Women Prefer Bigger Tackle: It's Science

New research has discovered a link between female sexual desire and male genital size. No really. Researchers from the Australian National University asked female subjects to rate a series of life-sized, computer-generated images of naked men in terms of attractiveness. They discovered that the bigger the penis, the higher the attraction rating. (In more depressing news, this is where your tax dollars are going.)

Groin picture from Shutterstock

For the basis of the study, researchers used a series of digitally projected life-size videos of naked men exhibiting a range of different heights, penis lengths and shoulder-to-hip ratios. The female participants comprised 71.8 per cent European, 20.9% per cent Asian, and 7.3 per cent "from elsewhere" with an average age of 26 years old.

The researchers found that males with a larger penis were rated as being relatively more attractive, although the proportional increase in attractiveness began to decrease once the penis reached a certain size. In other words, while bigger is better, most women draw the line at freakishly huge.

Height and shoulder-to-hip ratio also influenced a male’s relative attractiveness, with taller, broad-shouldered men being rated as the most attractive. In a blow to short guys, men with below-average height were rated a lot less favourably than their taller counterparts — regardless of penis size.

The report suggests this may be due to general discrimination against short men irrespective of the value of other traits: "so even a larger penis did little to increase their net attractiveness." And women say men are superficial. Tch, eh?

Amusingly, the study also noted that the female participants spent longer ogling the images of men with generous endowments, which they were able to swivel 30 degrees on either side to get a better vantage point.

"This finding is consistent with a pattern in adults whereby attractive stimuli are viewed for longer periods," the report explains. "A tendency to view attractive stimuli for longer is a generalised phenomenon that starts in infancy." So if your sexual partner spends a long time staring at your groin, consider it a good sign (so long as it's not accompanied by an incredulous smirk).

The researchers suggest that the preference for a larger penis might be linked to an association with higher rates of vaginal orgasm and thus, higher sexual satisfaction. Whatever the reason, the report goes on to conclude that this prejudice against smaller genitals may have driven the evolution of larger penises in humans:

Our results directly contradict claims that penis size is unimportant to most females. The finding suggests that selection on penis size is potentially as strong as selection on stature. Before clothing, the nonretractable human penis would have been conspicuous to potential mates. This suggests that human penis size partly evolved because of female choice.

So in the next millennium, all men are apparently going to look like John Holmes from the waist down and luxury sports cars will no longer exist. Now that's what we call a dystopian future.

On a final note, you may be interested to know that this project was funded by the Australian Research Council (ARC); a statutory agency under the Industry, Innovation, Climate Change, Science, Research and Tertiary Education portfolio within the Australian Government.

"The outcomes of ARC-funded research deliver cultural, economic, social and environmental benefits to all Australians," the organisation's website claims. We have nothing to add to this.

Do women really prefer more junk in men's trunks? Let us know in the comments section below. We can take it.

Penis size interacts with body shape and height to influence male attractiveness [PNAS]


    Be honest - a group of sock manufacturers co-funded this study, didn't they?

    If the finding is that ultimately, women as are as shallow as men when it comes to fixating on sexual characteristics, that is not really a surprise. Good thing I have my Wonderjocks ... not that I need them, of course.

    The simple fact is, yes they no doubt prefer something that gets the job done, but in the end the ones who are smart enough will settle for someone who can provide for them and their family in the long run. At least that's my excuse anyway... :)

    Interesting...so the physical traits men find sexually desirable in women are achievable by all women, with a little hard work or in some cases some investment in surgery. But the traits most sexually desirable to women , you have to be born with.

      There's such a thing as penis enlargement surgery if you're that desperate.

        There's no procedure, surgical or otherwise, that's either safe or reliable. But nothing to do with desperation; women undergoing breast augmentation consistently report increased self confidence and happiness. So yeah I'd get it if I could. Who wouldn't want to provide their partner with greater sexual satisfaction?

          Studies have consistently shown that only around 30% of women are able to orgasm from vaginal intercourse alone, regardless of the size of the penis or the man's technique. The other 70% of women require clitoral stimulation to reach orgasm - and even the lucky 30% who don't require it, often prefer it. If you want to provide your partner with sexual satisfaction, knowing how to use your hands and mouth, and asking her what she wants, is far more important than the size of your penis.

    Hmmm. The dataset was relatively small (approx 100 women), so drawing broad conclusions would be premature. Also, just because a bunch of horny modern-day women like big dicks, doesn't mean that women through history had that preference.

      Frequently, they didn't have much of a choice, let alone a preference.

      But yes, we should do our best to combat any premature determination.

      Last edited 09/04/13 1:22 pm

    (“This finding is consistent with a pattern in adults whereby attractive stimuli are viewed for longer periods,”)

    If this were true advertisements wouldn't require anything more than a logo.

    I think these woman looked longer than usual because they hadn't seen it before. Good chance she hasn't seen long-john and wanted to take a good look before it was removed from the screen. Curiosity at best.

    My hubby is a wonderful provider, does everything in his power to keep me and the kids happy. And he's very well endowed ;-) I'm a lucky woman!!

      Stop using your wife's account to post! :p

      But seriously as someone else here said, modern times, modern women plus they were around 26.

      Now I know I am casting a wide net here but people in general not just women, seem pretty shallow and 'loose' these days.

    Were these big dicks flaccid, or erect?

      Flaccid. So you need to be a shower, not a grower.

        I read about this from another source and I was about to point that out. It's a study only of flaccid penises, from a data sample only of Italian men, with a fairly tiny amount of participants. The collected data is of the overall physical attractiveness of the male subject, from which a correlation about penis size was observed.

        The study had too many variables, particularly with the nature of the question asked of the participants, to make the penis size correlation anything other than an interesting but unprovable statistic. Very few causative conclusions can be drawn from the results. They'd have gotten more useful data if they'd made the question more specific than just 'rate overall attractiveness'.

    Height is a damn powerful factor in initial attraction. You'd be amazed at how much ugliness tall men can get away with while still managing to attract a mate.

    Given most people don't expose themselves immediately after meeting someone I'm not really sure how to apply this study to the real world.

      I imagine the top picks (or should that be with an 'R') get to a point where they don't need to expose themselves...

    "In other words, while bigger is better, most women draw the line at freakishly huge."

    Great, now you tell me!

    Maybe some bigger things seem better in appearance but not so much in practice.
    Some will attest to this when you apply the same concept to bra cup sizes.

    As a man living with a small penis; this news saddens me, but just reaffirms what I've always known deep-down anyway.

    Its just more stereotyping based on popular misconceptions and fantasy. 50 shades of rubbish.

    Yes but how on Earth can this help well endowed guys get more dates?

    And no, flashing strangers in public doesn't seem like a great idea to me...!

    It doesn't actually state what the term "small" or "large" actually is. And the document was released by PNAS... Who could take that seriously?

    +1 Are they defining a large penis in terms of length or girth? To me there is a huge (ha!) difference between the two. And if it was only flaccid penis's in the study then pfft... doesn't count for nothing.

    reminds me of the seinfield episode: "I was in the pool"

    There may be some actual correlation between penis size and female's perception of overall attractiveness, although the study seems a bit dodgy. But visual attractiveness is only one factor in mate selection....

    that's true, but this study has nothing to do with female orgasms. its about women wanting to look at gigantic penises.

    The day will come where people will pay me to study my penix. Until then i'm just biding my time in this IT game..

    Fascinating that the other articles written about this make the specific point that the women reacted more to higher shoulder to hip ratios than penis length.

    Are you sure you read through the same study?

    Sorry to the boys who want this to prove that women are "as shallow as men." Women may or may not be as shallow as men but they'd need to include things like sense of humour, intimacy, child rearing capability, etc, in the tests to assess this. Whether the physical comprises all or a tiny part of the women's choice, this analysis can't tell.

    From an evolutionary perspective, an organism won't waste energy building body structures for no reason; there has to be a payoff in terms of more or better offspring. A gorilla has a one inch penis. It does the trick in gorilla land. He gets the females by beating up the other males not by being good in bed.

    Big-brained humans do it differently: Male humans have big penises because female humans selected them, because they like them. Women would also have selected other traits like coparenting capability and sense of humour in men too. Male gorillas don't do a lot of this stuff.

    This paper confirms that we are product of evolution: if women didn't like bigger penises that would be the startling result. We'd need to go hunting for the the reason for their existence because they simply aren't required for insemination.

    Last edited 15/04/13 11:31 am

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