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Taller Indian women are more successful at the marriage market
Authors: Smits J, and Monden CW
Source: American Journal of Human Biology, 24(4): 473-8; DOI: 10.1002/ajhb.22248
Topic(s): Marriage
Women's height
Country: Asia
Published: JUL 2012
Abstract: OBJECTIVES: Whereas being tall has consistently been found a favorable characteristic at the marriage market for men, much less is known about the association between stature and marital success among women. Taller women are healthier than shorter women, give birth more easily and their offspring are healthier. We therefore would expect them to be more successful at the marriage market. However, existing evidence is mixed. We study the association between women's height and the odds of being married, marrying young, experiencing a divorce, and becoming widowed, and the association between women's height and their husbands' educational attainment and occupational status. METHODS: Data come from the Indian National Family Health Survey 2005-2006, a representative study among 124,385 women and 74,369 men in all Indian states. Effects of female height on being married, marrying young, divorce, widowhood, and husband's occupation were estimated using logistic regression models. Effects of female height on husband's education were estimated using OLS regression models. Woman's education and age were always taken into account. Where possible controls for husband's height, husband's education, and age at marriage were included. RESULTS: Positive effects of women's height on favorable marital outcomes were found. Taller than average women are more likely to marry, get higher educated husbands with better jobs and are less likely to marry at a very young age or to lose their husbands through divorce or premature death. CONCLUSIONS: Taller Indian women seem to be more successful at the marriage market.