Todger boffins give dainty-footed men reason to be cock-a-hoop

An extensive study of men’s tackle has concluded that women are more interested in personality – and shoe size is no indicator of performance

07/06/2007%20CartoonFollowing Marketing Week‘s noble green issue, this week’s column is an ignoble shade of blue. Not blue in the sense of blue-sky thinking, or blue as in the type of singing whose depressive melancholy is contagious, but blue as in near-the-knuckle, or the treating of a subject that might in an age less coarse than our own have mantled a maiden’s cheek.

I find myself in this unseemly territory almost by accident. I have long been puzzled and a little sorrowful that there are, among the tumultuous ant heap of humanity, those whose occupation consists in asking questions of others and inflating the results into inconsequential puffballs called surveys. Three of these drifted past the other day. First, a study of 2,400 adults suggested that women now suffer more than men from partners nagging them to get a pay rise or a better job. Second, a survey said that men get better deals than women in car showrooms. Third (and if you are one of those few surviving maidens whose cheek is apt to burn, now is the time to put aside this copy of Marketing Week and take up your needlepoint), a survey of surveys concluded that the size of a man’s penis was not important. Or rather, its importance depended on which way you looked at it and on who was doing the looking.

For many men – 65% or so – the dimensions of the member with which nature had endowed them was unsatisfactory. But their womenfolk were grateful by and large, so to speak, with what their partners had received and anyway rated it as less important than personality and grooming.

For these findings, we are indebted to Dr Kevan Wylie, of the Royal Hallamshire Hospital, Sheffield, and Ian Eardley of St James’s Hospital, Leeds. Between them, they analysed more than 50 international studies into penile size carried out since 1942. Fifty! The poet who said that in getting and spending we lay waste our powers misdirected his criticism. Then again, in Wordsworth’s day surveys had yet to be invented. Wisely, Wylie and Eardley narrowed down their research to just 12 studies which, taken together, had measured the penises of 11,531 men and noted the differences in assessment of those appendages according to the gender of the assessor.

From this we might conclude that among a small segment of the medical and research population, there is an unnatural obsession with size. Why else should they keep returning to the subject, year after year, and always with more or less the same results? It transpires, however, that this latest study is the work of urologists and they may be forgiven since the male organ is part of their stock in trade. Wylie and Eardley published their review in the British Journal of Urology and were, as one might expect, solemn in their purpose.

“The male,” they write, “is often troubled by concerns that his penis is not large enough… He is ashamed to have others view his penis, especially in the flaccid state… Concern over the size of the penis, when such concern becomes excessive, might present as “small penis syndrome”, an obsessive rumination with compulsive checking rituals… However, it is often a worry that can be described as within the normal experience of many men. Various potential causal factors are considered. A thorough assessment, normalising the worry and then exploring the treatment options in detail with the man is essential to allow the matter to be consolidated satisfactorily within the male ego.”

I was interested to discover on the BJU’s website a reference to the “urology community”. This evokes images of earnest men and women consorting over cocktails, the air abuzz with talk of prostate and catheter, prepuce and glans and, of course, size. Does tinkling laughter alleviate the solemnity of these occasions? You bet.

Another article in the BJU has the following abstract/”Objective: To establish if the “myth” about whether the size of a man’s penis can be estimated from his shoe size has any basis, in fact.

“Subjects and methods: Two urologists measured the stretched penile length of 104 men in a prospective study and related this to their shoe size.

“Results: The median stretched penile length for the sampled population was 13cm and the median UK shoe size was 9 (European 43). There was no statistically significant correlation between shoe size and stretched penile length.

“Conclusion: The supposed association of penile length and shoe size has no scientific basis.”

So the Australian swimmer Ian Thorpe, whose shoe size is 17, steered with his feet after all.

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