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Tuesday, 13 January 2015

Studies On Height and Attractiveness In Tribal Cultures

Here are some studies on height's effect on mating in post/pre-industrial societies.
  1. Size does not matter when Hadza foragers are choosing a mate: "Overall we conclude that, in contrast to post-industrial societies, mating appears to be random with respect to size in the Hadza."
  2. Variable Preferences for Sexual Dimorphism in Stature Might Not Be Universal: "Here we report data on relative height preferences in a traditional ethnic group, i.e. the Himba, in which men and women do not show such a strong preference. Thus our data challenges the view of a universal preference for taller men, by suggesting that height preferences may be influenced by environmental and ecological conditions."
  3. Judgments of Sexual Attractiveness: "Women’s and men’s ratings of each SDS set were similar, which suggests that the “male-taller norm” in Yali tribe was far weaker than in Western cultures. Additionally, the observed preferences were modified by contact with different cultures, age, and accessibility of food resources (pig possession). Our results suggest that human norms of attractiveness are malleable and can change with exposure to different environments and conditions."
  4. Height preferences in humans may not be universal: "Thus, our data do not accord with the suggestion of a universal preference for taller men, but rather suggests that height preferences may be influenced by cultural, environmental, and ecological conditions."
I've seen similar studies using modern day people (always concluding that we innately love tall men), but those are biased. Show our citizens an Asian person and a black person, then ask about various stereotypes. Now show a tribe the same and they wouldn't even know what stereotypes we're talking about. It's similar with height. For example, a more primitive person wouldn't know what "Napoleon complex" or "short man syndrome" means, so instantly their opinion on short men is less tainted than someone in our society. Note that this transcends attractiveness, and applies to height prejudice in general. Claims about biology shouldn't be made using modern day humans, because we are subjected to countless stereotypes, media portrayals, idioms, and other preconceived notions.

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