Penis size: the long and the short of it
Scientists have determined the average size of the male member by surveying a raft of existing studies. Check the charts to see where you (or your man) rank
If you’re hung up on penis size, here’s the long and short of it: 13.1cm, or 5.2 inches. That’s the average length of an erect penis, according to a new study by researchers at King’s College London. (Imagine an iPhone 5s and add about a centimetre more to the length.)
For a flaccid penis, the average length was 9.2 cm, and 13.2cm when stretched. The average flaccid circumference was 9.31 cm, and the average erect circumference was 11.66 cm, according to the study report uploaded on research paper sharing website www.academica.edu by Dr David Veale from the College’s Institute of Psychiatry.
The figures were calculated based on a review of existing medical literature that had penis size measurements done by health professionals through a standard procedure. After a comprehensive search of research databases, a total of 17 studies involving up to 15,521 men aged 17 years and older were selected to be analysed by Veale and colleagues.
“The measurement of penis size may be important either in the assessment of men complaining of a small penis size or for academic interest,” write the researchers in their study report, which will be published online in the journal BJU International on March 3.
“Men may present to urologists or sexual medicine clinics with a concern with their penis size, despite their size falling within a normal range. This type of concern is commonly known as small penis anxiety or ‘small penis syndrome’. Some men who are preoccupied and severely distressed with the size of their penis may also be diagnosed with Body Dysmorphic Disorder, where the preoccupation, excessive self-consciousness and distress is focused on their penis size or shape.”
Based on the collected data, the researchers created two graphs – one for length and one for girth – that plot the measurements of penis size on a curve. They say these graphs may be helpful clinically to show the “normal” range for penis size, and may also be useful in research to determine the discrepancy between a man’s perceived position on the graph compared to his actual position.
For Asian men wondering how they stack up against their global counterparts, unfortunately the researchers say no conclusions can be drawn from their study on any differences in penile size across different cultures. That said, the greatest proportion of participants in the study were Caucasian and Middle Eastern men.
The researchers also note that while there were more than 10,700 flaccid measurements included in the study, there were only four studies (or a total of 692 men) that measured erect length and only two studies (231 total men) that measured erect circumference. More research would be needed to arrive at more accurate findings.
Further, the researchers say that other variables during measurements could affect penile dimensions. This includes temperature, level of arousal and previous ejaculation.
In their closing statements, the researchers note a 2006 study by the University of California, Los Angeles, on whether penis size matters. Through a large internet survey of more than 52,000 heterosexual men and women, the UCLA researchers found that while 85 per cent of women were satisfied with their partner’s penis size, only 55 per cent of the men were satisfied with their own penis size.
So guys, at the end of the day, perhaps it’s best not to get too hung up over your package. As they say, it’s not the size of the ship but the motion in the ocean that counts.
Veale is also a consultant psychiatrist In Cognitive Behaviour Therapy at the South London and Maudsley NHS Trust. The independent study was partly funded by the National Institute for Health Research Biomedical Research Centre at South London and Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust and King’s College London.