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For Romance, Be Short and Symmetrical

Researchers have found that short, symmetrical women have longer relationships with men. People whose faces and bodies are the same on both sides are considered more attractive and have an easier time attracting mates. It also helps to be short: the average height for a British woman is 5 feet, 4 inches, but those who are a few inches shorter are most likely to be married and to have children by the age of 42. This is true for all social classes. However, women prefer men who are taller than average.

William Brown of Dalhousie University in Canada found that asymmetrical people are more jealous than others. He studied 50 men and women in heterosexual relationships, and compared paired their features, such as feet, ears and fingers, to see who was symmetrical. They then filled in a questionnaire to test who was jealous. Brown found that lopsided people were more likely to be jealous lovers, maybe because they realize they are not as attractive as symmetrical their symmetrical brethren.

Daniel Nettle, of the Open University, doesn?t know why men prefer smaller women. "There is no evidence that shorter women conceive more quickly or are more fertile in a contemporary population," he says. Studies have actually found that smaller women are more likely to die in childbirth. "But we know that men are drawn to things that in our evolutionary past would have been a cue for fertility. And in one sense tallness is a negative cue--tall women reach puberty later and probably their secondary sexual characteristics develop somewhat later."


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