It seems so.
According to a Gallup poll, “Americans believe that one’s stature has a decided effect on a variety of important dimensions.”
More people would prefer to be taller than shorter:
People think that taller people have a greater likelihood of getting respect at work, and even getting promoted:
Via Geoffrey Arnold, at The Social Complex. See also Arnold’s guest posts from The Social Complex introducing the concept of heightism as a gendered prejudice and discussing heightism (and other icky stuff) at Hooters.Lisa Wade, PhD is an Associate Professor at Tulane University. She is the author of American Hookup, a book about college sexual culture; a textbook about gender; and a forthcoming introductory text: Terrible Magnificent Sociology. You can follow her on Twitter and Instagram.
WG — July 3, 2012
“Americans believe that one’s stature has a decided effect on a variety of important dimensions.” That is not the same as being aware of heightism, but merely the symptoms of heightism.
kimadactyl — July 3, 2012
Is there an issue here with terminology? "Taller" and "Shorter" aren't ends of a Likert scale - these sound a bit loaded somehow as "taller" is conflated with success and "shorter" with being short of say, money. I can't think of an alternative right now though.
kimadactyl — July 3, 2012
Not saying it invalidates the study, just that they could perhaps be better chosen antonyms.
Are Americans Aware of Heightism? « Welcome to the Doctor's Office — July 3, 2012
[...] from SocImages [...]
Ted_Howard — July 4, 2012
I'm actually surprised how low the numbers on height preference are. Only 37% of people actually want to increase their stature and I don't know if it's clear to suggest that desire to be taller due to understanding "heightism" can account for much of the poll's result. I don't think it's unreasonable to suggest that a decent chunk of those 37% want to be taller for reasons nothing to do with perceived societal preference for height.
The respectability at work questions and the likelihood to get promoted question is much more interesting. It's a simple fact that taller people are, on average, smarter. Their performance on cognitive tests is quite a bit higher than the rest of the population. And spare me the "socialization" explanations because the cognitive advantage of tall people has already been established by the age of three where any socialization mechanism is highly implausible (see the famous Case and Paxton paper). I don't think we really have a particularly good explanation for the greater cognitive abilities of taller people. We don't have a full explanation of why taller people are smarter (uterine environment, nutrition, and early environment are the most plausible explanations), but there is no denying that, on average, taller people have higher cognitive skills. Also, greater cognitive abilities are almost always correlated with greater non-cognitive abilities (like motivation, for example). Give this, it's not surprising that taller people would be more respected at work and be more likely to be promoted. This may just be correct empirical observations by the sample, rather than any demonstration of "heightism." I don't doubt "heightism," in the sense of preferences in some dimensions being given to taller people. But most of the economic research suggests the height labor market premium is entirely justified simply because taller people are usually smarter. The poll may just be reflecting that correct observation (in fact, maybe some people want to be taller because they mistakenly think tall people are given a preference in the labor market).
Randy — July 4, 2012
Short people got no reason to live.
Linky post! — The Good Men Project — September 7, 2012
[...] interesting polls about heightism, the unrecognized [...]
Lisa — April 13, 2013
Men prefer shorter than taller while women prefer taller than shorter here in America. And yes, height-ism is very common in American society, especially when it comes to relationships and marriage. People want their partner/spouse to meet the gender norm requirements.
test10022 — July 21, 2013
Americans go beyond ignoring heightism. They are clearly aware of it. They say "we respect tall", "the issue is that you're cute", "Hi! ok, how high?", and "I'd rather be gainfully employed than a little boy." "No Shit, Sherlock" is another racist insult typically leveled at short males wanting to go somewhere; and, finally, my favorite, "we treat all shit like they're shit. It's not like we discriminate"--said to me on my second day of employment at the country's 3rd largest bank. I once asked a tall male, "what did you get on your GMAT?" and he responded "N----r, go get your GED" (there were no black people present. I have an MBA. He was referring to me.)
After Obama was elected, some whites had to be designated as "white trash" and fired to make room for Affirmative Action promotions and H-1B immigrants. ALL of the whites selected--due to a lack of time--were short. We needed to know, quickly, who not to work with, and whom not to date. Naturally, noone selected the British.
The desigination of some short white males as white trash has placed an additional burden clearly on already-discriminated-against groups: Italians, Hispanics, and Southern Europeans. These groups are typically discriminated based on race--but now have to deal with being discriminated against based on the fact their race tends to be shorter in height.
Even Asians have lost ground in recent years, as their jobs have been replaced by Indian programmers due to racial discrimination--and yes--height discrimination.
As America has become more conscious of the fact it cannot discriminate against African Americans (who tend to be taller)--and as Anglos Saxons insist on not losing groud--heightism has been used--and respected--as a means of promoting blacks without hurting the British.
bill gates — March 21, 2019
HEIGHT MATTERS ONLY WHEN IT COMES TO DATING...........
HEIGHT DOESN'T MATTER IN SUCH a WAY........
Chris H. — September 17, 2019
I suppose when you are a short male, as I am, you are aware of heightism. With all the derogatory and unsolicited comments directed at men because of their/our lack of height, how can it be denied that it exists?
How many men under 5'6" do you see in the NBA or NFL? How many short people run for President? Why is growth hormone for short children, especially males, so popular?
There have been people fired for their lack of height in some jobs when it had nothing to do with the job to begin with. Why is that allowed?
Why do many sperm banks have height requirements for their male donors? Because the women want their children to be taller so that they will have a better life and more options in their career choices and dating lives!
If a short male is aggressive or confident, he is negatively labeled and told he is compensating for his lack of stature. A tall man with the same characteristics will be labeled as very attractive by the ladies and very popular in general.
Nobody is called out on their disparaging comments about short people when those same comments directed at other groups would be grounds for termination in a professional environment or social ostracization/being labeled as a bigot publicly!
So, yes, heightism definitely is a pervasive problem but politicians (with the exception of a few cities) won't do anything to stop it.
Jan Kvapil Jr. — March 25, 2020
NO, are actually not FULLY aware of it. I have lived in both Europe and America and heightism is so much more prevalent there. Only very western nations in Europe have heightism as a problem. France, Germany, Czech Republic, Poland, and Ukraine have very low rates of hieghtism. Almost ironically though, they have higher rates of rasicm. But the racism in Europe isnt as harsh as the heightism in American society, nowhere near. And in China and India its game over for short men.
Luke Polivick — August 20, 2021
Hey Ted Howard you are a heightist bigot through and through. "Taller people are generally smarter." Then explain to me how some African ethnic groups who are quite tall and yet live in shithole, Third World countries. Would you say that NBA players are smart? What about those big, burly rednecks? They smart too? With all their missing/rotted teeth? You are full of shit you worthless piece of trash!!!