The first question most strangers ask me is “How tall are you?” If I’m feeling charitable, I answer honestly: “6-foot-2.” They often follow-up with, “Do you ever date shorter men?” Consider this my full answer.
First off: Yes, I have. Which makes me weird. The average woman is eight percent shorter than her male partner. In one survey, about half of collegiate men required their date to be shorter, while a monstrous nine of every ten women said they would only date a taller man. And online, it’s even more brutal: Women can calculate how tall they are in their highest heels, add a few inches for good measure, and then filter out men who fall below that sum. Of course the ability to search for people who meet our criteria is part of the appeal of online dating. But while women say they have a “type”—they love bearded gingers or get off on guys in glasses—they don’t filter out every man who doesn’t meet those specific physical criteria. Height is different. It’s a sweeping prejudice masquerading as sexual preference. When one guy changed his height on his OkCupid profile from his actual 5’4” to an average 5’9”, his response rate nearly doubled.