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Topics: Life News
Nov. 4, 1999
Six inches is the average length of a male erection, right? More or less? More (6.32 inches) if you’re gay, apparently. And less (5.99) if you’re straight. Stiff homosexual organs are one-third of an inch longer, claims an article titled “The Relation Between Sexual Orientation and Penile Size” in the June Archives of Sexual Behavior.
The phallus findings are based on archived data from 5,122 measurements of men’s schlongs obtained by the Kinsey Report from 1938-1963.
But isn’t it penile chubbiness that matters more in sexual pleasure? Heteros lose this contest, too. The straight circumference is 4.80 inches, while gays wield a stout 4.95. Dr. Anthony Bogaert of Brock University in Ontario, Canada and Dr. Scott Hershberger of California State University-Long Beach co-authored the recent study, which is part of a larger study on the origins of sexual orientation and behavior.
Reached by phone at his Ontario office, Bogaert generously answered my most probing questions about the penile research.
Why on Earth would gay guys be heavier hung?
“It might have something to do with prenatal hormones that affect the structure and size of genitalia and certain structures of the brain that ultimately affect sexual orientation,” Bogaert said. “If so, this would lend support to theories that believe there are biological factors affecting sexual orientation.”
Did Kinsey researchers actually measure the arched staffs of their subjects?
“No,” the Canadian admitted. “The subjects reported themselves, either by mailing their measurements in, or by reporting their size to an interviewer.”
Men lie about their dimensions, Bogaert acknowledged, but in his opinion, this doesn’t explain the data. “The size discrepancy might have to do with ‘reporting bias’ if gay men are more likely to exaggerate the size of their penis. But we don’t think that’s the explanation. There’s evidence that heterosexuals are as likely to exaggerate as homosexuals.”
As for plans to reenact the original study with excited, contemporary wieners, Bogaert was doubtful.
“I probably won’t do additional research in this area,” he said. “I have other projects, and besides, it’s too expensive.”
Oddly enough, this astounding and controversial discovery has been kept zippered up by the majority of media. Queer columnist Dan Savage commented on it in one of his September columns and the Evening Standard, the London newspaper, noted it on Aug. 24, but generally, it looks like gay vs. straight cock size is a topic that the prudish press finds way too big to handle.
That’s why the story reared its head here, where the whole world is naked.
Hank Hyena is a former columnist for SF Gate, and a frequent contributor to Salon.More Hank Hyena.