Divorce Family Law

Men’s Height Linked to Divorce?

A new study might have found a link between a man’s height and divorce. The study took a closer look at how being “tall” or “short” may impact the success of a man’s marriage.

The Study

The study, conducted by sociologists from NYU analyzed data from the Panel Study of Income Dynamics (PSID). Since 1986 this study has recorded information on the same 4,500 families. Researchers analyzed this data from the first year height was recorded (in 1986) through 2011, in order to determine if a man’s height has any impact on relationship dynamics. Researchers also measured differences in income, education, and height between married spouses. An example of this is, in 1986, 92.7 percent of the men studied were taller than their spouses. And in 2009, 92.2 percent of the men studied were taller.

Short, Average, Tall

“Short” was defined in the study as being less than 66” in 1986 and less than 67” in 2009. “Average” or “tall” was defined in the study as being more than 73” in 1986 and more than 74” in 2009. Researchers found striking differences between the relationships of short men and the relationships of tall men.

Short Men

It was discovered that short men were found to marry later on in life and were 32 percent less likely to divorce. This could be because of marrying later on in life due to a decision to marry later, or because they didn’t have any option to marry sooner. They also often chose less educated and younger women as spouses. And after they were married, they were shown to do less of the housework. When compared to their spouse, they earned a much higher income. Researchers hypothesis that because height is typically related to masculinity, short men often rely on other aspects (other than height) to demonstrate manliness.

Tall Men

Tall men, according to the study, marry sooner in life and were more at risk for divorces later on. But it was also shown that tall men married women closer to their age, who were also better-educated. When it comes to the “why?” researchers wrote, “From the perspective of relationship exchange models, this indicates that the tallest men exchange their attractive attribute (height) for better-educated spouses, while short men are unable to do so.”

This data, of course, does not apply to all couples, and as the researchers went on to explain in the paper, “Marriage and divorce have implications for socioeconomic stratification and asset accumulation, our observed effects suggest that men’s height may indirectly affect their economic status and socioeconomic mobility through these demographic processes.”


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Source: The Huffington Post, New Study Reveals Interesting Link Between Men’s Height and Divorce, August 28, 2014


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