Dr Kitae Sohn, from Konkuk University in Seoul, South Korea, is responsible for analysing data collected from 7,850 women in a long-term population survey. The study found that a taller husband was directly related to the happiness of the wife, but these effects faded as time progressed.
'The female preference for male height increased women’s reproductive fitness'
“Although it has been known that women prefer tall men in mating for evolutionary reasons, no study has investigated whether a taller husband makes his wife happier,” Dr Sohn explained in the journal Personality and Individual Differences. “A greater height difference in a couple was positively related to the wife’s happiness.”
By the time the relationship had progressed for 18 years, the correlation between happiness and height had “entirely dissipated”.
“Nevertheless, the long period of the dissipation indicates a powerful impact of male height on women’s psychology, probably prepared by evolution,” the doctor continued.
“One is the intrinsic value of height; that is, women simply like tall men, while unable to say why. This is similar to people favouring fatty, salty, and sugary foods without knowing exactly why: such foods are essential to survival but were scarce as humans evolved - hence craving such foods increased reproductive fitness in the past.
“Similarly, the female preference for male height increased women’s reproductive fitness.”
Dr Sohn also presented a variety of reasons that could lead to height failing to be a long-term happiness factor for women. He said it could be that a wife might get used to her husband’s height.
“Or she might lose her characteristics that enabled her to marry her tall husband, such as beauty; the loss could cause her unhappiness directly or indirectly by changing her husband’s behaviour, such as showing less affection to her, more affection to other women, and providing less childcare,” he added.
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