I know that you have been waiting for this post for a good 2 years. Men are constantly reminded that women think that size matters, which plays beautifully into their fear of inadequacy. Well, here is the real skinny on size.
A Study of Penile Length
My colleagues at UCSF performed a nice study to address this issue about 15 years ago. They were seeing many patients who had disastrous surgical attempts at penile “augmentation” or enlargement and felt the need to define what was “normal” to give some frame of reference to the issue.
The study examined penile length, both flaccid and erect, in 80 adult men of different ages and ethnicities. The authors were careful to account for the thickness of the pubic fat pad above the penis that can often “bury” the base of the penis as men age or gain weight. They measured the top of the penis from the skin where the penis joins the body, down to the tip of the penis (urethra).
Putting a little science behind the sex was quite revealing. The average length of a flaccid (limp) penis was a little less than 3.5 inches (8.8 cm). Likewise, the average length of an erect penis was 5 inches (12.9 cm). Notably, they found that the length of the flaccid penis did not accurately predict the length of the penis when erect. In fact, in many cases, smaller flaccid penises tended to increase much more in size with erection than longer ones. Lastly, they defined a short penis as that having a flaccid length of <1.6 inches (4 cm) and an erect length of <2.9 inches (7.5 cm). Interestingly, the authors also observed that “the anxiety regarding phallic size ha[d] little relationship to true penile length.”
So, go ahead, grab a tape measure and assess your own trouser trout. I’d bet you 100 to 1 that you fall into the normal range. And, if you can hang a towel off of it or use it as a kickstand while sleeping on your side, more power to you.
Six More Truths About the Male Member
- In humans, most penis growth occurs between infancy and age 5 years, and again 5 years after puberty starts.
- Assuming puberty is complete, age does not correlate with penis size.
- The human penis is both longer and thicker than that of any other primate relative to the size of the rest of the body.
- There is no demonstrated relationship between penis size and race or ethnicity.
- Flaccid penis length is a poor estimate of erect length.
- Many men who believe that their penis is of inadequate size actually have average-sized penises.
It is my hope that through this little biology lesson, I help put things into perspective here. My advice: stop worrying about the size of your bat and focus on the way you swing it.