Scientists are hard at work measuring boners in the lab, so we might as well take a peek at the research.
Scientists just released a HUGE review all about penis measurements, because they knew you were curious.
A brand-new study published in the journal BJU International combined all the penis-measuring data from 20 different studies, all of which had to meet a strict set of criteria to be included. The goal was to create a formal review of average penis sizes across all races and ages. Here’s what they found:
1. A LOT of penis-size studies exist! But not all made the cut.
The researchers were super specific about which ones they included in this review. They only used studies where penis size was measured by a health professional, because…people lie.
They also included only studies that had at least 50 participants who were all at least 17 years old. To be consistent, they looked only at studies where flaccid and erect penis length was measured from the root to the tip (apparently there are other ways of measuring?) and penis circumference (girth) was measured at base or mid-shaft. And only studies published in the English language were included.
Studies were nixed if any participants could have had any congenital or acquired penis abnormality, erectile dysfunction, or if they were specifically seeking penis enlargement.
Here’s what the researchers found out about penis LENGTH:
2. The average erect penis is 5.17 inches long.
3. The average flaccid penis is 3.61 inches long.
4. The average stretched, flaccid penis is 5.21 inches long.
And here’s what they learned about penis GIRTH:
5. The average girth of an erect penis is 4.59 inches.
6. The average girth of a flaccid penis is 3.67 inches.
And here are some other boner-study-related things you might find interesting:
7. A person’s height ~might~ be related to their penis size.
Of all the correlations the researchers looked at, the strongest and most consistent was between height and erect length or flaccid, stretched length. This means there could be an association between height and penis size, but it’s not a guarantee.
8. Big feet did NOT equal big dong. And neither did anything else, really.
Many of the studies looked at characteristics like BMI, foot size, index finger length, and testicle size as they related to penis length. But, alas, nothing really held up across the review. Looks like the only way to know someone’s size is, well, looking at it.
9. There’s a scientific way to measure boners in a lab.
The study authors recommend using a disposable tape measure to record the length after the participant has either self-stimulated while watching porn or has gotten a prostaglandin injection. No helping hands involved.
10. Measuring a stretched, flaccid penis is also a thing that scientists do.
Really. Apparently, this is one of the typical ways to measure penises, and it’s done by maximally extending a flaccid penis from the root to the tip. The authors write, “In the flaccid state, a stretched measurement can be recorded, by grasping the glans and exerting a stretching force until a participant feels mild discomfort to obtain maximum stretch.” Oof.
11. And stretched, flaccid penises are about the same size as erect penises.
According to the study, stretched length was a good predictor of erect length. BUT, they also note that using enough pressure when stretching is crucial, and one study found that urologists doing this measurement often don’t use enough force. Which is probably a good thing for the penises, but a bad thing for scientific reliability.
12. According to this data, a micropenis is one that is smaller than 2.05 inches flaccid and 3.35 inches stretched.
That’s because a micropenis is defined as being less than 2.5 standard deviations from the mean.
13. Race is probably not a factor when it comes to the size of your penis.
The study authors could NOT find any evidence of racial differences in terms of penis size.
That said, they do mention that future research should include larger sample sizes, consistent measures, and accurate reporting of race to really make a definitive statement.
14. Lots of things can affect penis length, which makes studying this way harder than it should be.
The authors note that there are obviously some limitations to their review, including any random variables in the studies they included. Even though they looked only at studies that measured the same way, things like temperature, arousal, and recent ejaculation could impact measurements.
15. Unfortunately, this still isn’t the be-all and end-all of penis length studies.
Penis-length research: not exactly nationally representative. At all. It’s possible that the people who chose to participate in these experiments were already fairly confident with their size, for instance. On the flip side, it could also be the case that some of the younger participants hadn’t reached their full potential yet when they were measured. And because there wasn’t an equal distribution of participants from all cultures, further research still needs to be done.
16. And if you’re unhappy with your size, there may be ways to make it bigger — without going under the knife.
Factors like weight, high blood pressure, increased cholesterol, diabetes, and cardiovascular disease can all affect the length and strength of your boner. Find out more about how to make your penis look and feel bigger here.
THAT BEING SAID, penis size is just one aesthetic measurement, and it certainly shouldn’t be the most important factor in your body image or relationship. Sexual satisfaction and compatibility is possible at any size, so don’t get so hung up on these stats. Your penis is fine. Really.