The mean height in America is about 5' 9½" for men and 5' 4½" for women. Our genetic programming aims us at a point on the bell curve, and other factors create error or variability to either side of that prediction. Dad is 6' tall? Well he's close to the 90th percentile for adult men, meaning he's taller than about 90 percent of the population. A mere 2½ inches on either side of average encompasses 80 percent of the American adult male population. It is interesting how homogeneous we all are, when you think about it. Click here to visit the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) growth curve charts.
What Parents Can Do
To calculate your son's genetic potential, take Mom's height plus 5 inches and add Dad's height. Now average the two. For example, if Dad is 5' 10" and Mom is 5' 3" you would take 5' 10" and 5' 3" plus 5" (or 5' 8") and divide that answer by two. The average of 5' 10" and 5' 8" is 5' 9". That is your son's genetic potential.
- (Mom's height + 5 inches) + Dad's height = Son's genetic growth potential
- (Dad's height - 5 inches) + Mom's height = Daughter's genetic growth potential