When we looked into the data for women, we were surprised to see height exaggeration was just as widespread, though without the lurch towards a benchmark height: These are the average weekly unsolicited message totals by height; you can think of these as the number of times a person is “hit on” out of the blue each week on Ok Cupid.
The genders are plotted on different scales because of the eternal fact that men almost always make the first move, so women get many more unsolicited messages.
While some people find that their height doesn't impact dating at all, others may feel that it allows for judgment, fetishization, and stereotyping.
In a society where there are ideals of femininity and masculinity, it can be difficult for individuals who don't fit neatly into those boxes.
Yes, focusing on what's inside is more important — but that's easier said than done.
It's hard to ignore something as obvious as height, especially if it makes a person stand out.
According to a University of British Columbia study (2011), it's not only height to which women are drawn.
Author and cultural commentator Bel Hooks refers to this fallacious, pumped up version of the real man as the kind of man who can "take action and break the rules." What characteristics do women find attractive in men?
Plus, navigating the world of dating is already a mess, so being on an extreme end of any physical spectrum doesn't exactly make it any easier.
Kevin: I'm not one to complain about being short, because once you realize you can shop in the children's section and climb on top of things to get to out-of-reach objects, you're pretty much on a level playing field with the rest of the world. I think a lot of guys fetishize the height gap and say things like, "I'm so into you because you're so short," or "It's really hot knowing that I could lift you up in bed," etc.
The male heights on Ok Cupid very nearly follow the expected normal distribution — except the whole thing is shifted to the right of where it should be.
You can see it better when we overlay the implied best fit below (pardon the technical language): Almost universally guys like to add a couple inches.