Yup, that's it - the average size of the male prize (erect, btw to satisfy the quick defense of "growers"). The data comes from a study that does not mince words, titled “Erect Penile Length and Circumference Dimensions of 1,661 Sexually Active Men in the United States,” which was conducted in order to cut the shit around cultural myths and number inflation, and get men to correctly measure their junk and not lie about it. This data was actually pulled from a larger study about the correct fit of condoms, so the research was never framed as about size, which served as another way to circumvent number inflation.
Not being the owner of a penis, it's a relief that I don't feel the pressure of masculinity to pack major girth. It is actually a little odd to me that average penis size even needs to be determined??
From the Salon article featuring the data:
You might wonder why any of this matters. Why are scientists spending precious research time measuring dicks? For one, sharing the fact that 83 percent of men have an erect penis length of 16 cm or less “may provide reassurance to men who worry that their erect penis should be longer,” says the study. Second, penis measurements can tell us more about vaginal dimensions, which can be even more complex to measure. ”Third,” says the study, “knowledge of erect penile dimensions may provide helpful information to individuals who design vaginal dilators for clinical application or sexual enhancement devices, such as vibrators or dildos.”
So these are mostly valid reasons, and I'm sure on a basic level it's just nice to know a number because we are alllll curious (I mean I obvi had to click around to even get the info to write this blog) but this data is yet another way to fuel a harmfully boxed masculinity, for if you fall below the average, you are made to feel like you are somehow less of a man. The measurement of the average package becomes a measurement of manliness, and it's just not right to quantify gender via hard numbers. Knowing that men can have vaginas and women can have penises, it's pretty clear that your junk should not and does not define the authenticity of your gender.
It's also interesting to think that although vagina-havers are not breaking out the measuring tape for our love box, we in no way evade the pressure of measurement; men take the tape measure to their genitalia, and women, to their waists. The pressure of measurement is just another factor in the dreaded and forever shitty gender binary, that attempts to police bodies to remain within certain gender-specific boundaries, and to feel alien when you don't exactly fit (and hint: most of us do not but shhh cultural norms don't want you to know that).
So lets have three cheers to undefinable gender, and the freedom to be as big, small, round, or tall as you already are. Comparison is the worst, so just say no, kids!
Thanks to Salon.