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Height-ism?

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  • TonyB0588TonyB0588 Member Posts: 9,417 Member Member Posts: 9,417 Member
    AnnPT77 wrote: »
    ythannah wrote: »
    psychod787 wrote: »
    psychod787 wrote: »
    ythannah wrote: »
    threewins wrote: »
    I truly believe that the vast majority of women are genetically programmed to not date men shorter than them. The proportion of male/female couples where the man is shorter than the woman is so small, much smaller than if random mixing occurred. Which begs the inevitable question: how do lesbians cope? Anyway, I happened to read a paper and it says that gay men prefer a partner who is slightly taller than them.

    I have no idea why we're going with the idea that women are "genetically programmed" (yuck, by the way!) here. Why isn't it that men are "genetically programmed" to be attracted to women who are shorter than them?

    If the relevant data you have on height preferences involves gay men, this would tend to support the thesis that MALE desires that are potentially relevant here too. Given that only one man can be taller than the other in a gay relationship, why aren't you wondering how they're coping instead of lesbians given that there is no data that lesbians even HAVE height preferences (which kind of knocks the women are "genetically programmed" theory into the water).

    I think there might be something to that notion, although I'd say "biologically predisposed" over genetically programmed.

    I remember reading something (long ago) about studies showing men seemed hardwired to subconsciously judge female attractiveness based on waist-hip ratio, which had something to do with indicating childbearing potential. Women likely have similar wiring to select mates for height, which should produce taller offspring, probably with higher chance of survival.

    So there's biological programming in both sexes, just for different criteria. Both based on reproduction, however. Survival of the species and all that.

    I have less objection to the idea that people are generally predisposed to prefer certain traits (with a wide latitude for normal human variations) than the statement that women are somehow "genetically programmed." It just sounds very demeaning.

    There has to be an evolutionary advantage for people getting taller. Why would an species decide to create more animals that require more calories to survive. So, I assert that there could be a sexual preference in women for taller men. Life is turning calories into kids.

    ** edit** I read your post wrong and had to correct myself.

    I'm not arguing that sexual preferences don't exist, I just bristle at attributing them exclusively to women (why can't it also be the fact that men may also prefer women who are smaller than them?) and using terms like "programming," which seem awfully dehumanizing.

    Programmed is a great word to use imho. What else is the brain but a giant super computer? It's making many calculations all at once and directing our actions. I think there are certain things a man is programmed to look at in a mate physically. The Paleolithic Venus statues are great examples. They are thought to be fertility totems. They are over exaggerations of things a man looks at in a potential mate. Large hips, buttocks, breast, and stomach. In the times of our ancient ancestors, a women who had these characteristics was more likely to be able to carry a child to term in times when food availability was uncertain. There are reasons why women may choose to exaggerate certain body features. Aka... push up bras, high heels, high waisted pants. They may think they are "doing it for themselves", but it's an old brain response. We have the old brain and the new brain. The neocortex is the high brain. It makes rational decision making selections. Then we have the old brain. Basically our subconscious. It drives us to do certain things that we rationalize with the new brain. When a man's eye shoots to a gal in tight pants rear end, it's an old brain response. Now that doe not excuse staring because that Is a rational choice. The initial look... all old brain. So, yes WE ARE programmed...

    I don't know that we're that far apart, I just think that "programmed" is a stronger word than I would use. I would go with "generally attracted to." And even within the context of saying that men *tend* to be attracted to certain features in women (at least the men who are attracted to women) and that women *tend* to be attracted to certain features in me (at least the women who are attracted to men), I think we can all think of people who are indifferent to relatively popular features. And we also have examples of how standards of attractiveness fluctuate over time, both of which are not what we would expect to see if we were literally programmed to find certain things attractive.

    These aren't things that are operating at the conscious attraction level of "oooh he/she is hot", these are mate selection criteria that are biologically driven -- produce lots of offspring with higher chances of survival.

    As far as I recall, the waist-hip ratio study was repeated 10? 20? years later and it was still the main criteria for female attractiveness but the ratio had decreased slightly. Again, this was not something identified by the subjects themselves, it was a variable derived from statistical analysis of the results. All the men did was choose between pictures.

    I'm not arguing that our decisions about who and who isn't attractive are operating at the conscious level, I'm arguing that it is more complicated than women being programmed to choose tall men. The truth is that many women do find size to be appealing, but there are also women for whom it is irrelevant and women who are able to prioritize other things than height.

    I'm not arguing against the waist-hip ratio study either. I would argue that choosing which picture one finds more attractive is worlds away from the complex and sometimes lengthy process of choosing a long-term mate, the subject of the OP. The person I find abstractly most attractive may or may not be my choice for a dating partner, sexual companion, or mate.

    From a social-history perspective, it seems odd to me to put the emphasis on *women* being programmed biologically. (Personally, I suspect everyone of any sex has some hardwired inclinations, but tempered by socio-cultural baggage.)

    There are exceptions, but over much of history in many cultures, women have been more chosen than choosing, possibly with some influence but definitely not control over the transaction. Even within my lifetime, "ask her father for her hand" remained as a (largely proforma) nicety, relic of a time when it was required a permission to transfer the woman (a wholly owned subsidiary 😆) from one man's household to another. There have been marriage-by-kidnapping customs (still are or have been recently, in some parts of the world, if friends are to be believed), bride prices, and more. I don't think dowry is a counter-example, I think it's more a "sweetening of the pot" for the overall economic transaction. (As a related aside, if you don't know what "coverture" is, look it up. It existed in law in the US into the 1970s.)

    I do recognize that women's power in these decisions has increased dramatically in many cultures over the last few hundred years, especially the last hundredish, and that's perhaps enough time for some biological rewiring . . . but not much.

    I have no doubt that women ask for and expect silly things via dating site profiles. Many people are silly. I have no doubt that men get hostile reactions from asking for what they see as equivalent things. Many people are touchy. Whether the women making the silly demands are the same women as those having hostile reactions, I have no idea - that would be my criterion for calling it hypocrisy, not simply that both things are true but among different individuals. I do assume that some individuals (all sexes) are hypocrites, of course.
    .
    From what I observe among people I know personally (a biased sample by definition) many people's methods of mate-chosing are pretty irrational, and often work out at least somewhat badly. (IME, even a large fraction of couples who stay together don't seem to like or appreciate each other all that much.) I'm not excepting myself from this at all: My choice (of my husband from early 20s to his death at 45) was not very rational, but in practice I think worked out better than average (by pure blind luck).

    ETA: None of the above intended as disagreeing with Jane, but just as continuing the conversation. Hers was the most recent relevant reply at the time I started writing.

    I love your post. Very true that it was more normal for a man to find a wife, than for a woman to choose a husband. When I chose my wife, I never thought for one moment that she would reject me for being too tall, too short, feet too small, hands too big, etc.

    But of course this thread is about dating, and I'm not experienced in that area. Seems to me that people date a whole lot of boyfriends or girlfriends, and hope that after many years they'd find the perfect man or perfect woman to settle down with.

    And very soon that perfect person of just the right height, seems to start showing their true character, and the relationship comes to an end.
  • Theoldguy1Theoldguy1 Member Posts: 1,405 Member Member Posts: 1,405 Member
    Mellouk89 wrote: »
    It's google stats, but it may be closer to 18% among the younger generation.

    LOL we are all in our 60's. At 6'2 I was the second shortest in a group of about 10 HS friends at a recent get together. My wife is always used to looking at a picture and I'm one of the taller ones.
    edited November 7
  • ythannahythannah Member Posts: 3,390 Member Member Posts: 3,390 Member
    AnnPT77 wrote: »
    ythannah wrote: »
    psychod787 wrote: »
    One question... would you agree that the brain is a giant supercomputer of sorts?

    Not directed to me but I'll agree anyway.

    The brain is just a mass of neurons firing on and off. Learning, whether academic or social or emotional, is accomplished through repeat firing of neurons in the same pattern, which creates neural pathways.

    Computers are basically also a mass of on/off switches firing in patterns.

    Uh-uh.

    Neurons are analog, not digital, huge difference, with *profound* implications. Fundamental implications!

    AI learning, not fully conditioned by the physical world (yet, mostly - super limited input channels, at most). That means no physical bad consequences, and social consequences aren't inherently important to AI. Social factors are not well modeled, yet - simulated only stupidly. Knowledge domains are limited, or AI doesn't work well at all. (It's impressive, in limited domains, like IBM's Watson on Jeopardy - a very complex, quite stunning party trick.)

    Actual human hard-wiring is distributed, in very non-computer-esque ways: Physical reflexes, physically distributed neurally active cells, hormones, more.

    The computer analogy is OK at a *super* high level, if one stands back and squints. Fails up close, at detail.

    Even in AI, pathways don't reinforce in the same way in computers as in bodies (reaction's not just in brains, in human bodies).

    It's a misleading analogy, in most contexts. The closer (more detailed) we get, the worse it is.

    Even the Turing Test threshold hasn't been passed, except in coyly constrained circumstances (Eugene Goostman).

    I'm not saying we can't get there - but we aren't even remotely near there. The analogy is more unhelpful than useful. Too facile.

    Wow, that's interesting! Computers learning wasn't even on my radar, although I have seen 2001 a Space Odyssey :D I think that frightened me off the idea of AI at a young age.

    (I do have a friend who insists AI is much more advanced than "they" allow us to believe.)
  • lynn_glenmontlynn_glenmont Member Posts: 8,525 Member Member Posts: 8,525 Member

    I
    psychod787 wrote: »
    psychod787 wrote: »
    psychod787 wrote: »
    ythannah wrote: »
    threewins wrote: »
    I truly believe that the vast majority of women are genetically programmed to not date men shorter than them. The proportion of male/female couples where the man is shorter than the woman is so small, much smaller than if random mixing occurred. Which begs the inevitable question: how do lesbians cope? Anyway, I happened to read a paper and it says that gay men prefer a partner who is slightly taller than them.

    I have no idea why we're going with the idea that women are "genetically programmed" (yuck, by the way!) here. Why isn't it that men are "genetically programmed" to be attracted to women who are shorter than them?

    If the relevant data you have on height preferences involves gay men, this would tend to support the thesis that MALE desires that are potentially relevant here too. Given that only one man can be taller than the other in a gay relationship, why aren't you wondering how they're coping instead of lesbians given that there is no data that lesbians even HAVE height preferences (which kind of knocks the women are "genetically programmed" theory into the water).

    I think there might be something to that notion, although I'd say "biologically predisposed" over genetically programmed.

    I remember reading something (long ago) about studies showing men seemed hardwired to subconsciously judge female attractiveness based on waist-hip ratio, which had something to do with indicating childbearing potential. Women likely have similar wiring to select mates for height, which should produce taller offspring, probably with higher chance of survival.

    So there's biological programming in both sexes, just for different criteria. Both based on reproduction, however. Survival of the species and all that.

    I have less objection to the idea that people are generally predisposed to prefer certain traits (with a wide latitude for normal human variations) than the statement that women are somehow "genetically programmed." It just sounds very demeaning.

    There has to be an evolutionary advantage for people getting taller. Why would an species decide to create more animals that require more calories to survive. So, I assert that there could be a sexual preference in women for taller men. Life is turning calories into kids.

    ** edit** I read your post wrong and had to correct myself.

    I think part of the problem in this branch of the thread is the use of terms that imply or that some people are going to understand as implying a deliberate effort on the part of an intelligent actor controlling human beings (like "genetically programmed" and a species "deciding" to create more animals that require more calories to survive), rather than sticking to terms like "evolutionary advantage" or a common or dominant genetic trait). This seems to be bothering some people, especially when those terms are being used in a way that seem to them to suggest that women but not men are subject to the control of this "genetic programming."

    That's not my problem with it. It's just my observation in reading the various posts.

    Words are words. People can get their underroos in a bunch or not.
    This is not a feminist debate. I'm not getting into that one. I did state that males have selection bias... Are those words acceptable to the court?🤔

    Word choice is meaningful, especially in a debate. I don't think you can really discuss whether or not women are *uniquely* vulnerable to "genetic programming" without wandering into issues of agency and whether or not women are fully human.

    Whether or not *you're* arguing that women are vulnerable to this "programming" while men are more rational, the wording of the original statement certainly could be interpreted that way, which is what I was objecting to.

    No matter what "words" I use, I am going to offend someone. If you are Christian, Islamic, Buddhist, odensist, atheist, believe that Zendu the extraterrestrial dropped us off from the mothership... all have different creation ideas or evolutionary ideas... so, I dont really care if it offends someone with words like "decided" or programmed.

    One question. Would you agree that the brain is a super computer of sorts?

    I think it's a poor analogy. There are still some thing the human brain is better at than a super computer. There are other things at which the super computer vastly outstrips the human brain.
  • threewinsthreewins Member Posts: 766 Member Member Posts: 766 Member
    threewins wrote: »
    I truly believe that the vast majority of women are genetically programmed to not date men shorter than them. The proportion of male/female couples where the man is shorter than the woman is so small, much smaller than if random mixing occurred. Which begs the inevitable question: how do lesbians cope? Anyway, I happened to read a paper and it says that gay men prefer a partner who is slightly taller than them.

    I have no idea why we're going with the idea that women are "genetically programmed" (yuck, by the way!) here. Why isn't it that men are "genetically programmed" to be attracted to women who are shorter than them?

    I

    I've never felt the need to not date women who are taller than me. Height, whether taller or shorter, really doesn't bother me either way. On the other hand I definitely feel that I'd like to date a woman who is slimmer than heavier. I do notice that women care less about a man being heavier.
    edited November 10
  • Diatonic12Diatonic12 Member Posts: 11,513 Member Member Posts: 11,513 Member
    @threewins Women will only date like that if he's loaded to the gills with whopping boatloads of money. If he's fixed, they don't care if he's 50 years older or what he looks like. They'll take it. Not me, not me. That road runs both directions. If they don't care about themselves they're not going to care about you either at some particular point in time. The playing field is level and it all depends if you're willing to settle.

    Our body is the best friend we'll ever have in this life. It carries us all the way to the Finish Line. If you don't care about it then it's Goodbye Kitty and that's all she wrote. It's a reflection of what you hold dear and it goes much further than looks. Looks fade but your body has got to make it.

    I know someone who married an old geezer hoping he would croak the entire time. She got her wish and now she's remarried spending all of the old man's money. She figures she's earned every dime carrying on with a ruse like that. Feigning imaginary love is hard work, that takes skill and some serious dedication. It makes me sick but that's the way some people roll. Not me.
    edited November 13
  • TonyB0588TonyB0588 Member Posts: 9,417 Member Member Posts: 9,417 Member
    muszyngr wrote: »
    just came across this and chuckled, so wanted to share (tongue and cheek folks, tongue and cheek)

    fq2pocbzd8nk.jpg

    So she wants to be accepted as she is, but has specific criteria for the men she meets!! Talk about double standards.
  • Slacker16Slacker16 Member Posts: 1,125 Member Member Posts: 1,125 Member
    threewins wrote: »
    threewins wrote: »
    I truly believe that the vast majority of women are genetically programmed to not date men shorter than them. The proportion of male/female couples where the man is shorter than the woman is so small, much smaller than if random mixing occurred. Which begs the inevitable question: how do lesbians cope? Anyway, I happened to read a paper and it says that gay men prefer a partner who is slightly taller than them.

    I have no idea why we're going with the idea that women are "genetically programmed" (yuck, by the way!) here. Why isn't it that men are "genetically programmed" to be attracted to women who are shorter than them?

    I
    I've never felt the need to not date women who are taller than me. (...)
    Honestly?

    Not a need, no, but a definite preference and I think everyone's entitled to have them. Not something I usually bring up, but...
  • kshama2001kshama2001 Member Posts: 22,708 Member Member Posts: 22,708 Member
    muszyngr wrote: »
    just came across this and chuckled, so wanted to share (tongue and cheek folks, tongue and cheek)

    fq2pocbzd8nk.jpg

    @T1DCarnivoreRunner - this is basically what you are saying, yes? You've encountered plenty of people who see no problem with this?

    I screen for height and I know men screen for weight so always had a current picture and use words like "pleasantly plump" so men would be able to prescreen.
  • kshama2001kshama2001 Member Posts: 22,708 Member Member Posts: 22,708 Member
    @futurefit2020

    Well, in my brother's case, he's not a controlling creep but i do think he's rather an idiot. He went and found him a wife that "needs" him alright; she sits on the couch and has emotional breakdowns while he works 10 hours a day and then does all the housework, cooking, cleaning, and taking care of the 3 month old and 6 month old. She even expect him to get up and feed the infant because "she's just stressed" even though he is a trucker and needs to be up the next morning to drive.

    Real peach, my sister in law......

    Sounds like she has anxiety, depression, and from what you said in a later post, a drinking problem.

    In his case, I'd insist she get therapy. One good thing about the pandemic is that access to mental health services via telehealth have been expanded.
  • kshama2001kshama2001 Member Posts: 22,708 Member Member Posts: 22,708 Member
    kshama2001 wrote: »
    Slacker16 wrote: »
    If it really bothers you: women are terrible at evaluating a dude's height IRL. Just saying... o:)

    Someone should compare the distribution of male height on dating apps with that of the general male population.

    That's because men are lying, not because woman are terrible at evaluating men's heights.

    I've done a lot of online dating and think I only met two men who didn't lie about their heights, and one of the liars was 6'3" and lied about being 6'4"! (My ex was 6'4" and I knew what standing next to someone that height was like.)

    OK Cupid did the comparison:

    https://theblog.okcupid.com/the-big-lies-people-tell-in-online-dating-a9e3990d6ae2


    Not sure I would really call someone 6 ft 3 who said they were 6 ft 4 a liar - maybe he just rounded it up to next inch

    I know I am just over 5 ft 3 and half - I usually just say I am 5 ft 4 - didnt think that was dishonest.

    seems in the realm of saying I went to bed at 10 pm when I really went to bed at 9:55.

    With fractions you can round up or down, but 6'3" is 6'3", not 6'4".
  • kshama2001kshama2001 Member Posts: 22,708 Member Member Posts: 22,708 Member
    I've never sorted on height, although too many inches down or up from me is uncomfortable. (I like both genders, and a lot of women are shorter than me and a lot of men around here are taller than me.) What's more important to me is intelligence, a good sense of humor, a quick wit and congruencies in political outlook (my son is gay, I'm not dating a homophobe), religion or tolerance thereof, and allergies to pets, as well as having compatible kinks. My dominance is not merely in the bedroom, and I require partners who want to have me control their lives all the time. Otherwise it gets pretty uncomfortable for both of us. Also, some consideration of games within kink matter; I find rope boring as a top, and so if their idea of a fun kinky night involves being tied up, count me out. Not my thing.

    And at the moment I have two partners, of seven and five years relationship duration, one male, one female, and we all live together very happily with two cats. We also have a varied and colorful bouquet of mental health issues, but we three manage them together.

    Huh, now that it occurs to me, the handful of women with whom I have been involved have all been shorter than me. Not conscious selection on my part.
  • T1DCarnivoreRunnerT1DCarnivoreRunner Member Posts: 11,052 Member Member Posts: 11,052 Member
    kshama2001 wrote: »
    muszyngr wrote: »
    just came across this and chuckled, so wanted to share (tongue and cheek folks, tongue and cheek)

    fq2pocbzd8nk.jpg

    @T1DCarnivoreRunner - this is basically what you are saying, yes? You've encountered plenty of people who see no problem with this?

    I screen for height and I know men screen for weight so always had a current picture and use words like "pleasantly plump" so men would be able to prescreen.

    Yes, this is what I was saying.
  • Diatonic12Diatonic12 Member Posts: 11,513 Member Member Posts: 11,513 Member
    I'm inspired all over again. o:)
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