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Jealousy, Prejudice and Discrimination

Reading: Jealousy, Prejudice, and Short People

Short people tend to be more prone to feelings of inferiority and jealousy, a recent study concluded. The researchers polled more than 500 Dutch and Spanish of both sexes in an effort to determine which characteristics made people uneasy with romantic competitors. They discovered a number of universalities, realizing that men and women viewed money, strength, looks, and charm as threatening. However, feelings of unease and nervousness diminished the taller a person's stature. Jealousy was exacerbated in short people.

In terms of evolution, this makes sense, because women of at least medium height enjoy the best health, popularity, and fertility with men. What's more, taller men more often find success with women, while taller women are more dominant, or so the study said. Yet it's interesting to note that pangs of jealousy still occurred if the perceived rival 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 more quickly climb the rungs of power. In another study, a look at Fortune 500 companies revealed that 58% of the CEOs stood over six feet (169 centimeters), but only 14.5% of the US population was of the same height - a disproportionate number. What's more, taller people received better pay packets than their shorter counterparts, as an inch of height added more than $750 to a person's salary each year. Compounded over a person's lifetime, this 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.

Questions for discussion:

  1. Do you agree or disagree? Why?
    • Tall people are more successful.
    • Short people are more jealous.
    • Tall women generally aren't attracted to short men.
    • Men generally aren't attracted to tall women.
    • I'm a jealous person.
  2. If the researchers interviewed people from your country, would the results be the same? Why/not?
  3. What makes you feel inferior? Why?
  4. Do you have any prejudices towards short people? Please explain.
  5. Do you have any prejudices? Please explain.
  6. Why do we treat people differently?
  7. What are some forms of discrimination?
  8. Is discriminating against a certain group of people ever justified? (e.g. pedophiles)
  9. Have you ever felt discriminated against (bacause of your sex, educational level, smth.else)? If so, when did it happen?
  10. Do you think males and females are equal?
    • Why do men earn more than women? 
    • Are women better or worse managers than men?
    • Would you work for a woman?
    • Would you vote for a woman?
  11. Would you let your child marry a person with a different skin color? With a different religion?
  12. How do people fight discrimination? What could you do to reduce discrimination?
  13. Do you know anybody who has fought for equal rights?
  14. Do you think stereotypes and preconceived ideas are useful or unhelpful?

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