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Econ Hum Biol. 2005 Dec;3(3):420-49.

Love, careers, and heights in France, 2001.

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National Center of Scientific Research (CNRS, France) and National Institute of Statistic and Economic Studies (INSEE, France), Direction Générale de l'Insee, Timbre F 301, 18 Boulevard A. Pinard, 75.675 Paris, Cedex 14, France.


Short men are less likely to be married or live in a permanent relationship than their taller counterparts. This pattern is not due to their social status. While blue-collar workers are shorter on average than managers, the effects of height on finding a mate are similar in the two social groups. Being tall is also economically advantageous for men. With identical educational attainment levels, tall men have better careers than short men as they are given greater supervisory responsibilities. In making a commitment, some women might take height into account as an anticipated indicator of future resources of the household. Choice of partner is also influenced by social norms--i.e., partners should be physically well-matched--which is more difficult for shorter men.

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