?

Log in

Height and jealousy

« previous entry | next entry »
Mar. 14th, 2008 | 09:45 am

buunk et al, fig 1 & 2
Global jealousy relationship with
height, Figure 1 (men, top) and
2 (women, bottom)
Buunk et al's (2008) article has made significant press, starting with the New Scientist, being cited as proof of "short man syndrome." For example, Marie Claire magazine (2008) is polling its readers on whether their man suffers from it. The full article, however, examines the relationship between height and jealousy for both men and women:
"male height was found to be negatively correlated with self-reported global jealousy, whereas female height was curvilinearly related to jealousy, with average-height women reporting the lowest levels of jealousy"
In Study 2, Buunk claims that average-height women's jealousy is piqued by rivals with "masculine" (his quotes) characteristics like physical dominance or high social status, while men's height/jealousy relationship is not much changed by rival characteristics (short men were not as threatened by socially successful or "seductive" rivals). Previous research from Buunk has shown that men in general are threatened by financial success and physical dominance, while women in general tended to be threatened by physically attractive rivals (see DB 7/19/07, 10/25/06)



I'd like to point out that this is at least the second "tall men are better" article covered in the New Scientist in 2008 (see DB 1/18/08). I wonder if some editor there is as touchy as I am. ;) Quick! Stop me before I complain about my height again! ;) I know, distract me with a delicious word like "curvilinearly." Yummy. I also wanted to show you a couple of the scatter plots for this relationship (click to enlarge). I find it very hard to believe that Buunk's jealousy instrument is sensitive enough for what he's trying to do with it.

One of my biggest concerns is with using identical scripts with switched pronouns for the rivals in Study 2. I don't think "physical dominance" has the same connotations for a male or female rival. The example items for physical dominance are "is more muscular, is more athletic, has a heavier build." I don't think those are gender-equivalent values (even if I'd like them to be). Nor is "slender", one of the items for "physically attractive." Buunk's theories hang on which tools are more powerful in assortative mating strategies, so the utility of slenderness or muscularity to a man or woman is fairly important. I didn't see any indication in the article that these items were varied by participant gender.

Link | Leave a comment | Share

Comments {7}

Gender Devil's Advocate

(no subject)

from: mycrust
date: Mar. 14th, 2008 02:19 pm (UTC)
Link

Can you explain those plots to me? Are the black dots the data??

Reply | Thread

The Difference Blog by Dan4th

(no subject)

from: differenceblog
date: Mar. 14th, 2008 02:22 pm (UTC)
Link

I believe they are.

Reply | Parent | Thread

Gender Devil's Advocate

(no subject)

from: mycrust
date: Mar. 14th, 2008 02:29 pm (UTC)
Link

This has got to be a joke. Is Bu[u]nk a joke name?

Reply | Parent | Thread

The Difference Blog by Dan4th

(no subject)

from: differenceblog
date: Mar. 14th, 2008 02:39 pm (UTC)
Link

You know, that's one of the reasons I linked to the previous articles -- Buunk is apparently a leader in jealousy research.

Reply | Parent | Thread

Gender Devil's Advocate

(no subject)

from: mycrust
date: Mar. 15th, 2008 07:09 pm (UTC)
Link

Buunk's data binned with standard deviation error bars:



Edited at 2008-03-15 07:12 pm (UTC)

Reply | Parent | Thread

Bitsy

(no subject)

from: darthbitsy
date: Mar. 18th, 2008 08:30 pm (UTC)
Link

I think all one can tell from that graph is that women do tend to be shorter then the men.

Reply | Parent | Thread

astrogeek01

(no subject)

from: astrogeek01
date: Mar. 14th, 2008 03:15 pm (UTC)
Link

... Ok even an astronomer would say those plots are ridiculous.

Reply | Parent | Thread