Evolutionary fitness: Tall men have more reproductive success

  title={Evolutionary fitness: Tall men have more reproductive success},
  author={Bogusław Pawłowski and Robin I. M. Dunbar and Anna Jolanta Lipowicz},
Sexual selection is a well established evolutionary process based on preferences for specific traits in one sex by members of the other sex. It is important in the evolution of morphological traits, and several sexually dimorphic traits in humans, such as facial hair and facial shape, are assumed to be the outcome of such a process. Here we demonstrate that taller men are reproductively more successful than shorter men, indicating that there is active selection for stature in male partners by… 

Height and reproductive success : a longitudinal study of Finnish twins

Sexual selection is the driving force behind evolution along with natural selection where some characteristics are preferred in potential mates even when they do not necessarily increase survival probability and thus are not prone to natural selection.

Sexual Selection and the Evolution of Visually Conspicuous Sexually Dimorphic Traits in Male Monkeys, Apes, and Human Beings

A quantitative approach is used to measure sexually dimorphic characters and to compare their development in the monogamous, polygynous, and multimale-multifemale mating systems of monkeys, apes, and human beings.

Evidence for Genetic Variation in Human Mate Preferences for Sexually Dimorphic Physical Traits

In a large sample of twins, forced-choice, dichotomous mate preferences for height, skin colour, hair colour and length, chest hair, facial hair, and breast size are assessed.

Women's height, reproductive success and the evolution of sexual dimorphism in modern humans

  • D. Nettle
  • Biology
    Proceedings of the Royal Society of London. Series B: Biological Sciences
  • 2002
Data from Britain's National Child Development Study was used to examine the life histories of a nationally representative group of women, and selection appears to be sexually disruptive in this population, favouring tall men and short women.

Contest Competition in Men

This chapter assesses the intensity of sexual selection in men, and uses a comparative and functional approach to evaluate the extent to which, and in what ways, men’s phenotypes were shaped by contest competition.

Biological Costs of a Small Stature for Homo sapiens Females: New Perspectives on Stature Sexual Dimorphism

This article explores critically ancient and recent hypotheses advanced for explaining SSD in the human lineage and proposes an epistemic obstacle at the heart of the scientific models looking at humans: gendered cultural norms and practices are not seen as potential selective forces that could oppose natural selection and thus favour costly morphological traits in the authors' species.

human sexual dimorphism in size may be triggered by environmental cues

The analysis of comparative data supports the prediction that polygyny reduces women’s height, but has no effect on men's, and is consistent with the speculation that the origin of human sexual dimorphism in size may be cultural, not genetic.

Variable preferences for sexual dimorphism in height as a strategy for increasing the pool of potential partners in humans

  • B. Pawłowski
  • Biology
    Proceedings of the Royal Society of London. Series B: Biological Sciences
  • 2003
It is demonstrated that people adjust their preferences for SDS in relation to their own height in order to increase the potential pool of partners and shows that in connection to intrapopulational SDS both men and women are responsible for stabilizing selection.

Is male dimorphism under sexual selection in humans? A meta-analysis

Arguments that strength/muscularity can be considered sexually selected in humans are supported, but concerns over other forms of masculinity are raised and the need to increase tests of evolutionary hypotheses outside of industrialized populations is highlighted.



Effects of sexual dimorphism on facial attractiveness

The results of asking subjects to choose the most attractive faces from continua that enhanced or diminished differences between the average shape of female and male faces indicate a selection pressure that limits sexual dimorphism and encourages neoteny in humans.

Social, developmental and health correlates of ‘attractiveness’ in adolescence

Abstract This paper suggests a possible link between two different bodies of research. The first is sociological and social epidemiological research which has demonstrated associations between social

Patterns of human growth

A biocultural view of human growth is presented, focusing on living human populations and the role of environmental factors and genetic and endocrine regulation in human growth.


The strength of influence upon statural variation of: (1) the degree of urbanization of the locality of habitat, (2) family size, (3) paternal and (4) maternal educational status was analysed in

Short stature and heart disease: nature or nurture? The EARS Group.

In men at least, height appears to be an independent transmissible risk factor for CHD, independent of reported birthweight and the fathers' educational attainment.

Height and mortality in the counties of England and Wales.

Although height increased over this 50-year period the differences between counties persisted, and the positive relation between height and cancers of the breast, ovary and prostate could suggest that promotion of child growth has disadvantages as well as benefits.

Height and Incidence of Cardiovascular Disease in Male Physicians

These data indicate that height is inversely associated with subsequent risk of MI, and a few mechanisms are plausible, but none are convincing.