What is the average height differential between men and women in heterosexual relationships?
John, 24, New York
As you know, I've already written back to ask why you were so curious about the height of romance - partly because I wanted to make sure I was using relevant data and partly because I'm just plain nosy. The information you provided is, I think, significant: You're heterosexual, 5 feet 6 and came up with this question while you "and a fellow short friend were lamenting about heels."
Before I started researching this topic, I held two assumptions that you might share:
Men tend to be taller than women.Women tend to prefer taller men.
It turns out both of those are correct, but the number of inches we're talking about is still pretty fascinating. What's more, there are studies that show who's choosing a partner based on height, why they're doing it and how height differs in homosexual relationships.
Wanting to measure the height difference in existing couples (as opposed to people's preferences for a partner - we'll come to those later), researchers in the Netherlands used survey data from 12,502 couples who were the parents to babies born in the U.K. in 2000.