AVERAGE PENIS SIZE
Throughout the ages and across most cultures, the human penis has been a symbol of male power and virility. In varying degrees, penis size has been a subject of concern for men in most parts of the world.
Average Penis Size
Although scientific attempts aimed at determining average penis size have been underway for over 60 years, measuring the average penis size is not a simple process. It is complicated by several factors: What to measure (length, girth or both); how to measure; when to measure (erect, flaccid or stretched penis); the degree to which a study sample is representative (who is measured, what age, what race, what medical condition…); and who does the measuring. Self-reported measurements are usually bigger than measurements taken by others, reflecting the subjects’ wishes for bigger sized penises.
Nevertheless, it is possible to determine an average range of penis sizes. A worldwide study of several penis size research projects undertaken over the last half century and involving over 11,000 participant states that the average erect size of the adult penis is between 5.5 and 6.2 inches in length and 4.7 inches and 5.1 inches in circumference.
Even in determining ranges, however, different studies provide different results. Three studies of penis size (measured in laboratory settings) provide the following indications:
•Average length of flaccid penis is between 3.4 inches and 3.7 inches (8.6 cm and 9.3 cm)
•Average length of erect penis is between 5.1 inches and 5.7 inches (12.9 cm and 14.5 cm)
•Average circumference of an erect penis is between 3.5 inches and 3.9 inches (8.8 cm and 10.0 cm)*
In an article entitled, “The Inexact Science of Penis Measurement”, Kent Sepkowitz, a physician, writes that when self-measured, the average length of a stretched flaccid penis is 5.1 inches, for an erect penis, it’s somewhere between 5.5 and 6 inches, and for a flaccid penis the range of average penis size is between 3.5 inches and 4 inches.* One of the earliest penis size studies, conducted by Alfred Kinsey in the 1950s and 1960s, also based on self-reported measurements, gave the average length of an erect penis at about 6.25 inches.
In conclusion, there is no one definite average penis size. Perhaps the best way to arrive at a correct figure would be to take the average of all the averages determined by various studies. See the penis size graph a few paragraphs down. Nevertheless, it is safe to say that a penis that is less than 5 inches long when erect is smaller than average, and one that measures over 6.5 inches is bigger than average.
Naturally, penis size, like any the size of any other body organ, changes with age. The penis size chart below gives average penis size by age:
12 4.1? (104 mm)
13 5.1? (130 mm)
14 6.0? (152 mm)
15 6.1? (155 mm)
16 6.3? (160 mm)
17 6.5? (165 mm)
18 6.4? (163 mm)
19 6.2? (157 mm)
20 6.2? (157 mm)
Penis Size in Different Cultures
The very fact that so much effort has – and continues to be – devoted to measuring average penis size shows that it is a matter of great concern. Just as with other parts of the body, different men have different penis sizes. Unlike other parts of the body, however, this fact is deeply disturbing to most men. It really matters to them whether their penis is smaller than most or larger – and everyone wants to be at least average in size. The reason, of course, is that men define themselves in terms of their virility and power. The penis is a symbol of virility. In a wide variety of cultures across the world, penis size is perceived as an index of virility and power.
Historically, the phallus was at the center of many ancient cultures. The ancient Greeks and Romans decorated their every day artifacts with pictures of penises. A famous Roman fresco in the Pompeii ruins shows a rich man using his enormous penis to counterbalance bags of money on a scale, and giant stone penises dating back to the 3rd century B.C. are scattered around the Temple of Dionysus on the Greek island of Delos. In fact, different types of phallic imagery can be found in the artistic traditions of most cultures, worldwide. The walls of Hindu temples in India are adorned with explicit erotic scenes where representations of the penis are prevalent, a study conducted on the cultural history of the penis in medieval Iceland* concluded that penis size defined men’s social status at the time, and soldiers of the Ottoman Empire supposedly publicly posted the measurements of their penises for their enemies to admire. The significance of the penis in all cultural traditions is undeniable. Everywhere, it was and still is the symbol of procreation (man’s creative power), fertility and love.
The degree of preoccupation with penis size varies slightly from culture to culture – but it’s there in most cultures. The uninhibited expression of these concerns did not of course continue through the ages. Religion (especially the three monotheist religions, Judaism, Christianity and Islam) soon put a stop to that. Today, there are apparently two reasons why men care about penis size. One is the inherent competitiveness of men. A man actually feels superior to another man if he knows, or believes, his penis to be bigger. The more competitive a society is, the more men will be obsessed with this issue. The second reason is the belief that a penis’ size affects a man’s sexual performance and his attractiveness to women.
While this seems to be true everywhere, it has recently attained much more significance in western cultures than elsewhere. Nowhere else is body image as important as it is today in the West. The media in the West plays an important role is promoting this concern, and men with big penises are depicted as being successful and happy, while smaller men are either pitiful or comic. The pornographic film industry is one case in point. Men in the West are apparently becoming as obsessed with penis size as are western women with issues such as weight. The difference is that they don’t admit it openly – out of embarrassment, and also for fear of discovering that they are smaller than average.
More and more men in the U.S. are seeking to augment their penis size through surgical and other means. While traditional practices aimed at increasing penile size exist in many cultures, from Uganda to India, penis size has never been so utterly equated with health, happiness and sexual attractiveness as it is in modern-day Western society.
This is actually a relatively recent development. There is a kind of dichotomy in the western perception of penis size. As is the case everywhere, large penises are viewed as symbols of male potency, but at the same time, they are regarded – in the West – with a degree of revulsion. As early as the days of Aristotle, large penises were thought to represent a sort of bestiality and to contradict the ideals of western civilization. To the ancient Greeks, long, thick penises were associated with ‘barbarians”.* You only need to look at the particularly modest-sized penises on ancient Greek statues of nude males to realize this. For centuries, western males (firmly believing that blacks have bigger penises) viewed black men as wild, sex-obsessed creatures. In the U.S., the belief that, “African Americans with their allegedly big penises are hypersexual, Asian Americans with their allegedly small penises are undersexed, and whites by some happy coincidence occupy the invisible norm—they seem to have just the right amount whereby blacks have too much and Asians not enough.”* used to be widespread. There is no room in this article to discuss race and penis size, but this dichotomy or double standard has only added to the sexual anxiety of the western male.
Penis Size Concerns by Age
Men’s concerns about genital size normally date back to their childhood, when they first begin to compare penis size with friends. At puberty, this concern can easily turn into anxiety, as it is often at this time that boys begin to look at erotic magazines or films – and the huge penises portrayed there. By the time boys have attained adolescence, they are usually obsessed with the size of their penises, wondering whether they are big enough to attract and satisfy the opposite sex. It is at this age that men are most concerned about penis size.
Perhaps thankfully, this problem is not as pronounced in non-western cultures where the practice of dating isn’t widespread, and where boys (and girls) do not have to worry at such an early age about their body image and whether their penises are big enough, or their breasts attractive enough.
Condoms and Penis Size
Because latex and polyurethane are such expandable materials, and because penis size doesn’t vary very widely, most condom brands don’t have a wide selection of sizes. There are three basic condom sizes, and the difference is in the circumference rather than the length. The standard condom circumference is just under 4 inches (98 to 106 mm), and 180 mm long (about 7 inches). For most men condom length should not be an issue since condoms stretch lengthwise without breaking, but 8-inch long condoms are available for exceptionally large men. Condoms that are too long don’t normally slip off, but condoms that are too wide may. Likewise, condoms that are not wide enough may break.
Trojan Condom sizes can be determined with this table. The chart below provides some common measurements for different size condoms:
Snug Standard Larger
Length of condom (inches)
7 to 7.8 7.25 to 7.8 7.25 to 8.1
Diameter of condom (inches)
1.75 1.75 to 2 2 to 2.25
The basic guidelines to follow for choosing the right size condom are:
•If average size condoms slip off during intercourse, you need to buy a narrower size.
•If average size condoms feel too tight, choose a larger size and avoid the risk of breakage.
•If average size condoms feel too tight in the head (or too short), select a condom with more headroom.
The penis size graph below shows average condom lengths and widths and average penis lengths and widths. It was compiled from a number of independent tests undertaken in different countries*:
Image source: examiner.com