What size is the average penis?
Most men believe that the average length of an erect penis is greater than 6 inches (15.24 cm). This belief is due, in part, to several often-cited studies that relied on self-reported measurements, with means of about 6.2 inches (15.75 cm) for heterosexual men and even greater for gay men. These studies suffered from both volunteer bias and social desirability bias. In this review, the combined mean for 10 studies in which researchers took measurements of erect penises was 5.36 inches (13.61 cm; n = 1,629). For 21 studies in which researchers measured stretched penises, the mean was approximately 5.11 inches (12.98 cm; n = 13,719). Based on these studies, the average length of an erect penis is between 5.1 and 5.5 inches (12.95-13.97 cm), but after taking volunteer bias into account, it is probably toward the lower end of this range. Studies show that a majority of men wish they were larger, with some choosing penile lengthening surgery. These surgeries are considered by the American Urological Association to be risky. Most men seeking surgery have normal sized penises. Counseling with factual information about penis size might be effective in alleviating concerns for the majority of men who worry about having a small penis.
When is penis size too small?
In 1996, experts carried out a study that led to a set of guidelines for when a person may need surgery for penis enlargement.
The study measured the penile dimensions of 80 males before and after drug-induced erections.
The researchers concluded that the average penis size was 8.8 cm (3.5 in)Trusted Source when flaccid and 12.9 cm (5.1 in) when erect.
The study also found that the size of a person’s erect penis did not correlate with their flaccid penis size. In other words, a penis may have different lengths when flaccid but similar lengths when erect. They also found no link between age and penis size.
The researchers concluded: “Only men with a flaccid length of less than 4 cm (1.6 in), or a stretched or erect length of less than 7.5 cm (3 in) should be considered candidates for penile lengthening.”
Micropenis and buried penis
Some people are born with micropenis, when a penis is unusually small, usually due to hormonal or genetic factors. A micropenis fulfills the same functions as an average-sized penis, but people may feel dissatisfied with its appearance. Hormonal treatment or surgery can increase its size if a person wishes.
Sometimes, an average-sized penis may appear small due because there is additional skin around it. People may refer to this as a buried penis, and surgery can resolve it.
What is ‘normal’ or average penis size?
Ongoing research continues to produce similar findings about penis size.
A 2014 review looked at measurements taken by healthcare professionals for up to 15,521 males aged 17 and over.
The average measurements were as follows:
flaccid penis length: 9.16 cm (3.6 in) when stretched
flaccid penis girth: 9.31 cm (3.66 in)
erect penis length: 13.12 cm (5.16 in)
erect penis girth: 11.66 cm (4.59 in)
In 2014, researchersTrusted Source published findings from a study involving over 1,600 males in the United States.
In this study, the average dimensions for an erect penis were 14.2 cm (5.6 in) in length and 12.2 cm (4.8 in) in circumference.
The participants submitted their own measurements and received condoms in exchange. However, self-reported measurements are often unreliable.
A 2019 study found that many males overestimate the size of their penis when self-reporting, especially if they have experienced sexual activity with another person.
The research surveyed 170 college-aged males attending a human sexuality course. Results showed that those with sexual experience with another person were more likely to overestimate than those with no mutual sexual experience.
The authors speculate that sexually experienced men have a “greater sense of masculinity, sexual competence, and prowess.”
In 2007, researchersTrusted Source in India produced a table listing findings on penis dimensions from various countries around the world.
Of the 16 studies cited from various countries, the earliest was carried out over a hundred years ago and published in 1899.
They all arrived at similar average penis lengths:
- flaccid lengths ranged around 7–10 cm (2.8–3.9 in)
- flaccid circumferences ranged around 9–10 cm (3.5–3.9 in)
- erect lengths ranged around 12–16 cm (4.7–6.3 in)
- erect circumference based on only one study was around 12 cm (4.7 in)
How to measure a penis
To measure penis length, press a ruler into the groin and measure from the base of the penis to the tip.
To measure penis girth, wrap a measuring tape around the widest part of the penis.
Penis size: Do partners care?
Some males worry about whether their penis size will live up to the desires of a partner.
However, some older research suggests that penis length is not important for many female partners.
In one study, 77% of femalesTrusted Source who completed a questionnaire said penis length was unimportant or totally unimportant, compared with 21% who declared it was important or very important. Those who said that length mattered to them also stated that girth, or width, was important.
In another survey, 45 out of 50Trusted Source sexually active undergraduate females said that penis width was more important to sexual satisfaction than penis length.
What size penis do women want? A 2015 study Trusted Source asked 75 females to indicate their penis size preferences using 3D printed models of 33 different dimensions.
The models ranged from 10–21.6 cm (4–8.5 in) in length and 5–17.8 cm (2.5–7 in) in circumference.
The choices varied according to the nature of the relationship that participants were considering.
For long-term sexual partners, they chose a length of 16 cm (6.3 in) and a girth of 12.2 cm (4.8 in).
For one-time sex partners, they chose a length of 16.3 cm (6.4 in) and a circumference of 12.7 cm (5 in).
What about gay males?
Health experts have also raised concerns about how anxiety around penis size affects gay males. The Gay Men’s Health Project, based in the United Kingdom, surveyed 586 males. It found that 38% of respondents said their penis size causes them anxiety.
The project urges males to seek help if they have concerns and to remember that, like people, penises come in many shapes, sizes, and skin tones.
One expertTrusted Source suggests that the porn industry may help promote a distorted image of the ideal penis, resulting in anxiety relating to concerns about penis size.