One study found that women who were attracted to taller men during times of ovulation – when they were the most fertile (Pawlowski & Jasienska, 2005). Personality and Individual Differences, 13, 1349-1350. Women looking for a relationship during their most fertile phase, in evolutionary terms, would be looking for good genes pass on to potential offspring but likely little parental investment and companionship.
More than physical appearance, which plays mostly in short-term relationships, women value personality, intelligence, and career choice (Braun & Bryan, 2006). Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 6, 396-401. For dating, women look for men with agreeable personalities – men who show kindness, empathy, and intimacy, and factors like these can play a part in what women find most attractive in a man. According to evolutionary theory, women looking for long-term relationships would want men who would stick by their side and help them provide for and take care of their infants. In addition, if height signals physical dominance, it is likely that taller men make women feel smaller, protected, and perhaps more “feminine” as well.In line with this idea, research has found that women with more “traditional” gender role expectations were less willing to date shorter men (Salska, et al., 2008).