Height preference in the dating realm is a hot topic that sparks debates on social media nearly every day. Recently, men have been speaking out on social media outlets such as TikTok, YouTube and Reddit, questioning why women tend to go for men that are significantly taller than them, saying that although they are not over 6 feet, that doesn't mean they would make a bad romantic partner. According to Abigail Lev, founder and director of the Bay Area CBT Center in San Francisco, heterosexual women are generally attracted to tall men due to evolutionary, biological and social reasons. "Distinguishing between nature and nurture is extremely difficult in many areas, so we don’t know for sure what is more biological versus what is more of a societal influence," she told Fox. "There is a lot of evidence for cultural differences in beauty standards. Evolutionary or biological models would say that height is linked to health and strength in a mate or that, sociologically speaking, it is linked to strength, power, the ability to provide and be strong. But we also don’t know how much of this is biological versus societal versus epigenetic." Lev, who specializes in cognitive behavior, noted that imposed gender roles and resources could also be factors as to why women go for taller men. She used women in the 1930, 1940s and 1950s as an example saying, "Men have always favored looks over a woman’s career, and for women in the past, the career wasn’t necessary," said Lev. "Now that women have more access to their own resources, they’ve become pickier with their partners' looks."
Nicole Moore, a certified life coach who specializes in love and relationships, told Fox that most of her female clients she works with seem to equate height with strength and safety. "Many of my clients, no matter their height, have shared that they want to feel that their partner could physically protect them if needed," said Moore. "We've been sold the idea that taller men are more powerful, and the taller they are, the more power they hold." She added that a lot of women seem to be convinced that shorter and slimmer men aren't capable of protecting them, which leads them to have the mindset that the men they choose "should be way bigger than them," according to Moore.
According to Jessica Alderson, a London-based relationship coach and the founder of the dating app So Syncd, sometimes height preference can stem from feelings of insecurity or concern for people who don't fit traditional stereotypes. "But the good news is that attraction is multi-faceted and complex," she wrote in an email. "Many different factors influence attraction, and everyone has their own unique preferences. There are a lot of people out there who are attracted to short men and tall women. For others, height doesn't factor into the equation at all."