The size of men influence their relationships

Nicolas Herpin, ” the size of The males : its impact on the life in couple and the professional career “, Economie et statistique, n°361, 2003



The large men are more often in couple than the small

According to the continuing Survey on living conditions realised by the Insee in 2001, among the men of 20-29 years of age, 47 % of those who are over a 1.80 m are as a couple, compared to only 41% of those who measure between 1.70 m and 1.80 m. Among the 30-39-year-olds, three-quarters of large (over a 1.80 m) and means (1.70 m and 1.80 m) live in couple but only 60 % of those whose size is less than 1.70 m.

The couple seems to be more early for men of larger size. The delay in the couple of men of average size as between 20-29 years old (1,70 m and 1,80 m) is caught up from the slice next age (30-39 years), but it is not for the little ones. In the age following, the percentage of men small living as a couple increases but it never reaches the large.

A specific effect of the size ?

The small size is the reason for this difference in life as a couple ? Or is it the reflection of something else, the translation of another social property ? asks Nicolas Herpin.

In 1981, Charraud and Valdelièvre1 have shown from the data of the Health survey of 1970 that there is a clear size difference between social backgrounds, this gap has not disappeared in 2001. The senior executives and the liberal professions with an average length of 177,6 cm or 3.2 cm longer than the workers or the farmers.

The hypothesis that is then Nicolas Herpin is the following :

– women prefer to as a spouse the best provider of resources

– the size of men increases with their economic status,

So the men of larger size are quite favored.

However, it should not go too hasty. “The hypothesis that living in a couple varies depending on the mid-professional level of the man is only partially verified. The employees live relatively often outside of a couple relationship and the business leaders and the professions relatively more often as a couple. But the workers are not any less often as a couple that the executives or engineers. “The probability for an active man to live as a couple does not depend on the size. The statistical data can, for example, to establish that the men under thirty years of age are more often outside of a couple relationship, even as the unemployed and the inhabitants of the towns of over 100,000 inhabitants.

However, when one takes into account different probabilities of relationships depending on the social environment, the size has a specific effect. Understand that if you take two men of the same social environment, the smaller of the two will be less likely to be in a couple, at a given age. “Being young is a handicap for the implementation of torque regardless of the social level “.

The size as a reflection of professional prospects ?

Why men are small are they less torque than the larger ? The idea is that the size is not a criterion for discriminating for the commissioning couple to itself, but by what it represents. The size works as a indication of the future professional.

Nicolas Herpin shows that men of small size are less graduates than the large ones, and they are removed as early in the school system. Decide on the reasons that explain the abandonment of earlier studies in the small is delicate (proposed hypotheses p 80).

Outside of the school environment, the high waist is an economic asset for the man. “To the degree constant, and the men of high waist, make a better career because they are entrusted with more leadership responsibilities. “The high waist of a man is seen as a ability to order. Thus, relatively to the hopes of career that are available to them, men of small size appear as a less “party” than those of large size.

However, one can doubt that the size is interpreted consciously and voluntarily, as a information on the future professional, by women. In relationships, women do not only have to mind the career of their spouse, or even the desire to see the latter dedicate themselves to it too exclusively. Other skills oriented towards the private sphere are balanced. Gold from this point of view, Nicolas Herpin, with statistics to support it, shows that men of small size do not stack traits, that would make companions more difficult to bear in the life of a couple, both at the level of the physical characteristics and habits of life. The finding is not adverse to men of small stature : “men of small size are not distinguishable from those of average size or larger by a power more unbalanced, with a higher consumption of alcoholic beverages, obesity more common” (p 83)

If they do not appear as less suitable to the life of a couple, the male of a smaller size are, however, less as a couple. The delay in the torque is due to the fact that the men’s small must make compensation to their small size, in particular by showing more maturity at the time of the formation of the couple. “In the work, and in particular, they have demonstrated that they are serious and appear as contributors from trusted resources. They are then in a position to compensate for their small size. But they had to age a little more than great to be able to get in a couple. “

The social norm of the couple physically well-matched

The size may also influence the relationships because of the social norm, according to which there must be a difference in size between the man and the woman, standard, called by Nicolas Herpin “assortment physical couples. “”The social norm, it is desirable that, in the couple, the man is greater than his wife without that the gap is neither too weak nor too strong” (p 86) On average and in the couple, the man is bigger that the woman of 12 cm. If it is not respected, this social norm gives rise to sanctions that are more informal in everyday life. The couple may be embarrassed in its aspirations to social or friendly, and throughout his life, attracting sanctions (laughter).

NB : Nicolas Herpin has devoted to the size, in addition to the section studied in this article, a full-length book in the collection Guides. The power of the great by Nicolas Herpin et Al. Marks, ed The Discovery, 2006, 109 p., 8.50 euros.

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