Marriages Last Longer, Divorce Less Likely For Shorter Men
By Emily Morgan | Aug 26, 2014 02:50 PM EDT
Tall men may want to get married earlier, but their marriages won't go the distance like men with a shorter stature.
Short men have longer-lasting marriages than tall men and lower rates of divorce, according to a new working paper from New York University sociologists. They also don't mind their wives dwarfing them in height, as they're 1,450 percent more likely to marry someone taller than a man of average height.
These height-challenged men do pick much younger women, who may not possess the intelligence level a taller man looks for in a potential spouse. To make up for their shortness, these men make more money when in a relationship and are 24 percent less likely to earn less than their spouse.
"This further confirms an existence of height-based status exchange in which short men compensate for their lower physical status with higher proportional earnings, while tall men appear more likely to use their status to attract women with higher relative earnings," said authors Abigail Weitzman and Dalton Conley, according to Quartz.
The taller man marries more educated women, older women and women of the same race. The authors' research still supported historic gender power roles, finding that potential partners associate tall stature with attractiveness, masculinity and status.
The height difference between husbands and wives hasn't changed much in the past 30 years. Men were 5.55 inches taller than their wives in 1986 and 5.63 inches taller in 2009.
Fueling those longer marriages may be short men living longer than their taller cohorts. A study published in the journal PLOS ONE in May found short people had gene called FOX03 that led to a longer lifespan. Researchers at the University of Hawaii at Manoa conducted their long-term research on 8,006 American men of Japanese ancestry born between 1900 and 1919.