Many people have always believed that guys have to be not only handsome and smart but also tall to be successful in reproduction.
However, a new study from the Netherlands shows that it is not the tallest men that have the most children, but rather men who have an average height of about 177 cm (5 feet 9).
Gert Stulp and his team from the University of Groningen examined data from highschool-graduates from Wisconsin in the US. All people in the study had finished their ‘reproductive career’ and had graduated from school in the 1950s. They found that “average height men attained the highest reproductive success as measured by the number of children ever born”.
“Sounds right.”, says David, a 23-year old worker who wishes not to give his full name. “It’s probably due to natural selection. Women probably choose the guys on a subconscious level and like average height more.”
“Average is beautiful. I mean, most people like average faces because they have a bit of everything and everyone in them and why should it be different for height?”, says Chris P. a Phd student in biomedical sciences.
But it’s not just a black and white story. Tall and short men shouldn’t worry about their lack of future children just because those of average height seem to be the most reproductively successful. Education and money also influence the number of children men have and at what age they have them, say Stulp and his collegues. The more educated men are, the later they marry and have children and the fewer children they are likely to have. But the greater the income, the earlier they tend to marry and reproduce.
“Taking education into account makes it slightly more believable. I mean, I’m 28 and I’m neither married nor do I have kids and I think I’m average height. But I’m in full education and obviously don’t have an income. That’s perhaps why.”, says Tom B. an engineering student.
But inevitably, who knows what makes women and men tick. So, don’t worry too much about finding someone to reproduce with: there’s a suitable partner out there for everyone.