17 September 2009
Study links penis size to general health
by Kate Melville
A study by researchers at Victoria University (Australia) into penis size and body image found that men with a larger-than-average penis had higher self esteem and better overall general health. Interestingly, the study also found that while size does matter to men, it matters chiefly in relation to how they shape up compared with other men.
"It's the locker room syndrome," said lead researcher Annabel Chan. "Men are more concerned about how their overall body size compares to the perceived male ideal than they are about how their size might impact on their sexual relations."
The study, which investigated the link between men's penis size, body image and mental health, found that men who indicated a larger-than-average penis size had higher self esteem, better general health functioning and higher overall body satisfaction than those reporting an average or below-average sized penis. The study was completed online by more than 700 men aged 18-76 from more than 40 countries.
Chan said the results provided fresh insights into how males perceive their bodies. "We have relatively little data about the body image of men because most of the research in this area concentrates on women. This survey starts to correct that," she said.
Other insights from the study include:
- Compared to their ideal body size, 6 percent of respondents were satisfied with their body size, 90 percent wanted to be bigger and 7 percent thought they were already bigger than the ideal.
- Participants who had never used erectile dysfunction meds were more satisfied with their penis size and had less online dating experience than those who had.
- Overweight men have lower self esteem, higher body dissatisfaction and greater use of the internet for socializing.
- Men who were happy with the size of their penis were less likely to engage in online dating.
Chan said the findings regarding online dating were illuminating. "Men with poorer self-esteem and higher body dissatisfaction have a preference for online dating as initially, physical attractiveness does not deliver the primary impression," she explained. "Respondents who had more internet dating behaviors tended to be younger with a higher body mass index. They also displayed dissatisfaction with their penis size, lower self-esteem and higher drive for muscularity."
Source: Victoria University