Height isn’t everything In general women are attracted to taller men, a preference which may be explained by evolutionary hard wiring or by societal expectations.
But when choosing a man to be with, this preference is moderated by your own height, potential dating options, and relationship expectations.
Also as you might expect, height and physical traits are not enough to explain what women want, especially when looking for long-term romantic relationships.
More than physical appearance, which plays mostly in short-term relationships, women value personality, intelligence, and career choice (Braun & Bryan, 2006). Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 6, 396-401.
On the other hand, this also suggests that women at the shorter end of the spectrum and men at the taller end can afford to be more selective in who they wish to date, since they have a wider available dating pool from which to choose.
Another important finding in how height impacts attraction are our relationship goals.
If you look at the couples around you, you find that most men are taller than their women.
If we all only dated men who were 6’4” or taller, there would be so many people who were dateless, and competition for these tall men would be tough. One study found that women who were attracted to taller men during times of ovulation – when they were the most fertile (Pawlowski & Jasienska, 2005). Personality and Individual Differences, 13, 1349-1350. Women looking for a relationship during their most fertile phase, in evolutionary terms, would be looking for good genes pass on to potential offspring but likely little parental investment and companionship. For dating, women look for men with agreeable personalities – men who show kindness, empathy, and intimacy, and factors like these can play a part in what women find most attractive in a man. According to evolutionary theory, women looking for long-term relationships would want men who would stick by their side and help them provide for and take care of their infants.
Even beyond biology, this study showed that women had a stronger preference for taller men when they were looking for a short-term relationship.