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The Truth About Penis Size

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Paul Turek, MD, FACS - Blogs
By Paul Turek, MD, FACSBoard-certified urologistOctober 29, 2018
From the WebMD Archives

I take care of men for a living, and easily the most common question I’m asked is: “While you’re down there, Doc, can you tell me if I’m…you know…normal?” (from a hot potato standpoint, I Iiken this question to when my wife asks me how she looks in a dress)

Penis Myths

There is plenty of myth and misunderstanding when it comes to penis size. But there’s also research. And what the science suggests is that most men are in the “normal” penis size range, with an average flaccid (limp) penis length of about 3.5 inches and erect length of 5 inches. Not only that, most men feel just fine about their penis size, as 88% rate their size as average or large. So, my friend, there’s a good chance that your penis is, well…normal.

What about the folk belief that penis size is linked to hand or foot size, or related to race, height or weight? In actual fact, the only one of these myths that has even the slightest bit of truth is the correlation is between penis size and a man’s height, but the correlation is weak.

Flaccid vs. Erect

The science also tells us that the length of the flaccid penis does not accurately predict the length of the penis when erect. One study found that, on average, there is a 47% increase in penis length from the limp to erect, with smaller flaccid penises tending to increase much more in size with erection than longer ones (probably nature’s way of bringing a little equality to the world of penises).

We probably know about as much about the genetics of penis size as we do about tongue size. In other words, very little. There are probably genetic determinants to penis size and shape, which are then altered by hormonal responsiveness early in life when growth spurts occur.

Does Size Matter?

Does greater penis size mean greater sexual satisfaction (and vice versa)? Maybe, but it’s far more likely that skill matters more. In fact if you ask women what makes penises attractive, the answer might surprise you. In an incredible but true study, women were asked to judge the attractiveness of men with varying penis sizes and different male body shapes. Not surprisingly, penis size mattered…but only in the setting of other sexy features, including shoulder-to-hip ratios and height. Diving even deeper, penis size mattered less to attractiveness when its length was at least 3 inches (remember, average in US men is 3.5 inches). These findings agree with other studies that showed that 85% of women were entirely satisfied with their partner’s penis size.

So, if you’ve been concerned about your size, you can relax: Size really isn’t everything. As I jokingly tell my patients, if size were all that mattered, then dinosaurs would still be alive.

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About the Author
Paul Turek, MD, FACS

Paul Turek, MD, FACS, is founder of The Turek Clinics, providing state of the art medical treatment to men worldwide. Yale- and Stanford-trained, Dr. Turek has pioneered male fertility techniques including testicular mapping and sperm retrieval and has popularized the no-scalpel vasectomy. To read more from Dr. Turek, visit his award-winning blog.

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