Submit your own Neatorama post and vote for others' posts to earn NeatoPoints that you can redeem for T-shirts, hoodies and more over at the NeatoShop!

Is Shortness a Disability?

Kyle Munkittrick encountered a story of a family who was encouraged to give their son growth hormones so that he would grow taller than the predicted 5' 5", which is just slightly taller than his parents. One parent thinks that may be a good idea; the other is appalled at the idea of treating a child for a normal condition.
Crack open any text on bioethics and I can almost guarantee that the “is shortness a disability” example will be somewhere among the pages. Shortness (and deafness, which The Dish is also exploring at the moment) sits right in the blurry space among disability, disease, and normal. How short is “too short?” Why is 5’2? too short for a man, but not a woman? The answer is pretty much: because we think it is. Human height does fall along a bell curve, but it varies around the world and throughout history. Yet, at some point, being short goes from a relative and descriptive term (e.g. I am shorter than Yao Ming) to a normative one implying a disability.

Growing taller than you would normally can have its advantages, but its all relative to the height of others around you. What would you do in this situation? Munkittrick looks at how we define "disability" at Science Not Fiction. Link

I'd imagine a disability is something that prevents you from functioning normally. So what are you unable to do if you're 5'5? Reaching the top shelf in the supermarket? I don't think that qualifies...
Abusive comment hidden. (Show it anyway.)
I'm 5'3" and always considered myself average. The linked article talks about how more height on a man helps him get the promotion or the girl... but those things are not just "functioning normally", they are competitions, in which someone else will lose out if you gain an edge.
Abusive comment hidden. (Show it anyway.)
@ Miss Cellania:

That's true..
But then again, being black or a woman also reduce your chances of getting a promotion, and I don't think we should call either of those disabilities ;)
Abusive comment hidden. (Show it anyway.)
Ask the women who date the men with the short fingers if shortness is a "disability".

-tee hee
Abusive comment hidden. (Show it anyway.)
Login to comment.
Click here to access all of this post's 8 comments

Email This Post to a Friend
"Is Shortness a Disability?"

Separate multiple emails with a comma. Limit 5.


Success! Your email has been sent!

close window

This website uses cookies.

This website uses cookies to improve user experience. By using this website you consent to all cookies in accordance with our Privacy Policy.

I agree
Learn More