When it comes to matters of the heart, does height matter? Yes, and to women the most mostly for femininity and protection.
"Evolutionary psychology theory argues that similarity is overwhelmingly the rule in human mating," said Michael Emerson, the Allyn and Gladys Cline Professor of Sociology at Rice University in Texas.
AdvertisementAccording to the study data, the dominant reasons females cited for preferring a tall partner are matters of protection and femininity.
"As the girl, I like to feel delicate and secure at the same time," said a woman in the study.
She "something just feels weird in thinking about looking 'down' into her man's eyes".
According to her, "I also want to be able to hug him with my arms reaching up and around his neck."
Men were much less likely to say that height mattered, and for those that did, they preferred shorter women, but not so short that it would cause problems with physical intimacy.
It is a widespread perception that tall height is a personal asset for men and a personal liability for women, said George Yancey, a professor of sociology at the University of North Texas.
The finding that height matters more to women supports the social system of patriarchy, in which males are the primary authority figures.
"The masculine ability to offer physical protection is clearly connected to the gender stereotype of men as protectors. And in a society that encourages men to be dominant and women to be submissive, having the image of tall men hovering over short women reinforces this value," Yancey added.
The study appeared in the Journal of Family Issues.