Body height and romantic attraction: A meta-analytic test of the male-taller norm

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Charles A. Pierce
Cite this article:  Pierce, C. (1996). Body height and romantic attraction: A meta-analytic test of the male-taller norm. Social Behavior and Personality: An international journal, 24(2), 143-150.


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Two meta-analyses were conducted to assess whether females desire male romantic partners who are as tall or taller than themselves more so than males desire female romantic partners who are of equal or shorter stature than themselves. A directional significance test of the difference between the weighted mean effect sizes (rs) for males and females showed that the strength of the effect of body height on dating/mating preference was greater for females evaluating males (r = .41) than for males evaluating females (r = .36). Homogeneity tests indicated, however, that the height effect was not consistent across studies included in each of the analyses. Overall, the findings render support for the male-taller norm in romantic attraction. Directions for future research based on potential moderators of the relationship between body height and dating/mating preference are provided.


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