Paying attention to men’s issues, it seems like I learn something new every day:
There are very few things that fill me with blind, foaming-at-the-mouth, let’s-burn-some-cars, hey-did-you-bring-the-kerosene, no-I-left-it-in-my-other-pants rage. At the very top of this short list is the depressing and indeed pathetic lack of solidarity among short men. The real problem facing short men is not that we are often looked down upon by the rest of society. The real problem is that short men routinely sell out other short men.
Most of you know that short people have it rough in a society like ours. In affluent countries, tall people live longer than short people. Tall people also earn more than short people, and they tend to have more prestigious jobs. Why might this be the case? About a decade ago, Nicola Persico, Andrew Postlethwaite, and Dan Silverman offered a provocative hypothesis: What really shapes adult earnings is not one’s current height, but rather height in one’s teenage years. They found that controlling for height in one’s teen years essentially wipes out the effect of adult height on earnings for white men. This suggests that it is not so much discrimination that is holding short people back, rather it is the way our adolescent experiences shape our life trajectories. For example, being tall as a teenager could make you more socially confident, which in turn will translate into making you more likely to pursue educational opportunities that will redound to your benefit later in life.
First of all, I had no idea that height could have such a pronounced effect on a man’s earnings. But I also didn’t know that they “sell each other out”. In fact, the first paragraph almost read like a parody article. While being short can be considered a detriment to men, is it really that big of a deal? I wonder.
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