Study: How long is the average penis?

Chuck Bednar for – @BednarChuck

Since the dawn of time, the question has been in the back of every male member of the species’ mind: how does the size of my penis compare to everyone else? Now science has finally given us the answer, in the form of a new study published Tuesday in the journal BJU International.

In the study, Dr. David Veale, of King’s College London and his colleagues analyzed 17 studies that looked at size measurements of the reproductive organs of over 15,000 men, and compiled a handy size chart that lets guys precisely know how close their penises are to normal-sized.

The results are in…

According to CBC News, the average measurements were:

  • Flaccid length: 3.61 inches (9.16 centimeters)
  • Flaccid stretched length: 5.21 inches (13.24 centimeters)
  • Erect length: 5.17 inches (13.12 centimeters)
  • Flaccid girth or circumference: 3.67 inches (9.31 centimeters)
  • Erect circumference: 4.59 inches (11.66 centimeters)

Furthermore, as Science reports, “a graph of the size distribution shows that outliers are rare. A 16-cm (6.3-inch) erect penis falls into the 95th percentile: Out of 100 men, only five would have a penis larger than 16 cm. Conversely, an erect penis measuring 10 cm (3.94 inches) falls into the 5th percentile: Only five out of 100 men would have a penis smaller than 10 cm.”

penile length averages

Credit: BJU International

And the graph for girth:

penile girth averages

Credit: BJU International

For the benefit of all mankind

Unlike previous research in the field, the new study was not reliant upon self-reporting. As Dr. Veale explained, guys have a bad tendency to “overestimate themselves.” Instead, he and his co-authors looked solely at data compiled by doctors and other medical personnel, all of whom used a standardized measuring procedures.

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Dr. Veale believed that the findings will help doctors reassure most guys that the size of their penis is in the normal range. For those with small penis anxiety, which the doctor calls “a hidden problem,” education and counseling may be useful. Similarly, guys who are preoccupied with or severely distressed by the size or shape of their member may have body dysmorphic disorder.

A quick guide on how to measure

Before you break out the ruler to see how you measure up, the researchers emphasize that it is important to follow the same measurement procedures used in the study. All measurements need to begin from the public bone and end at the tip of the glans (the sensitive bulbous structure at the end of the penis).

Any fat covering the pubic bone was compressed before the measurements were made, and any additional length resulting from the foreskin was not included. The circumference was measured at the base of the penis or around the middle of the shaft, as both areas were declared to be equal to one another, the study authors said.

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According to Science, the researchers found “no strong evidence to link penis size to other physical features such as height, body mass index, or even shoe size… Likewise, the study found no significant correlation between genital dimensions and race or ethnicity, although Veale points out that their study was not designed to probe such associations, because much of the data used were from studies of Caucasian men.”


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