UK researchers Kevan Wylie and Ian Eardley have combed through sixty years of penis-related research and found that small penis syndrome affects an unusually high number of men - even if their size is average.
Writing about their findings in BJU International, the researchers noted that while men often have better sexual confidence if they have a large penis, the women interviewed in the studies didn't necessarily feel that bigger is better; rather, they cited good looks and personality as the main factors that make a man attractive.
The findings - culled from more than 50 international research projects into penile size and small penis syndrome - show that the average erect penis ranges from 5.5 to 6.2 inches in length and 4.7 to 5.1 inches in girth.
Interestingly, the findings showed that while 85 percent of women were satisfied with their partner's penile size, only 55 percent of the men were satisfied.
With size concerns being so widespread amongst men, Wylie and Eardley believe it is important to normalize the situation and provide as much accurate information as possible; "as many men either lack information or have been misinformed," say the researchers.
"It is very common for men to worry about the size of their penis and it is important that these concerns aren't dismissed as this can heighten concerns and anxieties," noted Wylie. "This extensive review aims to provide clinicians with an overarching summary of the many research projects that have been carried out into penile size and small penis syndrome."
Other findings from the review include:
- Generally, penile size was not an important factor for women and 90 percent of women said they preferred a wide penis to a long one.
- Somewhat paradoxically, small penis syndrome is much more common in men with normal sized penises than those with a micropenis.
- The majority of men with penis size concerns say that their anxieties started with childhood comparisons, while 37 percent blamed erotic images viewed in their teenage years.
- Race was not found to be a factor in penis size although the researchers did note that a Korean study appeared to under-report Korean men's size.
- Enlargement methods were problematic to analyze due to a lack of clinical studies, but the researchers said that patients may experience psychological benefits from them. They also noted that the results of augmentation surgery are poorly documented and significant complications can ensue.
The researchers conclude by suggesting that men with small penis syndrome need to consider a number of treatment approaches. "The initial approach should be a thorough urological, psychosexual, psychological and psychiatric assessment, possibly with more than one clinician involved," they note, adding that while penile extenders may help, there was a lack of evidence for their effectiveness and psychological conditions should not be treated with gadgets or surgery.
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Source: British Journal of Urology