The Average Penis Size: Unveiling the Statistics

Studies find that many men have concerns that their penis is not large enough and that it is smaller in size compared to others. As a result, 45–68.3% of men wish they had a larger penis despite having a normal-sized penis.

A survey conducted under 200 men reveiled that men are primarily concerned about penis size, height and body weight. But how do we compare to our peers really? Let’s find out.

big, bigger, biggest

Now, before you start measuring away it’s time we bring some things into perspective. We’re not going to say that penis size doesn’t matter. We’ve all been told that story and we know it isn’t true. It does matter.

We can argue that “some” size is required to be able to conceive a child and “some” size is required for sex to be pleasurable. Now, what that magical number might be nobody knows. Science isn’t clear about that.

What we do know however is that men view the size of their penis as much more important then women do. And we also seem to hold different believes on what is likely to be “the average”. For example, a study from 2012 revealed that men estimate the average penis length to be 15,8 cm, while the women’s estimate was 13,44 cm.

A different study showed that men were also less likely to be satisfied with their penis despite them having an average sized penis. In this study the majority of men (66%) reported to be average, but despite being average 46% of them wished to be larger. For many men, being average simply isn’t good enough. For most women however, it is.

This becomes clear when look at the reported satisfaction levels. Where “only” 55% of men reported being very satisfied with their penis size compared to 84% women who reported to be very satisfied with the penis size of their partner.

What’s interesting is that this dissatisfaction exceeds the percentage of men who are dissatisfied with their height (38%) or their weight (41%). Interestingly, men who perceived their penis as not being big enough also perceived themselves as less attractive. Giving themselves lower scores for facial attractiveness compared to others.

The origin of the myth

So why are so many men insecure about their penis size? Well, some argue that it all began with data collected by Alfred Kinsey and his colleagues. They asked men to measure the length of their erect penis and to mail their results to the researchers. The mean erect length for 2,770 Caucasian men aged 20–59 was 15.77 cm.

Studies published in the 1990s that also relied on self-reported measurements seemed to confirm these results. Finding a mean length of 16.0 cm, 15.71 cm and 15.6 cm. Gay men self-reported erect penis lengths were even greater: 16.56 cm and 16.41 cm. And so, the myth was created.

There are however a couple of problems with these numbers. First: self reported numbers have proven to be unreliable. They are, in general, 6-11% higher then they are in reality. Second: volunteer bias. In order to get the average penis size, men were asked to voluntarily participate. Could it be that men with an above average penis size are more likely to participate in such studies?

In 2014, a study was conducted under 1661 men. In an effort to motivate these men to report accurate information, they were told they would receive custom sized condoms. Surprisingly and maybe not so suprisingly, the reported average penis size was significantly lower compared to the other studies: 14,15 cm.

Penis size when measured by researchers

In eight studies in which measurements were done by researchers, the average male penis was was found to be 13.76 cm.

Still, you cannot compare yourself with the above number since it doesn’t represent the “real” average. Namely because it combined averages from people from European, Asian and African descent, and the average male penis size differs heavily among these 3 groups. For instance, the average male penis size in people from European descent is reported to be 14,51 cm, but 10,95 cm for Southeast Asian descendants and 16.07 for African descendants.

If we exclude the self-reported numbers we find an average of 13,63 cm (European), 10,95 cm (Southeast Asian) and 15,61 cm (African). But again, this number doesn’t always represent the real value since the average male penis size also differs among countries.

For instance, in people that are from European descent, the lowest average was found in Romainia (12,73 cm) while the highest was found in the Netherlands (15,87 cm). For Southeast Asians, the highest number was found in Indonesia (11,67 cm) and the lowest in Thailand (10,16 cm). Finally, in regards to African descendants the highest number was found in Haiti (16,01 cm) and the lowest in Cote d’Ivoire (15,22).

Reliability of penis size values

So you got some numbers, but how reliable are they? Well, we don’t know. The number of studies that have tried to find out the average penis length is limited. And the ones that do exist have some flaws.

For instance, some studies estimated the erect penis size by measuring the stretched penis length. Some say that this method is very reliable (0,99 correlation), while others say it underestimates the real value by 20%. Controversies about the best technique on to be used also exist. Some measure the penis from the pubopenile skin junction to the tip of the penis, while others start at the pubic bone.

Between the two techniques, measuring from the pubic bone to the tip has been proven to be the most reliable.

Time to measure - The bone pressed method

For erect length measurement, a fully rigid erection is needed. You also need a rigid plastic or metal ruler (don’t use tape!). Once you’re ready, you can follow these instructions:

  • Stand up straight
  • Place the ruler on top of your penis in a 90º angle
  • Push the ruler gently against your pubic bone to avoid fat pad thickness to interfere with your measurement (fat can move and compress making this part of the penis functional part of your penis as well)
  • Read the value at the tip of your penis
  • That’s it. You now got your penis length.