The height of choosiness: mutual mate choice for stature results in suboptimal pair formation for both sexes

  title={The height of choosiness: mutual mate choice for stature results in suboptimal pair formation for both sexes},
  author={Gert Stulp and Abraham P. Buunk and Robert Kurzban and Simon Verhulst},
  journal={Animal Behaviour},

Female mate choice in convict cichlids is transitive and consistent with a self-referent directional preference

This study provides the first evidence for strong stochastic transitivity in a context of mate choice: female convict cichlids exhibited ordinal preferences and the direction and magnitude of these preferences could be predicted from a simple rule.

Male and Female Soldier Beetles Relax Choice for Mate Quality Across Daily Courtship Periods

It is found that reproductive success of males and females increases with mate size and mating frequency, and models of mutual mate choice that predict that individuals of high quality will maximize reproductive success by relaxing choosiness as the courtship period wanes are supported.

Preferred and Actual Relative Height among Homosexual Male Partners Vary with Preferred Dominance and Sex Role

Results indicate that preferences for relative height in homosexual men are modulated by own height, preferred dominance and sex role, and do not simply resemble those of heterosexual women or men.

Marrying up: field experimental and household survey evidence of competitive search for a taller and richer spouse

Couple’s heights tend to match. However, whether such matching is for the sake of height or the many desirable traits associated with stature (e.g., income) is unclear. We contribute novel

Body Height Preferences and Actual Dimorphism in Stature between Partners in Two Non-Western Societies (Hadza and Tsimane')

Body height influences human mate preferences and choice. A typical finding in Western societies is that women prefer men who are taller than themselves and, equivalently, men prefer women who are

Preferences for Sexually Dimorphic Body Characteristics Revealed in a Large Sample of Speed Daters

While hundreds of studies have investigated the indices that make up attractive body shapes, these studies were based on preferences measured in the laboratory using pictorial stimuli. Whether these

Height and Body Mass on the Mating Market

People with traits that are attractive on the mating market are better able to pursue their preferred mating strategy. Men who are relatively tall may be preferred by women because taller height is a

Marrying up : trading off spousal income and spousal height V ERY PRELIMINARY !

Couple’s heights tend to match. However, whether such matching is for the sake of height or the many desirable traits associated with stature (e.g., income) is unclear. We contribute to this

Assortative mating and its relationship with sexual dimorphism in Indians: Experimental data using stimulus images

On average, in all populations, men are taller than women, but sexual dimorphism in height has different degrees of severity and affects both the cultural environment and the phylogenetic development of a particular society (Holden & Mace, 1999).

Non‐linear associations between stature and mate choice characteristics for American men and their spouses

Although male height is positively associated with many aspects of mate quality, average height men attain higher reproductive success in US populations. We hypothesize that this is because the



Are Human Mating Preferences with Respect to Height Reflected in Actual Pairings?

While preferences for partner height generally translate into actual pairing, they do so only modestly, and another preference rule, namely that short women ( and tall men) prefer large height differences with their partner, whereas tall women (and short women) prefer small height differences is investigated.


An ESS model of mutual mate choice is presented, which explicitly incorporates differences between males and females in life history traits that determine the costs and benefits of choice, and demonstrates that sex differences in costs of choice are likely to have a much stronger effect on choosiness than are differences in quality variation.


This study demonstrates that homogamy is present at the level of preferences for both sexes, and shows that measurements of the function describing thishomogamy are concordant with several distinct mating rules proposed in the literature.

Mate choice in the face of costly competition

This study presents a game-theoretical model of mate choice in which males of differing quality compete for access to females and try to retain them till the time of mating, and predicts that high-quality males, who are better competitors, have a preference for the best females that is typically several times stronger than that of low- quality males.

How is female mate choice affected by male competition?

It is argued, in the light of recent theoretical and empirical advances, that the effect of competition on mate choice depends on whether it results in the choosy sex attaining high breeding value for total fitness, considering both direct and indirect fitness benefits.

The relationship between number of potential mates and mating skew in humans

Costs and Benefits of Female Mate Choice: Is There a Lek Paradox?

It is argued that, although females are expected to pay lower costs in noneconomic mating systems, this need not translate into examining fewer males or spending less time in this activity, and there may be no lek paradox.

How universal are human mate choices? Size does not matter when Hadza foragers are choosing a mate

Overall it is concluded that, in contrast to post-industrial societies, mating appears to be random with respect to size in the Hadza.

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.

You can't always get what you want: size assortative mating by mutual mate choice as a resolution of sexual conflict

The results suggest that the underlying mechanism of assortment in P. taeniatus is mutual mate choice resolving the sexual conflict over mates, rather than preference for mates of similar size.