Monday, 6 January 2014

Heightism in Pre and Post-Industrial Societies

"It has been argued that size matters on the human mate market: both stated preferences and mate choices have been found to be non-random with respect to height and weight. But how universal are these patterns? Most of the literature on human mating patterns is based on post-industrial societies. Much less is known about mating behaviour in more traditional societies. Here we investigate mate choice by analysing whether there is any evidence for non-random mating with respect to size and strength in a forager community, the Hadza of Tanzania. We test whether couples assort for height, weight, BMI, percent fat and grip strength. We test whether there is a male-taller norm. Finally, we test for an association between anthropometric variables and number of marriages. Our results show no evidence for assortative mating for height, weight, BMI or percent fat; no evidence for a male-taller norm; and no evidence that number of marriages is associated with our size variables. Hadza couples may assort positively for grip strength, but grip strength does not affect the number of marriages. Overall we conclude that, in contrast to post-industrial societies, mating appears to be random with respect to size in the Hadza." -

This is very important, because universally, it is claimed that a woman's preference for tall men is innate and biological. However, unless we can use a time machine to interview cavewomen, this claim cannot be trusted 100%.

Still, let us give this evolutionary theory the benefit of the doubt. Let's say women are programmed by nature to reject short men. Even so, I believe it happens more often than it should.

When 96% of women refuse to date a shorter man, that is not a naturally occurring number. This statistic isn't due to the fact that only a few men are shorter than the average woman. It's a hypothetical question for the surveyed women: if a man showed up who was your perfect match, albeit shorter than you, would you be with him? Only 4% said "yes." Is this nature's work, or societal pressure on women to date big?

That's where the Tanzania study comes in. The Hadza are an indigenous group free from our influences, and there is seemingly no height bias amongst them.

I also know anecdotes are not reliable, but many older gentlemen have said women were not so height-conscious years ago, before the media bombarded us with tall leading males. All I'm thinking, is that society has given short men a bad image in the same vein as Asian men or Black women, and that has spiked rejection rates. Example: Asian women rejecting Asian men, Black men rejecting Black women, and now short women rejecting short men.

Even as we physically grow taller, it's all morally downhill from here. More makeup, more plastic, more heels, more shallow... Continue to masquerade prejudice by hiding it behind biology, then claim society is tolerant and progressive. I thought the purpose of society was to reject such primitive excuses? In regards to height, the pre-industrial Hadza are more open-minded than we are, and that is quite frankly pathetic.

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