PENISLAND—A new study has just been published that supports the idea that all things being equal, women equate attractiveness with the size of a man's penis. The purpose of the study was to test the hypothesis that primitive female mate choice “could have driven the evolution of larger penises in humans,” a theory the authors conclude was more or less supported by the study’s results, but it’s that conclusion that size does matter—up to a point—that has us (and the mainstream media) intrigued.
After all, observes Nature.com, “The findings add to a debate that began in 1966 when sexuality researchers William Masters and Virginia Johnson declared penis size to be unimportant to most females.
“Subsequent studies of women’s preferences, based on questionnaires or line drawings, have reported conflicting results,” the article continues, but the current study seems to be pretty definitive in terms of determining that “based upon female assessment of digitally projected life-size, computer-generated images, that penis size interacts with body shape and height to determine male sexual attractiveness.”
Or as lead author Brian Mautz, a University of Ottawa post-doctoral researcher, put it to NBCNews.com, “Penis size does affect attractiveness.”
There are a few caveats, the study reports, including, “Penis size had a stronger effect on attractiveness in taller men than in shorter men. There was a similar increase in the positive effect of penis size on attractiveness with a more masculine body shape (i.e., greater shoulder-to-hip ratio). Surprisingly, larger penis size and greater height had almost equivalent positive effects on male attractiveness.”
According to NBCNews.com, “Mautz and his team, working at the Australian National University… created 49 unique, computer-generated, nude, life-sized male figures. Each figure varied in three traits: height, shoulder-hip ratio and flaccid penis size.
“The researchers then displayed all the figures to 105 Australian women with an average age of 26. The women, who were not told which traits varied, were asked to rate the attractiveness of the figures as sexual partners on a scale of 1-7. The women were alone in the room and their responses were anonymous.”
Another finding that especially piqued our professional interest was that women really like to gaze at penises they find attractive, and don’t want to be rushed doing it. A similar amount of leisurely looking was not found to be present when women were shown images sporting smaller penises.
The study was ironically published by the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America (PNAS, say it slowly), and can be found here.