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Does Height Affect Divorce Rates?

Height and divorce rates

In the world of research, almost any topic you can imagine has been studied. Sometimes these studies seem somewhat ridiculous or frivolous to those who are not involved in the research, such as the New York University study that has tracked data since 1968 to see if height made a difference in a person’s marriage. The study has been collecting data from the same 4,500 families, and in 1986 began recording the height of the men involved. The study classified men into three categories: short, average and tall.

The study found shorter men tended to marry later in life and were 32 percent less likely to divorce. Shorter men were also more likely to marry a lesser-educated, younger person and once married, they earned more income than their spouse and had less household responsibility. Researchers believe this dynamic exists because shorter men demonstrate their manliness through their ability to provide for their family and as breadwinners they may use that status to get out of housework. On the other hand, tall men married earlier in life but also chose to marry women closer to their age and had the same or better education level. Researches hypothesize that tall men use their height as a form of attractiveness and thus are able to find better-educated spouses.

Does Height Really Matter?

Obviously, these results cannot be said to apply to any given situation. There are many short men who do not out earn their partners and many tall men who marry uneducated women. However, the patterns observed by the researchers have allowed them to draw a few tentative conclusions.

According to researchers, the height of their partner does not matter to men; however, a taller partner can make women feel more feminine and protected. Researchers from Rice University analyzed dating profiles and asked participants to fill out a survey and found nearly 50 percent of woman would only date someone taller than them. Fourteen percent of the men would only date women shorter than them, making them the less picky of the two genders.

Researchers believe that women’s main reasons for dating and/or marrying a taller man is for protection. However, they also state some seemingly superficial reasons, like being able to where high heels and still be shorter or being able to look up into his eyes or wrap their arms around his neck. Being at eye level is very disconcerting for some women and most do not want to look down into a man’s eyes.

What Does Height Have To Do With Divorce?

Whether this research means anything to the average person or not, the fact is that height has nothing to do with divorce. Divorce comes about due to incompatibility, not height differences. Therefore, no matter what academic studies are performed, successful marriages are based on much more than height differential and unsuccessful ones fail due to many factors.

Since 1986, the Men’s Legal Center has been helping men who are faced with divorce. Our team of lawyers focus on representing husbands, fathers and non-custodial parents in family court. Call us today for a consultation about your case.