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Short Men Have Fewer Sexual Partners: Study

10/05/2015 02:22 EDT | Updated 10/05/2015 02:59 EDT

Men of average height to tall have one to three times more sexual partners than smaller men, according to an American study that also found weight to be a factor.

Researchers at Chapman University in California studied whether or not height and body mass index played a role on the number of sexual partners men and women had during the course of their lives.

In a study of 60,058 heterosexual volunteers, of which 52 per cent were male and 48 per cent female and average age was 37, the researchers took into account criteria for height, education level, age and BMI as key indicators in the personal sexual history of each participant.

The results, published September 30 in the journal of Evolutionary Psychology, indicated that participants between the age of 30 and 44 had had on average eight partners since being sexually active. Of the participants, 58 per cent of men and 56 per cent of women indicated having had more than five whereas 29 per cent of men and 23 per cent of women indicated having more than 14 partners.

Shorter men reported a minimum of five sexual partners. On the contrary, medium-height to tall men declared one to three times more partners than their shorter counterparts.

"These findings confirm that height is relevant on the mating market," said David Frederick, lead author on the study. Despite this, the researcher has no clear scientific explanation to explain the link, if not for the observation that women are often attracted to men who are relatively taller than they are.

Regarding weight, the researchers noticed that men who find themselves in the middle of the BMI scale have the most sexual partners. Normal-weight and overweight participants reported a higher number of partners than those with a low BMI.

Dr. Frederick said that the medical criteria used to classify high BMI differs from the social perception of what that entails. He gives the example of George W. Bush, who was considered medically overweight though the majority of Americans did not perceive him as such.

Men with larger frames, who are perceived as more powerful and generally more athletic, report more sexual partners than other men, according to Dr. Frederick.

For women, the observation is similar. Those with the least sexual experiences are underweight, according to the study. The study's author explains this by the fact that "they may be highly dissatisfied with their weight and suffering from anorexia and thus not motivated to show their bodies." Furthermore, being underweight can be associated with a serious illness that is not conducive to sexual activity, thus resulting in fewer sexual partners.

For more information on the study, visit Evolutionary Psychology.

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