In what feels like an accomplishment for men all around the world, a new study published in the World Journal of Men’s Health has found that the global average penis size has grown massively. Before you celebrate, you should know that scientists are saying this is cause for concern. With experts warning that our collective sudden growth could be a sign of increased infertility and worsening reproductive health. “If the findings were the opposite, everybody would be freaking out,” said infertility specialist Dr James Hotaling.
We can finally put the age-old question of whether or not size matters to bed. It turns out size does matter – but not in the way you might expect. Scientists say that the increased size in our downstairs department could be the result of unhealthy habits like a bad diet, sedentary lifestyle, or even chemical pollution. No matter the cause, any change is worrying. “Any overall change in development is concerning because our reproductive system is one of the most important pieces of human biology,” said study author Dr Michael Eisenberg. “If we’re seeing this fast of a change, it means that something powerful is happening to our bodies.”
For the record, the study found that the global average erect penis size is now six inches, or just over 15 centimetres. So, if you wanted to see how you measure up to the average, half the length of a standard 30cm ruler is the benchmark. That’s a lot bigger than many would expect. And it’s a massive change from the average of 4.8 inches from 30 years ago, which is what has left scientists dumbfounded.
Dr Eisenberg actually expected the average to have decreased in the last three decades. Given the well documented research on declining sperm counts and testosterone levels, Eisenberg figured that the data would show that penises are shrinking. “Given the trends we’d seen in other measures of men’s reproductive health, we thought there could be a decline in penile length due to the same environmental exposures,” he said.
Eisenberg and his team collected a range of data from 75 studies conducted across the world. The studies they selected date as far back as 1942 and held the intimate information of almost 56,000 men. The recent phallic inflation wasn’t localised to a single overly optimistic region either. The growth trend was obvious all over the world. As Eisenberg explained, “This was not isolated to a specific population.”
Unfortunately, our collective penile growth is not an accomplishment worth celebrating. Sure, most guys would love to tack on a little extra length, but it seems a few more centimetres is probably a bad thing. Scientists just don’t know what’s causing it.
Dr Eisenberg has a few theories on what has caused the unexplained increase. Suggesting chemical exposure as a potential factor. Mostly from pesticides and hygiene products which can mess with the endocrine system and hormones. That’s not his only idea, putting forward earlier puberties as another possible cause. Boys have been reaching puberty earlier, which Eisenberg says could be giving their bodies more time to grow. But at a time when sperm counts are lower than ever, it looks likely that infertility is the root cause of the development.
Dr Anthony Youn proposes a different reason to explain the increase. Youn says that data on penis size can become skewed because men with smaller penises typically don’t want to volunteer information on their members. Meaning the real average is likely lower than the statistics show.
While this study has revealed the worsening state of men’s reproductive health, there is some good that can come out of this research. Dr Hotaling said he hopes the study will encourage men who are on the fence about their health to talk to a doctor. “Anything that gets men thinking about their health is good.”