New study suggests osteocytes can modify height growth

Osteocyte-secreted IGF-1 may manipulate height growth via IGFBP secretions but this would only have an effect on adult individuals if IGFBPs could induce chondrogenesis on their own.

Role of Osteocyte-derived Insulin-Like Growth Factor I in Developmental Growth, Modeling, Remodeling, and Regeneration of the Bone.

“Osteocytes secrete large amounts of insulin-like growth factor (IGF)-I in bone.”

“a regulatory role for osteocyte-derived IGF-I in the osteogenic response to mechanical loading”

“transgenic mice with ablation[removal] of osteocytes were unresponsive to unloading and had an impaired mechanotransduction”<-For more on this study see below.

“The long bones of transgenic mice with overexpression of IGF-I in bone showed enhanced osteogenic response to in vivo mechanical loading.”<-thus release of IGF-1 by osteocytes could be a key mediator of loading on bone shape.

“Conditional disruption of Igf1 gene in osteocytes blocked the loading-induced expression of early mechanoresponsive genes, i.e., cyclooxygenase-2 (Cox2), Igf1, and c-Fos”

“ince conditional deletion of Igf1 gene in hepatic cells, which reduced circulating IGF-I levels by >75%, had no effects on bone length and size, but targeted disruption of Igf1 gene in mature osteoblasts or chondrocytes greatly reduced bone length and size without affecting the circulating IGF-I level, it appears that locally produced bone-derived IGF-I, and not the circulating liver-derived IGF-I, is essential for the developmental bone growth.”

“the osteocytes-derived IGF-I-dependent regulation of longitudinal bone growth may involve osteocyte-derived soluble factors. A potential candidate is the IGF binding proteins (IGFBPs). IGF-I has paracrine effects on bone cell production of IGFBPs, and many IGFBPs have IGF-dependent and -independent actions on bone turnover.  Changes in Igf1 expression in a number of cell types have been associated with alterations in the IGFBPs expression profile. For example, target disruption of Igf1 in chondrocytes reduced IGFBP5 expression in the growth plate cartilage. Conditional disruption of Igf1 in mature osteoblasts decreased bone levels of IGFBP3 and IGFBP4. Conversely, conditional disruption of Igf1 in osteocytes increased plasma IGFBP3 level and decreased plasma IGFBP5 level, raising the intriguing possibility that the reduced bone production of the stimulatory IGFBP5 and the increased bone production of the inhibitory IGFBP3 in osteocyte conditional KO mutants may in part contribute to the reduced longitudinal bone growth.”

“The osteocyte Igf1 conditional KO mice [has] 8-12% shorter bone length and small bone size”

Since part of the LSJL hypothesis is that LSJL has a greater effect than normal.  Let’s examine the study which found that removal of osteocytes dapened mechanical loading.

Targeted Ablation of Osteocytes Induces Osteoporosis with Defective Mechanotransduction

“Following a single injection of DT, approximately 70%–80% of the osteocytes, but apparently no osteoblasts, were killed. Osteocyte-ablated mice exhibited fragile bone with intracortical porosity and microfractures, osteoblastic dysfunction, and trabecular bone loss with microstructural deterioration and adipose tissue proliferation in the marrow space, all of which are hallmarks of the aging skeleton. Strikingly, these “osteocyte-less” mice were resistant to unloading-induced bone loss”

Here’s an image that shows the impact of osteocyte ablation on mouse growth plates:
growth plates of osteocyte ablationTg+Dt A shows the growth plate of mouse with less osteocytes.  You can see that it is more disorganized but whether it affects longitudinal bone growth is unclear.  In E is an image of a vertebrae and the ablated osteocyte bone may be shorter by eyeballing it.

Here’s an image of the scattered growth plate in the ablated osteocyte bone:

scattered growth plateGP standing for growth plate.

So, osteocyte IGF-1 contributes to longitudinal bone growth at least by increased organization.  Since increased organization was not apparent in LSJL growth plates, it is still likely that LSJL can stimulate height by a method not available via typical mechanical loading.

How much can you increase a child’s height with epigenetic manipulation?

Epigenetic manipulation refers to changing genetic expression of certain genes(in this case height increasing genes) via nutritional or mechanical means.  This manipulation can occur by altering histones, chromatin folding, methylation, telomere length, etc.

The paper below indicates that altering epigenetics can powerfully influence but the question is how to determine the mechanical and nutritional methods that can influence these genes.

Epigenetic heredity of human height

“Genome‐wide SNP analyses have identified genomic variants associated with adult human height. However, these only explain a fraction of human height variation, suggesting that significant information might have been systematically missed by SNP sequencing analysis. A candidate for such non‐SNP‐linked information is DNA methylation. Regulation by DNA methylation requires the presence of CpG islands in the promoter region of candidate genes{So any height increase genes that have CpG islands can be altered by DNA methylation}. Seventy two of 87 (82.8%), height‐associated genes were indeed found to contain CpG islands upstream of the transcription start site, which were shown to correlate with gene regulation. Consistent with this, DNA hypermethylation modules{hypermethylation can result in transcription silencing which can be inherited by daughter cells(a daughter is the cell formed by mitosis)-mitosis occurs in the growth plate most heavily in the proliferative zone} were detected in 42 height‐associated genes, versus 1.5% of control genes, as were dynamic methylation changes and gene imprinting. Epigenetic heredity thus appears to be a determinant of adult human height. Modulation of DNA methylation are candidate to mediate environmental influence on epigenetic traits. This may help to explain progressive height changes over multiple generations, through trans‐generational heredity of progressive DNA methylation patterns.”

Some height increase genes identified in multiple studies:

(ACAN, BCAS3 also known as TBX2, EFEMP1, HHIP, HMGA1, HMGA2, LCORL, NCAPG, PLAGL1, PTCH1, SOCS2, SPAG1, UQCC also known as GDF5, ZBTB38, ZNF678)

“Genes close to the SNP most strongly associated with body size were shown to encode extracellular matrix components, proteases, cell cycle controllers, transcription factors and signaling molecules”

Table 1 in the paper gives a list of height related genes.  Here’s a list of genes related to height increase and whether you want to upregulate or downregulate the genes relative to height increase.

“Functionally‐relevant DNA methylation patterns were thus candidates to be associated with adult stature subgroups in addition to DNA sequence variants. Functionally‐relevant DNA methylation patterns may affect selective mechanisms, thus behaving as true hereditary traits. Consistent with this, a metastable epigenetic heredity of the DWARF1 locus was shown to affect plant size and this phenotype was inherited through mitosis and meiosis”

“DNA methylation patterns can keep record of the nutritional status and affect, in turn, morphometric parameters. Modifications of DNA methylation patterns in growth‐related genes can be inherited trans‐generationally, through incomplete erasure of epigenetic patterning in the germline.”

“Genomic imprinting defects are associated with developmental disorders, including Silver‐Russell, Beckwith‐Wiedemann, and Prader‐Willi syndromes. Genomic imprints are affected by environmental factors, and also associate with several human cancers.”

Height gene network

“Proteins are represented as nodes (hubs), the biological relationships between the nodes (edges) are represented as lines. Height‐associated proteins are in red; linker proteins are in white; miRNA are in gray. Major hubs are in magenta; SMAD isoforms are in blue.”

“72 of 87 height‐associated genes (82.8%) were found to contain at least one CpG island in the 2,000 bp upstream of the transcription start site (TSS) (99 CpG islands overall) . Notably, in all CpG islands‐associated height genes, CpG islands overlapped with the TSS, supporting an actual regulatory role in gene transcription”

Notable genes regulated by DNA Methylation according to Table 2 include: BMP2, BMP6, and SOCS2 as well as several not normally associated with height increase.  Notable genes regulating DNA Methylation(that is the control the methylation status of height related genes) include: DNMT3A, DOT1L, HMGA1, HMGA2.

“five genes (ACAN, ANKS1, FBP2, NACA2, ZBTB38) were found to have no evidence of DNA methylation. The remaining genes (94.3%) were shown to undergo broad changes of DNA methylation levels across experimental conditions”

“CpG island methylation in the BMP2 promoter causes loss of BMP‐2 protein expression in transformed cells{You would NOT want this if your desire was to have your child grow taller}. Shut‐down of the BMP6 gene by promoter methylation was observed in malignant lymphomas”

“c‐Myc regulates at least seven height‐associated genes (CDK6, COIL, HMGA1, LIN28B, RBBP8, RPS20, TRIM25/EFP), and its binding to genomic loci is dependent on chromatin structure and CpG methylation.”

“The Beckwith‐Wiedemann syndrome is caused by deregulation of imprinted genes within the 11p15 chromosomal region, i.e., KIP2, H19 and LIT1, whether alone or as interacting regulatory units . Hypermethylation at the 11p15 telomeric imprinting control region (ICR1), are observed in about 5 to 10% of affected patients. Both H19 and LIT1, which encode untranslated RNAs, and IGF2 are either maternally imprinted genes with growth enhancing activity or paternally imprinted genes with growth suppressing activity.”

“Affected children reach an average height of 2.5 SD above the mean at or after puberty, and their growth velocity is above the ninetieth percentile until 4–6 years of age.”

“Up to 60% of cases of Silver‐Russell [dwarfism] syndrome are caused by hypomethylation at the ICR1 on chromosome 11p15, involving the H19and IGF2 genes”<-so underexpression of ICR1 is good for height and overexpression of ICR1 is bad for height if hypermethylation transcriptionally silences expression and hypomethylation increases it.

“c‐Myc regulates the cell cycle, and plays a major role in cell growth during interphase, by regulating genes required for the production of energy and metabolites. The c‐Myc network widely interacts with those driven by other major hubs. c‐Myc is repressed by transforming growth factor β (TGF‐β) through the binding of SMAD3 to the MYC promoter. p53 represses c‐Myc through the induction of the tumor suppressor miR‐145. c‐Myc amply interacts also with the ER network: almost all of the acutely estrogen‐regulated genes with roles in cell growth are c‐Myc targets. Notably, estrogen‐mediated activation of rRNA and protein synthesis depends on c‐Myc. Equally c‐Myc dependent is the estrogen‐induced suppression of apoptosis caused by growth factor deprivation”

“p53 regulates the expression of target genes that modulate chromatin structure and function, cell growth, aging and apoptosis. p53 interacts with components of multiple different histone remodeling complexes, including CBP/EP300 (CBP/p300), GCN5, PCAF, and SETD7 modifying histones at the promoters. p53 also controls DNA methylation levels, and that this affects genome stability”

“ERα regulates at least eight height‐associated genes (BCAS3, BMP2, BMP6, DCC, GLT25D2, PENK, RBBP8, TRIM25/EFP).”

“ERα blockade diminishes the secretion of endogenous growth hormone, the key hormone regulator of linear growth in childhood. This action is mediated by SOCS‐2. The ERα network widely interconnects with the p53, Hh and BMP/TGF‐β pathways. p53 regulates ER expression through transcriptional control of the ER promoter”

The Connection Between The Short Stature Of The Vietnamese and Their Diet

I might be stepping out of line with this post but a recent video I saw on Youtube made me wonder whether a certain tribe or ethnic group’s diet and eating habits might have a much larger influence to the height of a certain ethnicity.

I refer to the trip Gordon Ramsey takes to Vietnam in one of his Great Escape episodes. In the last month, I have started to enjoy many cooking channels, and Gordon is a very colorful, interesting character to follow. I don’t have a TV so I don’t know what is really popular on TV these days. It seems that this series of food traveling show has been around since 2010, and only now have I heard of it.

What really struck me was that in the episode where Gordon visits the country of Vietnam, two different people both talk about the lack of calcium in their diet. First, it was Mrs. Vi Ching and 2nd was the guy who Gordon was eating snake hearts with.

It is interesting that this Mrs. Vi Ching, who supposedly owns 4 of the most famous and well touted restaurants in all of Ho Chi Minh City and goes shopping twice a day for freshness made the offhanded comment that “We have no dairy, so we eat the bone for calcium”. Then when Gordon is out with a couple of the vietnamese men, the restaurant chef would fry up the backbone of the snake they ordered which was made into at least 4-5 different dishes. It was supposed to give them more calcium.

Refer to the video below…

So it seems that for the people in Vietnam who really focus on the food, they have a unique concern with Calcium and getting enough of it. Do they somehow realize that their diet intrinsically lacks the calcium (as well as the Vitamin D, K2, Iron, Amino Acids) that is needed to grow “normal”? Or maybe at least by American standards

In my personal life and my history of going to the various Vietnamese Restaurants, I do sort of see the connection. The Vietnamese do eat a lot of strange animals and delicacies, like frogs and snakes, which had a lot of lean, dark, and flavorful meat. The Vietnamese really care about Flavor and Texture, since the 2nd guy also made the comment that the Vietnamese prefer to eat food that has a little bit of chew to them. They focus on taste, but not utility and function. They eat what tastes good, but forget to eat what might be actually good for them and their bodies. They don’t seem to have that critical factor of dairy. Dairy is missing in their diet.

They might be eating cow and beef, but those are used sparingly. They eat shrimp, but there is little excess meat in their diet. The Vietnamese seem to traditionally like to eat out a lot, at the local Hole In the Wall, which are very cheap. That means that the food might not have the neccesary composition (vitamins & minerals) to give them to grow to their maximum potential. I mean, how nutritious can a Flying Bat or Snake be in terms of real nutrition?

So then, why is it that the Vietnamese are not consuming much dairy products? 

I don’t know. Maybe the forests of Vietnams have not been cleared out to make room for cows to graze in, unlike say the USA or Canada, which has a lot of available land. I don’t know what is the average native vietnamese person’s diet, and how much milk they were drinking when they were children who were still growing.

So some might ask me, does that mean that eating a lot of dairy like milk and cheese with higher than average calcium levels would make themselves taller? My previous research into this suggested that there is a positive correlation but the correlation is very weak. Even the 1-2 studies which support that positive correlation didn’t explicitly state out right that there was a positive correlation, but implied it.

Of course, I could , playing my own Devil’s Advocate, show that the Mongolians, who have no source of seafood, vegetables, or fruits, and live off of a diet of just meat (mainly sheep and goat) and dozens of derivatives of dairy products don’t seem to be shooting up like redwoods. I don’t hear about too many 7 foot tall Mongolians that are trying to get into the NBA.

Most people who analyze the factors which make up an individual’s height says that genetics has around a 60-80% effect on a person’s height. Traditionally, the idea proposed by geneticists is that if you are born to short parents or into what has been considered a short “ethnicity”, then there is nothing you can do about it especially in terms with changing one’s diet.

However, there has been multiple times in the last half decade where I have seen cultural trends which suggest that maybe diet and environment may play a much bigger role than believed.

I remember one time in a shopping center and two super tall females walked by me. Both of them were carrying 1 gallons of milk in each of their hands. When I commented them on their purchases of so much milk, one of the girls commented that where she is from, their diet strongly emphasizes dairy problems. I would found out after asking where she was from that she and the other girl were from an unknown city in Germany. Of course, I know from experience that not all full blooded German ethnic girls are above average in height or consume a lot of milk. It might have been just one unique case.

What I can’t write off is this phenomena seen in Denmark, the Netherlands and other Northern European nations where the standard of living is so good. We know from observation that it seems that “Asian” people are stereotupically shorter than say the “Average White American”. However, many sociologists point out that the difference in height is due to them being usually 1st generational immigrants. When these immigrants have children in their new country, with a better diet and healthcare system, the 2nd generational kids turn out to be much taller than them.

That is the phenomena seen in the Netherlands and Denmark, when babies are born of immigrant parents from say Turkey, Iraq, Egypt, Iran, etc end up MUCH taller than what was expected of them by their parents, who might be a little over 5 feet tall. The change in stature by just 1 single generation is staggering! . I don’t disagree that compared to the 100% in blood Ethnic Dutch, the Turkish Immigrants or say a Filipino immigrant might be much shorter on average. What happens almost always is that the immigrant’s kids turn out to be much taller. The height difference is reduced dramatically.

Sure, there is probably not going to be a way to test this out, with a set of identical twins, one raised in native Turkey or Iran, and the other twin living in Amsterdam, thus a control and the subject. However, I believe that most sociologist would agree with me that it SEEMS LIKE that if you grow up in a different country, your expected adult height changes, often by a lot, and even by a few standard deviations.

That would mean that one’s environment and most definitely the local food has a major influence on the kids’s development.

In fact, there is a phenomena seen in the East Asian community where immigrants who came to the Western countries (USA, Canada, Australia) later in life, say in their 20s almost could not get fat or overweight even if they wanted to and ate a lot, but their 2nd generation Asian Canadian (or Asian American) counterpart found themselves struggling with their weight their whole adult lives. At some point in the phase where the teenager turns into an adult, the body’s metabolism changes and the two groups of people who have the same ethnicity starts to diverge in their body shape, both in height and weight.

It seems like the diet that one eats when one is very young and in development dictates one’s adult metabolism level. I suspect that it has to do with the raising of the IGF-1 level in one’s system, and how well one’s body can produce and use insulin.

On average, I would say that above average in height adults in the USA are more likely to be overweight than average in height people and short people. That means that height and weight are positively correlated, pushing one’s BMI steadily higher over time, (since the factor of height is squared and divided over in the BMI Calculation)

What does this all mean?

It seems that the old stereotype of Asians being short may be explained much more by their traditional diet than previously believed. Based on this old World Health Organization report (Click Here for the PDF), it was shown that the growth pattern was almost exactly the same for all tribes and ethnic groups from around the world. That would suggest that if all ethnic tribes were places in the same environment with the same level of healthcare and had the same diet and eating habits, on average, they would have all the same adult height, accounting for the initial length and weight of the person when they were first born. (Multiple studies showed that people who are born big, grow to be bigger, since they start out initially with much more mass, aka many more chondrocytes which had condensated in their embryological development.)

Maybe the Vietnamese are shorter than average because of the lack of dairy products in their diet. I do believe that diet plays a much bigger role than I had thought a year ago. I did show once that eating the shells from a lot of Shellfish, or Shrimp, or Crayfish (Mini Lobsters), or any type of sea life based creature with a keratin/nail like exoskeleton might help in one’s growth pattern. It turns out that Glucosamine Sulphate, which was one of the biggest discoveries and posts on this website (Refer to that viral post here), is derived from the shells of shrimp and shellfish. Yes, technically Glucosamine Sulphate is a compound that is endogenously produced in the human body, but consuming it helps with making many joints in the body increase in thickness and volume, if ever so slightly.

If I was to say one thing about this point, it is that maybe a large factor for the differences in height in the various “races” and ethnic groups is due to their food choices, particularly the lack of dairy products when they were young.

LSJL Update 9-9-2014 Preliminary Measurements of Hand X-rays

Previously, I posted x-rays of my hands.   I loaded with LSJL clamping the three joints of the right index finger.  The two more distal joints I loaded laterally whereas the more proximal joint I loaded overhead ad the other fingers were in the way. I also loaded the two joints of the thumb.  Michael came to the conclusion that the proximal bone had grown but the two more distal bones had not.  My measurements support this conclusion and I’m going to talk about the ramifications of this as well.  If you can please look at the x-ray post and see if you can validate the measurements.

Previously, at times I was clamping twice a day.  I have since gone to once a day as that was not enough time for the soft tissues to recover and the second clamp tended to be effective.  It was nice having a second chance to clamp if I didn’t feel it was effective but the second daily clamp was always worse than the first.  I just try to make each clamp count and if I don’t feel the clamp is effective I start over.

To measure I used the GIMP software tool.  I used grid lines and made my own using the control key at the absolute top and bottom of each bone.   I used the control key to force a straight line.  Doing the lateral view was harder so there may be more measurement error there.

Even though measurements are in inches they are not representative of my actual hand as the x-ray images are not as big as my hand.
Overhead view:
Right distal phalanx-0.53in

Right middle phalanx 0.78in

Right proximal phalanx-1.36in

left distal phalanx-0.52 in

left middle phalanx-0.79 in

left proximal phalanx-1.34in

Lateral View

Right distal phalanx-0.67in

right middle phalanx-1.00in

right proximal phalanx-1.66in

Left distal phalanx-0.67in

left middle phalanx-1.00in

left proximal phalanx-1.61in

Since there is more measurement error with the lateral view.  We’ll rely only on the overhead view.  That’s an increase of 1.5% in finger length.  A commentator named Alex got a lot smaller percentage increase but was not available to follow up.  To give you an idea a 1.5% increase at 72 inches of height gives you an additional inch of height.    I believed that all three bones had grown.  But perhaps it was just the ganglion cysts giving the illusion of growth.


Right distal-0.67in

Right proximal-1.06in

Left distal-0.66in

Left proximal-1.10in

Again, only the proximal bone had grown(I loaded the left thumb with LSJL and the right was unloaded).

Why this could be.  Well:

One possibility is that the the joint at the proximal end of the proximal phalanx is more mobile.  For example try pulling your finger like so:

pulling your fingerYou can create quite a lot of separation in the joint.  Same with the wrist which is a part of my arms which have also grown(from about 72.5-74.4″).  I’m not sure what the cause is for the wingspan increase but the mobility of that wrist joint may be a key.

We need to learn more about the properties of these joints and what other joints of the body are of this type.  This is just a theory but it would explain why only the proximal joint has grown.

Update 17 – Cartilage Degeneration Disorders – September 1st, 2014

Update 17 – Cartilage Degeneration Disorders – September 1st, 2014

First Issue

In the last month or so I have found out that certain close friends and family members, who are still extremely young, have already started to suffer from severe articular cartilage degeneration. It seems that the phenomena of cartilage degeneration is a much, MUCH more prevalent medical condition than I would have thought.

That is why I am going to put much more focus, effort, and energy on also figuring out how to possibly repair articular cartilage damage than before. I am not saying that I am going to figure out the next best thing to treat osteo-arthritis or tissue inflammation but I understand that what I have been researching non-stop for the last 2 year can be very helpful in my own personal life, and to the people around me who I care about.

This desire to help people become taller and gain height even after skeletal maturity will always be there, with a focus on the scientific research. I also now understand that what I have uncovered can also be used to treat much more severe medical conditions.

If I have the chance to help someone out with a medical condition with the deep insight that I gained from thousands of hours of reading, then I would do that.

Second Issue

Most of the people who have regularly visited the website might have noticed that over time, it has slowly changed in form, and become more technical. Some of it might get harder to understand and read. That is something that I knew would happen. The level of medical understanding needs to improve over time (as well as the quality of writing).

With a much more sophisticated understanding of the overall human body, I would finally be able to understand the research that the world’s top experts are working on. If I can, I want to synthesize the results that they have found to discover something completely new.

A recent search on Google lead me to this question posed in the USMLE Step 1 Exam and it showed me that there is still much more I need to learn and understand before I can ever make a clear and logical argument on our theories before any professional orthopedic specialist.
Embryonic Chondrogenesis

It seems that my understanding of at least the process of Mesenchymal Stem Cell Condensation during embryogenesis to form the Chondrocytes is still lacking on how the protein signal pathways work.

I asked the question later whether the chemical compound Dibutyryl cAMP can be used as a way to get the MSCs in our own blood marrow to go directly into the chondrogenic lineage like they seem to do during the embryogenic process. It would turn out that I was wrong about this issue. Dibutyryl cAMP is a very unique compound which is only expressed/found in chondrocytes. It seems to be a type of chemical indicator used by researchers to check to make sure that what a cell differentiated into is indeed actually chondrocytes.

Do Shorter Men Or Taller Men Make Better Husbands?

Do Shorter Men Or Taller Men Make Better Husbands?

Shorter Men(Picture to the right is taken from here.)

This subject seems to have developed recently due to the fact that two article recently came out which referenced a study and they gave almost exactly the opposite, contradicting information and viewpoint.

The people at the reddit/r/short sub threads were upset that there didn’t seem to be a really clear answer. They referenced this problem Here. Well, it turns out the article “Short Men Make Better Boyfriends and Husbands” was WRONG. The writer of that article interpreted the discussion section incorrectly. The two articles which have gone viral seem to contradict their points, and one of them is indeed wrong.

Refer to the study available here. Note that it is not a hundred page Masters or Ph.D Thesis but just a 20 page working paper which is not fully finished.

Here is what the paper actually says, after I took a look at the discussion section. I will outline each point that the authors were trying to make, very clearly.

Point #1 – The qualities of short, average, and tall men’s spouses are not the same.

Point #2 – The taller men are more likely to mate with a women who finished high school than the shorter men. (Personally, this doesn’t say a lot). The author then takes this data and give her own interpretation of it, which she thinks means that the “better educated” females are willing to mate with the taller guys by sort of doing a type of value exchange. (Personally, I don’t think being able to graduate from high school should be considered “better educated”)

Point #3 – The the tallest men appear to be more likely to couple with older women, while shorter men most of the time couple with younger women. – (The author interprets this to suggest that a taller guy would look older relative to the shorter guy, so that older women thinks he is more to their age)

Point #4 – Since it was found that shorter men seem to couple with younger women more often than not, it causes and/or contributes to the fact that those relationships where there is a shorter guy, the relationship is more traditional, where the guy is the breadwinner.

As the author explains… ” This further underscores how height, and more generally men’s
attractiveness, affects other types of status exchange and indirectly contributes to the exchange of resources within a union

My Interpretation: It seems to mean that when the guy is lacking in height (which is a attribute most humans value) , he needs to use a another way to signify that he has value and he can give some type of value towards the relationship/union/coupling.

Point #5 – Shorter men are more likely to end up in relationships where they are shorter or at the same height as their partner (Duh!!! No shit sherlock). The relationships are rare, being only about 9% of the relationships.

Point #6 – By choosing a more traditional type of relationship where the man makes much more money than the women and does less housework, “…it allows short men to enact traditional gender ideals,  thereby performing their masculinity in the absence of expected anthropomorphic differences

Point #7 – Shorter men tend to be in more stable relationships than average and tall men.

Point #8 – Shorter men marry at lower rates and get married later in life (aka get into the relationship later than their taller counterparts)

Point #9 – The reason why shorter men get married later is because “ reflective of a selection process in which some women opt out of a marriage with short men before it begins” – (Aka they get rejected by women much more in the get go. It takes the shorter men much longer for them to find a women who accepts them as a suitable marriage partner.)


So is the taller or shorter men better husbands?

The shorter men do get married later in life, but the long term relationships (aka marriages) that they do get into are much more stable. That is because they seem to specifically look to get into relationships where they are the one who earns the main amount of money in the household, thus a sort of traditional type of relationship. However, that also means that taller men do more housework than shorter men. It might suggest that taller men don’t mind switching the roles, and take a more non-traditional role.

It just comes down to the word “better”. If a better husband is one who does more housework, then it would be the taller one. If being a better husband means taking a bigger role in making the money for the household, then it would be the shorter ones. What I am certain is that the shorter men probably more often than not put much more commitment, energy and effort into a relationship than the taller counterparts. Even if they are NOT as likely be willing to help out around the house as their taller counterparts, they are putting their energy into making money for the house.

The fact is that as long as you make enough money, you can afford to hire a maid & nanny to do all that house work for you. You just have to focus on making money for cash flow.

So it is just a sort of insecurity issue, where taller men don’t feel particularly insecure about their position in the relationship or being thought of as being too feminine for being willing to do more housework and take care of the kids?

I don’t know. However, That would definitely explain why in the Northern European aka Scandanavian countries like Sweden, Denmark, and Norway , which are very egalitarian, the men are now becoming more like stay-at-home-dads. That phenomena has been well documented and even shown on an episode of the TV Show Welcome to Sweden, which was talked about on the reddit/r/tall sub threads, which is quite interesting. 

So here is everything wrapped up…

Main Thesis: Relatively speaking, when comparing the overall percentages of couplings/relationships, the taller men actually do more housework at home than the shorter men, because shorter men tend to choose women who are younger than them (than the taller men) and look to get into the more traditional/non-egalitarian type of relationship, as a way to compensate for their lack of anthropometric value, which sort of suggests that the short guy’s way of expressing his masculinity is by being the breadwinner and giving financial value.

That is what the study actually says. It is NOT my personal thoughts, but the exact meaning of what the author says.


I don’t know for sure whether it is absolutely true that shorter men at some unconscious level is trying to compensate for their lack of value from body size by looking for women who are younger and want to get into that traditional relationship to maybe prove their masculinity by making more money relatively than the women.

The truth is that we could flip the entire thesis around and still be able to come with a half-assed reasonable explanation (aka justification and rationalization) why taller men get into more stable relationships and shorter men do more household work.

That PDF that someone else linked to is for the Sociology Department at NYU. Sociology maybe be categorized as a type of social science, but it is not true “hard” science, where everything is measured and there is a true logic to everything.

The social sciences (which I call the “soft” sciences) are looking at human behavior and how cultures behave, and as we all know, the study of human behavior is not an exact science. Humans are not completely logical computer programs or robots. We are irrational, and no economist or economical theory will ever be able to explain the dozens, maybe even hundreds of psychological factors, desires, needs, beliefs, and values that we have. Traditionally the entire study of economics was based on one fundamental principal, which is that humans will always act accordingly and rationally based on their individual selfish needs and desires. That was proven wrong, since sometimes we do things that go against that principle. We are irrational, and our actions can not be predicted 100% of the time, although some theories developed can predict what the majority of the people will do for the majority of the time.

We are a truly very complex species, with often contradictory emotions and thoughts going on in our heads. We will say one thing and do another thing. We can be the most kind of people but also turn into savages with a simple nudge.

(Side Thoughts: It is said that India is supposed to be the land of contradictions, but people also say that about China too. Then there are people who say that Japan is a land of contradictions. Others say that about Dubai of the UAE. So which country is not a country of contradictions? – When economists describe these two billion plus countries, both of the countries are described the same way, by saying that the nation is one of contradictions. They want to push towards the future and make progress and growth, but you also want to preserve the old traditions and values. If one writer says that “India is a land of contradictions” and another writer says that  “China is a land of contradictions” and another writer says that “Japan is a nation of contradictions“, and another says that “Dubai is a city of contradictions” then you realize that there is not going to be some simple and easy rule to label any group of people, especially the countries with over a billion people. We are all living in the gray area, where we can’t be defined through the prism of black and white, 1s and 0s.)

There is too much room for interpretation and re-interpretation, even when there is hard numbers and data analysis using trend lines and monte carlo statistical simulations. When we try to make our interpretation of data gathers from polls, surveys, anecdotal stories, individual personal experiences, unique references, etc. aka the entire gammit of human behavior, we often are not completely objective and throw our own biases into it.

For almost the exact same conclusion I just reached, refer to the Huffington Post article “New Study Reveals Interesting Link Between Men’s Height And Divorce