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When it comes to love, does height matter? According to a new, two-part study, it may matter more to women than men. Researchers from Rice University and University of North Texas first looked at data from Yahoo! dating channels and found that 13.5 percent of men wanted to date only shorter women, but almost half of the women, 48.9 percent, said they'd only date taller men.
The interesting finding, say researchers, is that when it comes to dating and romance, height is the big wild card. "Evolutionary psychology theory argues that 'similarity is overwhelmingly the rule in human mating,'" said Michael Emerson, the Allyn and Gladys Cline Professor of Sociology, co-director of Rice's Kinder Institute for Urban Research and the study's co-author. "However, our study suggests that for physical features such as height, similarity is not the dominant rule, especially with females."
In the second part of the study, researchers quizzed college students about potential mates. Similar to the earlier data, 37 percent of males said they prefer women to be shorter than they are, and 55 percent of females preferred men who were taller. Why? Well, the women in the study most often cited reasons of "protection" and "femininity" for their height requirements.
While this is all interesting, we can't help but think of the Hollywood (and real-life!) couples of varying height that have made the "who's taller" issue irrelevant. Top of mind: Celebrity couples Nicole Kidman and Keith Urban, and Michael J. Fox and Tracy Pollan. We'd sure wear flats for those guys!