27/08/2015 06:48 BST | Updated 27/08/2015 06:59 BST

Small Man Syndrome: Scientists Say Small Men More Likely To Resort To Violence

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Depressed man in angry mood. Image taken in studio with medium format Hasselblad H5D 50C and developed from RAW.

Small man syndrome, also dubbed The Napoleon Complex, is a real issue according to researchers from the US.

A study has shown that men who feel less masculine are nearly three times more likely to commit acts of violence compared with those who are comfortable in their own skin.

Scientists at the Centres for Disease Control in Atlanta, Georgia, surveyed 600 men aged 18-50 about their perceptions of male gender, self-image, and asked whether they took drugs, or had committed acts of violence and crime.

They discovered that men who suffered from "male discrepancy stress", where they feel less masculine than others, are more likely to be violent.


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Researchers said: "These data suggest that efforts to reduce men’s risk of behaviour likely to result in injury should, in part, focus on the means by which masculine socialisation and acceptance of gender norms may induce distress in boys and men."

The research was published in the journal Injury Prevention.

It's not the first time scientists have delved into why shorter people might experience more negative feelings.

In 2014, researchers from Oxford University discovered that shorter people were more likely to be paranoid, distrustful and scared of others - their work was published in the journal Psychiatry Research.

Using virtual reality technology, scientists reduced the height of participants by 10" and put them on a computer simulated train.

The findings from the study showed that being shorter increased negative feelings and people were more likely to feel incompetent or inferior, while increasing feelings of mistrust and fear.

Volunteers who had had their height reduced also believed other people in the train carriage were staring deliberately or thinking badly of them.