Short Men Okay In Long-Term Relationships And Off Peak Fertility
Christopher Philip

Previous studies have shown that female preferences in men shift based on certain factors including her own waist-hip-ratio, her body mass index, as well as her current fertility within her menstrual cycle.

Researchers Boguslaw Pawlowski and Grazyna Jasienska have also found that short men have a better shot with women out of peak fertility and for long-term relationships. However, when women selected for short-term relationships such as one-night-stands, they tended to select taller men.

This trend was also independent of women’s own height.

Overall, the data suggest that women will choose men with “good genes” when choosing men whom might be less likely to invest in resulting children. However, when selecting men for long-term prospects, height is not as salient, giving the short men a shot. This argument suggests that less sexy or less desirable men, that is shorter men, will be more likely to be good providers and therefore good fathers.

In an ideal world, women might not have to face such trade-offs, however, given that men who are taller and therefore more sexy, might receive alternate offers from other women, it makes it difficult for any one women to monopolize his provisioning in a long-term relationship. However, when the goal is not long term, women have been shown to select for these types of men for one-off one-night stands as the risks of losing provisioning is regained from procuring good genes.

In other words, when it comes to a long-term relationship, women lower their standards for aesthetic consideration such as height, giving shorter men the go-ahead.

The results suggest that both types of men (tall and short) have a shot at reproduction, but this is dependent on the type of relationship that is desired by any particular woman as well as her overall ability to select for “good genes” coupled with her relative fertility.


Pawlowski, Boguslaw and Grazyna Jasienska. Women’s preferences for sexual dimorphism in height depend on menstrual cycle phase and expected duration of relationship. 2005. Biological Psychology 70: 38-43.