Love & Sex

Why Penis Size Studies Are All Worthless

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Big, small, veiny, curvy: your dick is just that. Yours. 

In junior high we heard "guys like big tits" and "girls like big dicks." Being naive, we operated under that assumption for a while until we actually had sex and realized: some guys/girls like big tits, and some guys/girls like big dicks, but mostly people just like tits and dicks. In her piece for The Week, journalist Emily Shire takes a crack at the recent "study" of penis size by state, and debunks the myths behind dick-size hysteria. 

Online condom store, Condomania, made news recently for it's scientifically questionable study ranking states by penis-size, based on which states bought larger condoms on average from their outlet. As Shire notes, this was statistically irrelevant, assuming that the subset of men who buy condoms online was representative of each state as a whole, and "men could be ordering condoms in the wrong size, either mistakenly or purposefully." The Condomania story is just one of a trend of penis-size studies in recent history including one that claimed the average American male penis was 5.6 inches when erect and a recent Australian study that attempted to prove that women were more attracted to men with larger penises, giving generously endowed men an evolutionary advantage.

So, what's with the media's obsession with dick size? Tara Culp-Ressler at ThinkProgress writes, "Under the guise of being backed by scientific authority, news outlets will often tout studies’ results — or sometimes, selectively highlight certain results — to reinforce gender-based stereotypes." Shire explains that "all this penis-gazing reflects a pretty obvious male insecurity that many media outlets are more than happy to exploit. As Kristine Guttierez at Jezebel notes, men do not "not openly talk about their penises the way women try to encourage each other to embrace their breast size. That men are more hesitant to openly discuss their sizes with each other probably only fuels the insecurity."

Anyone with the faintest understanding of human sexuality can agree that making sweeping statements about a gender's preference in dick size is simplistic and reductive, and making men feel insecure about their bodies is harmful and definitely not sexy. And all of these studies, blasted out with so many click-baity headlines, are often as about scientific as predicting the weather with the ache in your knee from an old football injury. No matter how many a man reads its not going to help him gain an inch. Nothing will. (Well, there are some procedures, but they are nasty.) So let's worry a little bit less about what "science" tells us about penises and a little more about loving the ones closest to you.

Image via Veer