Effect of Self-reported Height on Occupational Rank Among Police Officers: Especially for Women it Pays to be Tall


This study among 725 male and 247 female police officers from The Netherlands examined the association between self-reported height and occupational rank from the perspective of sexual selection. Male and female police officers were taller than the average population. A larger percentage of women than of men was found in the lowest ranks, but in the leadership positions, there was a similar percentage of women as of men. Overall, but especially among women, height was linearly associated with occupational rank: the taller one was, the higher one’s rank. These effects were independent of educational level and age. The implications for evolutionary theorizing from the perspective of sexual selection on the effect of tallness on status and dominance among women are discussed.

Evolutionary Psychological Science