The Science of the Surprise Penis

(NOTE: Based on time elapsed since the posting of this entry, the BS-o-meter calculates this is 14.472% likely to be something that Ferrett now regrets.)

So there’s been a study on exactly what kinds of penises women prefer, and it turns out the average is around 12.8-14.2 centimeters… Flaccid.  Which has caused much debate over what sort of evolutionary factors have gone into shaping the male penis.
It’s an interesting discussion, because there’s a lot of factors to consider.  I mean, in primitive times we didn’t have all of this clothing shielding our willies, and so the goods were on display for any woman to see – sort of like plumage.  And the question arises of whether women were selecting men not by their ability to feed their family, not their ability to protect them from carnivores, not for their ability to build useful tools or their charm or their deep skill at Foosball, but… the penis.
I dunno, man.  I think that biology has a lot of influence, and certainly evolutionary traits do, too.  But this particular study seems to be feeding into the male idea that COCKS ARE EVERYTHING, and that women in old cultures spent so much time weighing wang into their decision – and flaccid wang, at that – that it’s literally given us all an excuse for small cocks.  “Hey, man, what I’m packing?  It’s the biological imperative.   Generations of horny Neanderthals thought this – ” *grabs package* – “was the perfect size for mating, baby!”
Whereas I think they were more concerned about other factors.  I’m sure peen was a part of it, absolutely.  But enough that their preferences actually evolved us to the shapes we have now?
Oh, I’ll cop to a lot of evolutionary pressures on penis size and shape – I found out the other day the reason the cock had a head was so it could squeegee back the other, competing sperm in preparation for ejaculating its own bunch of fresh Mini-Mes.  That’s awesome.  And I don’t doubt that other, similar, factors go into controlling the overall size of penis in human beings.
But is the penis such an amazing feature that women literally chose flaccid penis size over, say, nice breath and the ability to cuddle?  I think not.  I think that’s just scientists in a lab, going, “Aw, man, the cock changes the course of history!”
Plus, there’s all sorts of weird issues with this study – it’s only 100 Australian women, who it must be noted wear clothes and probably don’t see flaccid cock from day to day.  So it’s probably a little skewed, trying to extrapolate the behavior of the pre-Sumerian hunter-gatherer mom from some Australian Starbucks barrista.
Yet let us assume that this is true.  That, for generations, a significant factor in humanity’s overall fitness was that women were choosing mates based on the right shrunken cock.  That means that pants are a travesty, a biological block, a horrible thing that actually weakens our species.  Whoever invented the loincloth?  A traitor to his cause, and probably possessed of an evolutionarily-unattractive Shvanstucker besides!
I joke, but I’ve always felt bad for women when it comes to dating.  I am a fan of full lips, large breasts, and long hair.  All of these are turnons for me, and I know within seconds of meeting a woman if she has these qualities.  Whereas if a woman likes large penises, or small penises, or bent penises, well… every guy is a Cracker Jack box waiting to be opened.  Which, as a guy, seems like yet another of a thousand disadvantages women face in getting good sex; if you need a specific kind of penis to get you off, there’s no way to know for sure until it may be awkward to break it off.
I dunno.  It’s all food for thought, and if you think I’m going to wrap this meandering up with some unifying theory on the evolutionary advantages of penis size, well, I got nothing.  I just think that while there may be advantages to various sizes when it comes to producing children, I’m doubting that penis size was significantly altered by mere aesthetic preference.  I could be wrong.
But though it bears investigation – SCIENCE! – I don’t think 105 Australian women are enough to say one way or another.  And I think our obsession with penis size is something that’s not totally ahistorical, but the increasing focus on it is a modern reaction to some dysfunctionality we have yet to address as a global society.  It smells a bit of taking our modern values and trying to apply them to the past, to make it a universal thing across all humanity as opposed to a small subset of people.  Which, as Westerners, is something we do on a disturbingly often basis.


  1. alexander hollins
    Apr 9, 2013

    and saying “flaccid” still leaves an opening for interpretation. A lot of people, even guy’s, i’ve found, aren’t aware of “shower” versus “grower”. So flaccid size could totally mean different things in regards to erect size.
    On the head shape, you’ll often see larger “flanges” on animals that have more cross mating going on, which leads me to wonder, is there a genetic preference towards monogamy in individual lacking the more robust helmet? or vice versa, that groups that are socially monogamous for long periods see shrinkage of that feature? I’ve always wondered.

  2. Jericka
    Apr 9, 2013

    I like hands, actually. I prefer the hands of a guy who is actually used to using them and paying attention to what they are doing. This usually means that guys who make stuff (preferably neat nerdy or craft things) get my attention fast.
    Penis size? If it doesn’t fall out when we are busy, that’s a plus, because that gets distracting. It can still be compensated for, though, because…..hands!
    Really large penises scare me. Hitting the cervix is not fun for me. Also, though it may be a stereotype, guys who are huge have something of a reputation of relying only on size, and not actually paying much attention to their partners.

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