Why tall men are more striking
Why tall men are more striking… because they make better fighters
3:41 AM on 19th May 2011
The tall and the short: Researchers think they know why women prefer tall men – and it”s not in their genes
Women prefer taller men because they are better at fighting, scientists claimed yesterday.
A study has shown men hit hardest when striking downwards and the blows of a taller man are more powerful than the thumps of a short man.
In evolutionary terms, that makes them more useful for women, said researcher Dr David Carrier.
He added: ‘From the perspective of sexual selection theory, women are attracted to powerful males, not because powerful males can beat them up, but because powerful males can protect them and their children from other males.’
The scientists found that our prehistoric ancestors punched hardest when they stood on two legs – suggesting that fighting was the driving force behind the evolution of upright walking.
‘Theresults of this study are consistent with the hypothesis that our ancestors adopted bipedal posture so that males would be better at beating and killing each other when competing for females,’ said Dr Carrier.
‘Standing up on their hind legs allowed our ancestors to fight with the strength of their forelimbs, making punching much more dangerous.
“It also provides a functional explanation for why women find tall men attractive.
‘Early in human evolution, an enhanced capacity to strike downward on an opponent may have given tall males a greater capacity to compete for mates and to defend their resources and offspring.
“If this were true, females who chose to mate with tall males would have had greater fitness for survival.’
Women find taller men attractive because they pack a more powerful punch, making them more effective fighters, according to researchers
Dr Carrier studied the power of punches by male martial arts experts and boxers as they struck out in four directions – upwards, down, sideways and forwards.
Men hit with more force when they were standing – and could punch twice as hard when they were striking downwards, he reports in the journal PLoS One.
Some scientists have argued that women prefer tall men because their height indicates they have ‘good genes’.
However, Dr Carrier, of Utah University, disagrees. ‘If that were the whole story, I would expect the same to be true for men – that men would be attracted to tall women,’ he said.
‘But they’re not. Men are attracted to women of average height or even shorter.’