I think so, particularly with 2-3/4" shells. I'm under 5'9", fairly weak due to a damaged hip/leg problem that's ruined my balance and ability to withstand (and remain accurate through) rough recoil, particularly extended sessions.
I've got a Remington 870 short-bbl (14") 12ga, running 2-3/4" #1 Buck loads. It's far, far easier to manage for me as compared to, say, 3" #00 Buck. And yet, it still sends a fairly heavy cloud of pellets to the target. You'll need to decide for yourselves whether a defensive shotgun should be loaded so lightly, but based on some reviews I have read and performance I've seen in certain materials, I don't doubt the capability of 2-3/4" #1 Buck. YMMV.
Link to range report of my Rem 870 SBS 12ga: click.