In particular, are short women more desirable as girlfriends? Note I used the word desirable, and not “attractive”, which bears an important distinction. Female desirability encompasses more than physical attraction, such as femininity, selflessness, loyalty and temperament. There is evidence that short women are more feminine than tall women because estrogen levels, which inhibit bone growth, are higher in them.
traditional girl writes:
High levels of estrogen halt bone growth. Have you ever noticed that shorter, more finely boned women are (on average) kinder, less competitive, and more feminine? Tall, muscular women with sturdy skeletons and jaws are more likely to have low levels of estrogen and high levels of testosterone.
An article referencing the bone-growth-halting properties of estrogen: http://articles.latimes.com/2007/jan/15/health/he-staturegirls15
In any case, it seems to me that in our ancestral environment, a woman’s kindness, sexual loyalty, cooperative spirit and fertility would have been more important to her mate than her physical strength. She would have been too busy with pregnancies and infants to slaughter a bear.
As an aside, as a heterosexual women, I greatly prefer small-boned, large-breasted women for friendship. They’re more likely to be loyal, sweet, and share my values. I try to avoid tall, large-jawed, small-breasted women. I always get the “I want to screw around, break up relationships and eat babies” vibe from them.
Men are attracted to a woman’s looks first and foremost, but after a while — a few weeks to a few months — a woman’s other assets become important to men, especially men seeking long term relationships. Is she sweet and affectionate? Does she like to cook him dinner? Is she nurturing and does she coo over other women’s babies? Is she an animal lover? Does she prefer to avoid getting into arguments? Does she frequently cede decisions to her man? Does she shy from logic and debate? Is she quick to tear up during sad movies?
Most men, their curmudgeonly ribbing to the contrary notwithstanding, really do love these attributes of the feminine woman. Yes, we may complain about a woman’s runaway emotions, her focus on seemingly trite household matters, or her bleeding heart worldview, but we love them for it. The alternative — dating a woman with a man-like personality, ambition and outlook, however sexy she may be — leaves us feeling like we’re dating an alien impostor, and our instinct to protect and provide for an intrinsically vulnerable lover is muted with such masculine-essenced women.
Looking back on the women in my life, I think there is something to this. The shorter women have been, with few exceptions, more feminine and sweet-natured than the taller women I have dated. (And also more full of charming neuroses.) The short girls were the ones begging me to return to bed after sex so they could get their cuddle fix, while the tall girls would jump out of bed first after getting their rocks off. Hey, if I have things to do, I don’t mind a girl occupying herself after sex, but in the big picture I greatly prefer — and I suspect most men do too — a woman who acts like a stereotypical woman in and out of the bedroom. Unfortunately, women like this are running out in the West.
So maybe estrogen explains why everyone isn’t over six feet tall. Men of all heights are drawn to the feminine allure of shorter women with higher levels of estrogen, and have families with them, rejuvenating the next generation with shorter descendants. Perhaps men also choose these shorter women for family formation subconsciously knowing that they are less of a cuckolding risk than masculinized tall women.
Not that tall women don’t have their advantages. You’ve gotta love those long legs wrapped around you, for one. And if you’re a tall man you don’t have to prop up a tall woman’s behind for easier doggy-style access. Plus, tall women make for more striking arm candy as long as they meet a minimum beauty threshold. It’s just too easy for a hot short girl, sexy though she may be, to get lost in the crowd.