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"Women's cultural vision is being feminine, having a man big enough to make her feel protected.
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"When I'm with taller guys I feel more feminine and sexy, whereas when I have been with a guy that's shorter than me, I feel Amazon-like and beastly," Hughes said.
"Which I know is absurd, but it's just the conditioning I've been accustomed to, and it's hard to break from the norm." Back in 2002, ABC News conducted an unscientific experiment to explore how willing women were to date shorter men.
They lined up several short men next to tall men, and asked women to choose a date.
They gave the short men exceptional résumés, including those for a doctor and millionaire venture capitalist.
They found that, despite what preference they expressed, women preferred a physically fit partner, while most men indicated that a number of body sizes would be acceptable.
A few celebrity couples, like Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes and Mick Jagger and L'Wren Scott, defy traditional relationship height standards, though they often receive criticism from the press.Frederick's claim is in keeping with the experience of Allison Hughes, 25, a 5-foot-8 book publisher from Washington, D.C., who found that dating shorter guys made her feel less confident.David Frederick, co-author of the study and visiting professor of psychology at the University of Hawaii at Manoa, wrote in an email."For some women, being with a taller partner makes them feel smaller, and it is not surprising that some women prefer this given the pressure on women to be slender." Evolutionarily speaking, women may have developed a preference for taller men because of the advantages height provides in male on male competitions, he added.Only seven percent would accept someone who was their height, and just four percent would allow for a shorter guy.