Let’s first get this out of the way. BJUI’s systematic review cobbled together 20 studies about penis sizes from different countries and is a collaboration between King’s College London and the United Kingdom’s National Health Service (NHS).
This worldwide review of studies found that, on average, a flaccid penis is 3.61 inches in length when flaccid and 5.16 inches in length when erect. Girth is 3.66 inches when flaccid and 4.59 inches when erect.
That should be enough for any man, but of course, you’ll have questions and wonder if your potential partners or fellow men out there know this too, and aren’t going to judge you for your perfectly average or possibly even above average penis.
Ironically, it’s usually women who know more about average penis sizes than men do, since they tend to actually see them and see more of them. They are also the ones to be affected more about sizes. Which is why “only 6% of women rate their partner’s penis size as small and 84% say they’re very satisfied with their lover’s size. In contrast, only 55% of men report a similar level of satisfaction with their own size,” says Toronto-based sexologist (PhD) and author Dr. Jess O’Reilly, and as this Bustle compilation from Amanda Chatel about women’s opinions on penis size proves, it is about how you use your penis, not so much size (and too big is a genuine problem for many women).
Not As Big As You Think
According to one study from 2013, the average penile length in the United States is 5.57 inches (14.15 cm) erect and a mean erect penile circumference of 4.81 inches (12.23 cm). Those numbers are a bit larger than the ones from the BJUI report, likely because the measurements were self-reported, i.e., the participating men themselves gave the measurements. It gives the study less credible than others, although the researchers defend their study by adding that their results were consistent with other research about penis sizes.
The study tried to convince men to report accurately because the size they gave to researchers was the one to be used for some condoms they were going to be sent later on, but that still puts into question the reliability of the study itself.
Self-reported measurements are still accepted because there are issues with penis measurements carried out on volunteers by others. “The concern with the self-report method is that guys will lie or exaggerate, while the concern with the clinical measurement studies is that only more well-endowed men will opt to participate”, says Dr. Justin Lehmiller, Founder and Editor of Sex and Psychology.
Nevertheless, many of the studies that travel around the internet in search of views and clicks are based on the self-reported method, which is why the BJUI report is so valuable. And because of that, we’ll stick to the global average of 5.16 inches long given by the report.
What is the average size by state?
The average size in all of America is just 5.57 inches, despite what some states might claim. Most studies are done through indirect methods (like measuring condom sizes ordered by mail), so it’s hard to take some of these studies seriously.
One experiment carried out by a male sexuality clinic found that the three states with the largest self-reported sizes were Alabama with 7.44 inches, Louisiana at 7.15, and West Virginia with 7.00. The rest of the states, starting with Vermont at 6.98, all came in below 7 inches. Most averaged above 6, with only eight states averaging below. Those were Delaware (5.22), New Mexico (5.36), Maryland (5.50), Georgia (5.69), and Rhode Island (5.83).
A big caveat about this: All sizes are self-reported, which might be why the sizes come in at least an inch above what the BJUI study shows.
What is the average size by race or ethnicity?
It’s always dangerous of mixing race or ethnicity with any topic because we should be wary of spreading stereotypes, even if we think they’re harmless or “good” for one race or another. The subject of penis sizes is no different.
Let’s get this out of the way quickly: The BJUI review couldn’t find credible evidence of differences between races on average penis sizes.
The study states “it is not possible from the present meta-analysis to draw any conclusions about any differences in penile size across races,” no matter what popular myths or anecdotal “evidence” says.
The main problem with current data about penile sizes around the world and differences between ethnicities is that there isn’t one single and comprehensive study that measures length and girth with the same methods across races, ethnicities, or even countries. But so far, there’s no evidence any single “race” is more endowed than others by any significant margin.
We have to remember that guys can be generous when measuring themselves and will perform the measurements inconsistently. Then there’s the issue of participant selection effects—are men of a larger penis size more inclined to participate in such studies? says Dr. Justin Lehmiller, Founder and Editor of Sex and Psychology, and that’s consistent with men around the world and in any country.
The big question: does penis size matter? In the end… maybe!? And only if you’re either extremely small or extremely large.