The "Size Matters" Debate Just Got Even Murkier



dick_300x400The question of whether or not size matters (and you know what we mean) has long been a point of discussion for pop-science fans and legitimate researchers alike. And though a watershed study in 1966 concluded that no, women don't much care what you're sporting down there, new research published in the always-thrilling Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences now suggests the opposite. In the interest of conciseness, here are a few helpful tips we've gleaned from the findings.

Go big or go home, but don't go too big, because that's unappealing. Though women tended towards more-is-more when it came to other typical "masculine" traits, the curve of positive feedback re: penis size was, to put it scientifically, an upside-down U. Meaning that ratings of attractiveness increased with size to a certain extent, but then dropped off once things got, well, uncomfortable. So, if you're thinking of investing in some of those male enhancement pills that totally work, just don't OD.

Inverted triangles are really sexy. You should try to look more like one. Narrow hips, broad shoulders — that's the way to go. But similar to the findings about penis size, the results of attractiveness ratings for extremely broad shoulders with narrow hips also exhibited diminishing returns. So, be a triangle — just don't be obtuse about it.

Average is okay! Though data was collected from only 1,000 women (all Australian, another issue when it comes to drawing universal conclusions), the findings suggest that what women want is actually not far off from what's really out there. The determined ideal size in this study was around 4.7 inches (12 centimeters) in a flaccid state, only a bit off from the national average of 3.5 inches (9 centimeters).

Aside from the fact that everyone loves talking (and writing) about it, the reason for studies like this one is partly the fact that human penises are so much bigger (disproportionately so) than those of the rest of our primate brethren. Scientists often wonder if human genitalia evolved as a result of female preferences. The results of this study are far from conclusive, but it's at least a step toward legitimizing this tricky subject for further investigation. But for now, let's jump off the scientific bandwagon and just call it an open thread — what do you think? Does size really matter? (Scientific American)

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