in real couples in the UK.

Given the average heights of men and women in typical Western populations, two out of every hundred couples should comprise a woman who is taller than her male companion. However, such couples are seen much less frequently than this. Previous studies show that men generally prefer to pair with women shorter than themselves, and women prefer men who are taller than they are. However, short women and tall men appear to prefer larger height differences with their partner, whereas tall women and short men prefer smaller differences in height.

Video: Human Mating Preferences

These trends have previously been studied only in terms of preferences or expectations. In the current study, the authors analyze to what extent these preferences translate into actual partner choices. Their results suggest that all of these trends do exist in a sample of over 10,000 couples in the UK, and the difference in height between a man and woman in a couple tends to be less than 8 inches. However, the patterns observed in actual couples were not seen as frequently as would be expected based on people's preferences from previous studies.

According to the authors, their results suggest that "while preferences for partner height generally translate into actual pairing, they do so only modestly."


Public Library of Science
Are Human Mating Preferences with Respect to Height Reflected in Actual Pairings?
Universal dimensions of human mate preferences
Mate preferences of married persons in the newlywed year and three years later
Mapping The Activity of Love And Desire In The Brain
More People Are Finding Love Through Online Dating
Consumers Connect With A Brand Depending On Their Perceived Relationship With It
How Estrogen Influence Female Mood Swings and Psychology
Intelligence of Certain Species Linked To Evolution of Body Size Not Brain Size
Activities Based on Food and Drink Can Cause Jealousy
Using fMRI To Examine Brain Activity In Forgetting Memories Through Suppression And Substitution
Changes To Three Sections of DNA, SOX4, SOX11, and SOX5, Led To Evolution of the Human Brain
Scent of Rosemary Enhances and Improves Brain's Cognitive Performance
Understanding How The Brain Spatially Represents Object and Action Categories Through fMRI
Freud's Theory On Unconscious Conflict And Conscious Symptoms of Anxiety Disorder Under Study
Cognitive Training May Lead to Neural and Behavioral Improvements in Patients with Schizophrenia