The average age of Indian men is 165 cms according to a study in 2006 by National Institute of Nutrition, Indian council of Medical Research.
Most women in India and elsewhere seem to prefer “tall, dark, and handsome” men when it comes to relationships. It’s not just women, look around, you will find tall men wherever there is a need to create a good impression. The average height of Indian men seems to matter a lot for all of us!
Go to any fancy hotel in India and you will be greeted by a doorman. Here is one doorman we found just in case you haven’t seen one yet!
if you are adventurous, you can venture to the Wagah border for the famous border closing ceremony that involves border guards from India and Pakistan performing a ceremonial ‘military-style dance’ before literally shoving the gates on each other. You will notice that the men performing the ceremony are all very tall.
Even Bollywood actors are tall (well mostly). The famous exceptions being Salman Khan, Amir Khan, Kamal Haasan to name a few. Check out the heights of all leading Bollywood men can be found here.
We can go on and on about the average height of Indian men and the preference for taller men in key walks of life.
So what why do women prefer taller men? Let’s look at what experts have to have to say about this.
1. Taller men indicate better health
If you observe the average height of Indian men when compared to that of men from other countries, Indian men fall short 🙂
Here is a chart that will show you where the average height of Indian men falls relative to that of men from other countries.
Notice that the average age of Indian men is the lowest in the group! Every country in the chart fares better in terms of health parameters.
According to Times of India,
Between 1914 and 2014, the average height of Indian men increased by about 3cm to reach 165cm (5’5″) while women grew taller by 5cm to become 153cm (5’1″). This leaves our men about 17.5cm shorter than the world’s tallest males in the Netherlands, while Latvian women, the world’s tallest, tower above our women by 17cm.
According to Scientific American, “About 60 to 80 percent of the difference in height between individuals is determined by genetic factors, whereas 20 to 40 percent can be attributed to environmental effects, mainly nutrition.” We can infer that there is a definite connection between height and the health of any individual.
According to another study by Institute of Nuclear Medicine and Allied Sciences (INMAS) and All-India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS), on average, an 18-year-old child belonging to an upper-income family in 2011 is about 4.5 centimeters taller than in 1992.
Let’s also look at this chart (see below) of heights of men and women across major states in India. You will notice that in Kerela (which has a better standard of living), men and women are taller and are growing taller than a lot of other states.
2. Tall men earn more and are considered leaders
Malcolm Gladwell is a popular writer of thought-provoking books and is highly regarded. In his book, Blink, Gladwell writes about the implicit association test that highlights our inherent biases. We end up making up our minds for no rational reason. For example, in India, a fair-skinned person is more likely to be treated with respect in public spaces. Here is an extract from his book that talks about the results of a study on the average salary of men based on their heights.
“Not long ago, researchers went back and analyzed the data from four large research studies, that had followed thousands of people from birth to adulthood, and calculated that when corrected for variables like age and gender and weight, an inch of height is worth $789 a year in salary.
That means that a person who is six feet tall, but who is otherwise identical to someone who is five foot five, will make on average $5,525 more per year.
As Timothy Judge, one of the authors of the study, points out: “If you take this over the course of a 30-year career and compound it, we’re talking about a tall person enjoying literally hundreds of thousands of dollars of earnings advantage.”
While no comparative study was done in India, we believe the bias associated with tall men’s availabilities are universal.
3. Taller men are more confident because…
Here are some extracts from a Psychology Today article by Dr. Susan Krauss Whitbourne. She analyzed a study done in 2013 by Dutch psychologists Gert Stulp, Abraham Buunk, and Thomas Pollet. Here are some key conclusions she highlights from the report.
“The results on partner preferences are a bit discouraging if you’re a short man. In general, women were more likely than men to think that the man should be taller and they didn’t want to be in a relationship in which they were taller than their male partners.
Unfortunately, in the area of personal satisfaction, there was some bad news from this study for short men, who reported being dissatisfied with their height.
These findings are consistent with the data from other studies showing that tall men enjoy an advantage in self-esteem and happiness.
Here again, the authors link the dissatisfaction of the shorter men to the fact that women prefer tall men!”
The early phase in any relationship or even in an arranged marriage process is driven by what we see rather than what we know about the prospective match.
We end up being judgemental about the person. For Indian women, the average height of Indian men matters a lot as it becomes a key part of the evaluation process when it comes to dating or marriage.
However, shorter men should not lose hope as personality and character should matter more than height once we get past the initial assumptions.
And finally, here is a big twist in the tale. Researchers have found that taller Indian women get better husbands!
According to a study by by sociologists Jeroen Smits (Radboud University) and Christiaan Monden (University of Oxford), taller than average women in India are more likely to marry, get higher educated husbands with better jobs and are less likely to marry at a very young age or to lose their husbands through divorce or premature death.
Now that’s one reason why the average height of Indian men matters to women (at least the tall ones!).