Shorter men are more likely to be jealous husbands and boyfriends than their taller counterparts, according to a study carried out at the University of Groningen in the Netherlands.
This may be because women tend to rate taller men as more attractive and powerful than shorter ones. Taller men tend to get more replies to their online dating profiles, have more attractive partners, and have more children. Taller men also tend to do better in their careers and make more money (an extra $769 per year for every inch of height).
As a result, the shorter men may feel the need to engage in mate guarding and jealous behaviors in order to retain their partner. “Jealousy is a type of fear,” said Simon Gelsthorpe, of the British Psychological Society. “It is about being afraid that you are going to lose someone you love.”
Here’s the twist. When people are made to feel shorter through virtual reality, they begin to feel inferior and become overly mistrustful. They report that others in the crowd are staring at them or having negative feelings about them. So short man syndrome is something that can be almost instantaneously felt and reflected in behavior.
Short man syndrome, or Napoleon Complex, also applies to women outside of the average height range which usually puts a premium on women who are just a few inches shorter than the average man. Both short and tall women are more likely to be jealous and be more competitive. Women tend to be the most jealous of others’ beauty and charm, whereas men tend to be nervous about attractive, strong and rich rivals.
Interestingly, men rated short men more positively.