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Monday, 27 January 2014

Curse of Short Men: Prewired? Societal? Moral?

"It's true that some women are sexually attracted and open to dating a short man, but a quick poll of your friends—or any group of adults, for that matter—will quickly confirm just how stigmatized short men are in our culture. For reasons that betray logic, short men get the you-know-which end of the stick and are ostracized when it comes to partner selection. While this sexual preference—or prejudice?—is also at work in the dynamic of sexual attraction among gay men, I'll focus on women here due to sheer numbers.

Anecdotally, I have heard more than my fair share of female clients disclose how a sense of security and protection are key factors. One client, in particular, told me that she feels “more secure” when she is out and about with a tall man, while she clarifies that she'd feel more nervous if she were with a man who could not protect her physically in case she were somehow threatened.

So many of the possible explanations of why women don’t seek out short men sexually or romantically don’t make logical sense. For example, when it comes to the better-protector argument, the truth is that plenty of short men exist whose overall weight and muscular strength far eclipses that of many tall men, but that logic doesn’t seem to persuade many women to give a short guy a chance.

Most importantly, what is completely illogical about the stigma of short men is how the physical size of a man has so little to do with who he is on the inside, and it’s precisely internal—aka personality—characteristics that matter in terms of how good a partner or husband a man can be. In other words, if what women want ultimately for a long-term relationship is an honest, reliable, and committed man, short men should not be ruled out! See? They still qualify!

Now, my personal belief which stems from my education as a psychologist, my clinical practice, and my own life experience is that people hide behind the belief that sexual attraction works in a prewired way. "I'm just not attracted to Asians," a female social worker I work with said to me yesterday as I discussed my new article. "It's nothing personal," she said flatly. (It didn't seem to occur to her that her upbringing in the whitest, least Asian town in Connecticut had anything to do with it.)

My hope, when it comes to the vast numbers of short men, is that women learn to give some of these guys more of a chance. If nothing else, at least women could potentially examine the question, Why am I not attracted to them? Caveat: Please come up with any other answer than "Because I said so."
- The Curse of Short Men

Nice to see psychologists who aren't full of crap. I like how they included the fact that there are short men who are stronger than tall men, but most women would pick a weaker tall man anyway. They also touched on the subject of prewired selection vs. social conditioning which I've written about.

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