For women looking to pass on their genes, it pays to be short. For men, tall is the ideal. The result? An evolutionary tug-of-war in which neither gender reaches their perfect height.

Those are the results of a new study published Aug. 7 in the journal Biology Letters. The research finds that an evolutionary battle of the sexes keeps the genders in an endless feedback loop of height variations across the generations.

“We should not simply assume that when a trait is beneficial for one sex, that selection or evolution will necessarily favor this trait,” study researcher Gert Stulp, a scientist at the University of Groningen in the Netherlands, told LiveScience in an email.

Read more at NBC News.

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