We are all curious about the average penis size. How do penis size studies measure your penis, and does it make a difference? A recent study thoroughly examined the three primary methods to measure your penis in size studies. What were the various penis measurement methods, and what were the results obtained regarding penis size?
Indeed, the different methods of penis size studies yield different average sizes. Notably, self-reported measurements show the most significant differences, while professional erect and stretched penis measurements show closer results at an average penis length of 5.1-5.5 inches.
Table of Contents
How do penis size studies measure your penis?
You would think that it would be easy to figure out the average size of a penis. Just grab a notepad, calculator, a ruler and go measure some penises. Well, it turns out it is much more difficult. It turns out that the results vary greatly depending on which penis size study method you use to measure your penis.
The paper that takes a real in-depth look at the different penis size methods is Bruce M. King’s (2021) Average-Size Erect Penis: Fiction, Fact, and the Need for Counseling, Journal of Sex & Marital Therapy. This article addressed the difference in the methods and results between the penis size study methods.
Why is it that some penis size studies show an average penis size of 6.46 inches while others show an average penis size of only 5.01 inches? This 1.45-inch variance is huge with one being almost 30% longer than the other.
If we were talking heights, it would be like one study saying the average guy is 5′ tall and another study saying that the average guy is 6’6″. So why is there such a huge difference?
Well, this paper basically determined that the big reason for the wide variance in results was the method of the penis size study.
So let’s take a look at the three major methods of penis size studies. These methods are self-reported penis size studies, professionally measured erect penis size studies, and professionally measured stretched penis size studies.
The Self-Reported Penis Size Study Method Conundrum
The common perception among men is that the typical size of an erect penis exceeds 6 inches (15.24 cm). The problem with this perception is that it apparently isn’t true.
This perception is influenced by numerous frequently referenced studies that utilized self-reported penis size study measurements, indicating an average of approximately 6.2 inches (15.75 cm) for heterosexual men and even larger measurements for gay men.
The myth of the 6-inch average erect penis length began its journey with studies like Kinsey and colleagues (1948) work which found the average erect penis to be 6.21 inches (source). But here’s the rub – self-reports might not be as reliable as we think.
We’re talking about low test-retest reliability, potential volunteer bias, and the social desirability factor. Translation: guys might be overestimating the size of their joystick to fit societal expectations.
I know that it may be a shocker but there are all kinds of factors that may lead to the results in a self-reported penis size study being skewed to the larger size.
First of all, men with larger penises are more inclined to want to partake in the study. When you have a big one, you don’t mind talking about it and sharing your size. If you have a smaller one, you are less inclined to measure your penis and share the results in a penis size study.
Another huge factor is that men will lie about their penis size even when participating in a study. Men have a tendency to want to be on the larger end of what they perceive to be the norm.
This attitude leads men that already overestimate penis size due to other self-reported studies and the prevalence of the larger penis in porn to embellish even more to make themselves fall into the upper range of penis size.
Getting Real: Researchers’ Erect Penis Size Study Measurements
Now, let’s turn our gaze to studies where researchers rolled up their sleeves and got hands-on, measuring erect penises directly. This is where things start to make sense. Combining the results from eight such studies reveals a mean erect penis length of 5.42 inches (13.76 cm) for 1,020 men.
But hold your horses, we’re not done yet. If we exclude studies with volunteer bias, the overall combined mean erect penis length for 1,629 men is a cool 5.36 inches (13.62 cm).
By excluding volunteer bias we mean eliminating the penis size studies where men may be more prone to volunteer because they felt secure about their penis size which tends to exclude some with a penis that may bring the average down a little bit.
So, what’s the takeaway here? When the experts took the wheel, the numbers became a bit more, let’s say, grounded.
We would think that these penis size studies that rely on professional measurements of erect penises would be the most accurate model. I would recommend that when you measure your penis you use this method.
Stretched but Not Distorted: Professional Stretched Penis Size Study Measurements
Researchers also took a shot at the stretched measuring flaccid penises in 22 studies. While it might not be the most accurate method for erect size, it does help eliminate the social desirability bias.
Now, brace yourselves for this: the combined mean stretched length for 13,719 men is 5.11 inches (12.98 cm). So, even when we stretch things out a bit, we’re still not hitting the mythical 6 inches and beyond.
This method still has problems as you run into the issues of how hard should you pull on the penis in order to obtain your stretched measurement. How would you get the same stretch on every measurement and the degree of the pull could make a huge difference in your penis size study results.
The results of this method of penis size studies gave results that were fairly similar to the professional erect penis size study measurements. The variance was only about 5% which was a lot closer than the self-reported penis size measurements variation.
So even with this issue, this penis size study method does give one a good rough approximation of penis size without having to induce an erection. This makes it a good method for professional measurement but just not so good for fun or a party trick.
Why Size Matters, or Does It?
First off, it’s crucial to understand why the size of the penis matters to so many men. Studies, like the one by Johnston, McLellan, and McKinlay (2014), spill the beans that a good chunk of guys out there is dealing with some serious concerns about their penises.
Where does this anxiety come from? Well, society, my friends, has given us this idea that a bigger member equates to being a sex god and a pinnacle of masculinity (Morrison et al., 2005; Tiggemann et al., 2008; Wylie & Eardley, 2007). No wonder 45–68.3% of men wish for a bigger package (Lever et al., 2006; Tiggemann et al., 2008;).
But our obsession with penis size goes back even further than that. In our article, The Ancient Obsession with Penis Size: A Timeless Fascination, we detail how this obsession with penis size goes back to the days of humans drawing on the walls of caves 8,000 years ago.
And maybe there is some good reason for the concerns of men about their penis size. In our article, The Real Truth About Penis Size, we detail a 2015 study from the University of California and the University of New Mexico that shows that women desire a penis that is between 36% and 53% larger than the average penis.
So even though the popular line is that size doesn’t matter, it is very likely that indeed size does matter to many women.
How to measure your penis directions
For something that should be really easy to do, there seems to be a lot of confusion about how to measure your penis. The proper way is to measure along the top of the penis from the base (pressed up against your pubic bone to the tip of the penis.
Do not measure along the side, do not measure from the anus or the base of the scrotum. Measure along the top only.
This is the only way to measure and get an accurate measurement. Anything else will just give you a false number. Anyone can cheat a little to get an extra inch or more but if you really want to measure your penis and see how you stack up to the penis size study result then this is the way.
Is there anything that can be done about penis size?
So, once you understand how to measure your penis and the methods of penis size studies is there anything that you can do about your penis size?
First of all, there is no easy fix to increasing your penis size. There are no magic pills or devices that will increase your penis size in a matter of days. But there are a few things that you can do will actually increase your penis size.
There are surgical methods that you can try but even this is not as easy as you might think. There is pain and downtime to think about, along with the fact that there is some work that you will need to do in order to gain a critical inch or so down there. I have tried the surgical route and you can read about my results at: My Penile Suspensory Ligament Release Surgery: Results and Pictures
For non-surgical methods, the only proven way to improve penis size over time is through the use of penis traction devices. This is not a quick or easy way to do this (that method has yet to be invented). This is a method that can take months to gain that critical inch but it does work.
To see the studies that show how penis traction devices work along with the studies behind them be sure to check out: Do Penis Traction Devices Work? My Incredible Results
Conclusion: Keeping It Real
It’s time to separate fact from fiction and embrace the reality of penis size. Those studies relying on self-reports? They might have some serious flaws like volunteer bias and social desirability messing with the numbers. The estimated average erect penis length, according to studies with more reliable methodologies, is likely between 5.1 and 5.5 inches (12.95 to 13.97 cm).