A recent study has found that men’s penis sizes have gotten larger over the last 30 years.
While that may sound like good news for size queens, the study’s lead researcher actually worries it may mean that chemicals are screwing with our hormones. Whomp, whomp.
Lead researcher, Michael Eisenberg, MD, a professor of urology at the Stanford University School of Medicine, became alarmed after seeing studies about men’s sperm counts and testosterone levels declining over the last few decades, he told Stanford medical school’s blog.
Other studies he saw indicated higher rates of male congenital birth defects, like hypospadias (when the urethral opening isn’t at the tip of the penis) and cryptorchidism (when testicles don’t fully descend).
So Eisenberg became curious whether studies had looked at other aspects of men’s reproductive health. He decided to look at penile length because previous studies hadn’t taken a hard look at that. (Hehe!)
His research team looked at data on the penile length of 55,761 men taken from 75 studies conducted between 1942 and 2021. Each study included measurements of men’s flaccid and erect penises, measuring the top side from the tip to where the shaft enters the body.
Researchers found that, over the course of these studies, the average erect penis length increased by 24% over 29 years, from an older average of 4.8 inches to a more recent average of 6 inches. Researchers also found that this lengthening occurred in men of all ages living on different continents around the world.
“To our knowledge, this is the first study to examine temporal change in penile size,” the study’s authors wrote in The World’s Journal of Men’s Health.
But while some men might rejoice over the recent increase in size, Eisenberg says it’s actually quite “concerning” because the increase happened over a relatively short period of time.
“Our reproductive system is one of the most important pieces of human biology,” he told the aforementioned blog. “If we’re seeing this fast of a change, it means that something powerful is happening to our bodies.”
His team’s study didn’t determine what’s causing the increase in size, but he said it could be the effect of hormone-disrupting chemicals in our food and hygiene products or the presence of pollutants in our living environments. It could also be the result of our increasingly inactive lifestyles.
Either way, Eisenberg said, “We must determine the cause of these changes.” He also added, “It’s important to ask if there are similar changes occurring to women’s reproductive organs.”