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Jealousy, Prejudice, and Short People

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A recent study concluded that short people are more likely to feel inferior and jealous. The researchers polled more than 500 men and women from Denmark and Spain to discover which characteristics made people feel uneasy among romantic competitors. They discovered that men and women were most intimidated by money, strength, looks, and charm. However, taller people generally felt less nervous and uneasy than shorter people.

In terms of evolution, this makes sense. Women who are at least of average height enjoy the best health, popularity, and fertility with men. In addition, the study said that taller men often have more success with women. Taller women are more dominant, too. Yet it's interesting to note that feelings of jealousy still occurred if the perceived opponent were taller.

The most recent findings supported similar studies on height and modern culture conducted elsewhere. For example, it's been proven that tall men are more successful in business. In another study, a look at Fortune 500 companies revealed that 58% of the CEOs were taller than six feet (169 centimeters), but only 14.5% of the US population was of the same height - an unequal number. Moreover, taller people received better salaries than their shorter counterparts. One inch added more than $750 to a person's salary each year. Over a person's lifetime, this extra money would add hundreds of thousands of dollars in earnings.

The prejudice towards shorter people isn't deliberate. The unconscious bias extends to all areas of life, though.


Preview some of the lesson material:

Warm Up: Do you agree or disagree? Why?

  1. Tall people are more successful.
  2. Short people are more jealous.
  3. Tall women generally aren't attracted to short men.
  4. Men generally aren't attracted to tall women.
  5. I'm a jealous person.

True or False?: Guess (before the article) or answer (after the article) whether the sentence is true or false. If false, correct the sentence.

  1. The researchers polled only men about romance.
  2. Tall men are healthier, more popular, and more fertile.
  3. A person could still be jealous if his/her rival were taller.
  4. According to the article, tall men are more successful in the business world.
  5. The prejudice against short people is often deliberate.

post-Comprehension: Talk about the following questions in pairs/groups. Remember to support your answers!

  1. If the researchers interviewed people from your country, would the results be the same? Why/not?
  2. What makes you feel inferior? Why
  3. Do you have any prejudices towards short people? Please explain.
  4. Do you have any prejudices? Please explain.
  5. Have you ever felt discriminated against? If so, when did it happen?

Google Search: Type "jealousy" into Google. Look at the websites, and/or read additional articles on this topic. Discuss or write an essay about your findings.


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