Penis size may be considered a sensitive subject in modern-day society. With pressures from outlets such as social media and the unrealistic standards set by pornography, the size (or perception) of an individual's penis may have a negative impact on their self-esteem.
When we discuss penis size, we’re usually referring to the size of the penis when it’s in an erect state. However, the erect size of a penis is typically only applicable when a person is in a sexually aroused state. Erections reflect the size of a person’s penis in ‘all its glory’ but don’t quite tell the full story. Penises spend the majority of the time in what’s known as a flaccid state.
The word flaccid refers to the penis's natural resting state. During which, the penis hasn’t undergone the physiological changes that take place during an erection. As a result, the penis is typically softer and smaller in size while flaccid, compared to when it’s erect. This article takes a deep dive into the flaccid state of the penis, bringing you some interesting facts and figures along the way.
Flaccid Penis Size
Research examined seventy-five studies which were published between 1942 and 2021 and made reference to the average penis size using data from 55,761 men. The study found that the average size of a flaccid penis was 8.70cm (3.43 inches). It went on to state that the average size of a stretched penis was 12.93cm (5.09 inches) and the average size of an erect penis was 13.93cm (5.48 inches).
An additional measurement to consider is the “girth”, also known as the circumference of a penis. Another study of 15,521 men found the average flaccid circumference to be 9.31cm and the erect circumference to be 11.66cm.
Does Flaccid Penis Size Affect Erect Size?
The simple answer to this question is no, flaccid penis size does not affect erect penis size. One study examined the penis sizes of 80 men and found that the flaccid size of their penis was not a predictor for their penises erectile length.
This may be why you hear the phrases “growers” and “showers” when people refer to penis size.
Some flaccid penises increase by large amounts (in relative terms) when reaching their erect state, while other penises may have more subtle changes in size when moving between flaccid and erect states.
What Affects Flaccid Penis Size?
A person’s flaccid penis size can be affected by a number of factors. The hormonal and genetic association with penis development is fairly well known however, there are other factors which may have an impact too. We’ve expanded on these below.
1. Hormones & Genetics
Testosterone is the main sexual hormone for males. It plays an integral role in male sexual development during puberty, ranging from the deepening of the voice to the development of body hair. Some research states that a person’s penis size may be affected by testosterone possibly because of extracellular stromal expansion. Furthermore, it’s thought that micropenises may be a result of hormonal deficiency or a genetic association.
A leading cause of obesity is a long-term imbalance between the amount of calories a person consumes and the amount they expend. Obesity is identified as a risk factor for other health conditions such as diabetes and cardiovascular disease. There may also be a link between obesity and penile development during childhood. One study found that obesity may lead to a reduction in penis length by about 10% in obese boys compared to those who aren’t obese.
3. Environmental Factors
The external factors that a person gets exposed to can have a big impact on how they develop. This is true for their physical development, and in some instances may even affect the development of their penis. For example, a study noted a high prevalence of micropenises among newborns in a population where the parents were exposed to endocrine-disrupting chemicals (EDCs). This was due to poor sanitary conditions within favelas in Northeast Brazil, which encouraged the heavy use of pesticides.
Is it Possible to Increase Flaccid Penis Size?
While many companies promise miracle products that will increase a person’s penis size, there is very limited research to support consistent methods for effectively and safely increasing size. A systematic review of surgical and non-surgical interventions was carried out among normal men complaining of small penis size.
The review's main theme was that most changes in penis size were generally negligible, came with the risk of complication, and lacked external validation.
The review identified counseling as an effective method, with most men coming to terms with the fact their penis size was normal and withdrawing from seeking out further treatment.
Where does the penis “hang”, normally?
As with many aspects of the penises size and presentation, there is no ‘normal’ when referring to how a penis hangs. For example, the way a penis hangs may depend on the size of a person's flaccid penis, their testicular presentation or even the way they dress. For example, wearing boxers, briefs or different trouser types may affect how a person’s penis hangs.
How to know if my penis is normal?
When it comes to the size of a penis, it’s typically measured in a few different states. The measurements are usually for flaccid, stretched, and erect lengths. It’s important to remember that penis sizes vary from person to person. There is no “normal” range as everyone’s penis size is different.
However, some people may want to measure how their penis size compares to the average penis size. According to the studies we referenced previously, the average lengths and girths for these types of measurements are as follows:
|Flaccid Average Length
|8.70cm (3.43 inches)
|Flaccid Average Circumference
|9.31cm (3.70 inches)
|Stretched Average Length
|12.93cm (5.09 inches)
|Erect Average Length
|13.93cm (5.48 inches)
|Erect Average Circumference
|11.66cm (4.59 inches)
How to measure your penis
You can measure your penis in a variety of ways. However, one research study reported that the majority of clinical respondents measured penis size from the pubic bone to the tip of the penis with the penis in a stretched position. This refers to how penile length is measured, but when measuring girth it can be done by measuring around the widest part of the shaft.
Achieving consistency may be one of the hardest parts of measuring your penis.
For example, if you’re measuring your penis in an erect state, you may find that the size varies depending on your level of arousal. One of the critical views of penis size studies where self-reported data is involved is that individuals are unlikely to measure their penis the exact same way, and may be biased in the numbers they report.
An individual’s flaccid penis refers to when their penis is in a resting (i.e. non aroused) state. When flaccid, a penis is typically smaller than when it’s in an erect state. You may hear flaccid penises referred to using the terms “growers” and “showers”. These terms are used because flaccid penis size does not predetermine the size of their erect penis.
It’s important to remember that there’s no “normal” penis size, as penis sizes vary largely from person to person.
Men may often go to extreme and possibly dangerous measures in an attempt to increase their penis size, but counseling and coming to terms with a person’s penis size may be one of the most effective options for becoming satisfied with your own penis size.
While the information in this article is intended to be informative, it cannot be considered a substitute for professional medical advice. If you have any concerns surrounding your penis size or general health consult a medical professional for guidance.
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