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Stabroek News

The penis size debate
published: Sunday | October 7, 2007

Heather Little-White, Ph.D., Contributor

To the average man, his penis is one of the most important things he owns. At an early age he discovers it and immediately becomes fascinated by it. Though they pretend that it is not a big issue, men are usually curious about what is considered the average penis size for sexual satisfaction and how well they match up. Penis size matters to men and their partners and, as such, the age-old debate penis size and its effect continues.

In 1948, sex researchers Kinsey and Associates collected data on average penis sizes. In the study, length measurements were taken when the penises were erect, from the top of the point where the penile shaft meets the pubic area to the tip. For those uncircumcised men, their foreskin was retracted during the measurement.

Average size

Girth (width) measurements were taken by wrapping a measuring tape around the middle of the penis. Durex condom studies concurred with Kinsey's and it was found that the average penis size in length to be about 6.4 inches and for the girth the erect penis is about 5.2 inches.

How do women feel about penis size? If their partners have average or small penises, they believe that reaching sensitive spots will not be possible, or if the dimensions are not adequate, they would not be stimulated effectively. This leads to frustration, unfulfilled needs due to the inability to reach full orgasm that most women desire. For women to reach orgasm and increased pleasure, they must be physically stimulated. Interestingly, surveys have shown that women actually put partner's penis size as one of the top three most causes of sexual dissatisfaction.


Jan, 27, "Size does not matter to me because it is how creative my man is when we make love."

Sophia, 33, "I like a good length about eight inches or so, and I am blessed that my husband is well-endowed."

Martha, 52, "Penis size was never my concern as I have been getting good loving."


Men were more concerned about penis size and how it would provide satisfaction for their partners. They believe that women like the penis to be longer and thicker because it gives more satisfaction.

Harry, 52, "I have never had any complaints from my spouse so I think that my length and girth satisfies."

Len, 45, "When I go to the urinal, I feel a little envy but my wife does not complain, [not yet that is]."

Tommy, 27, "I see my penis enlarging with age and I am satisfied with what I have. Size is not critical but how you use it."

In general, couples fail to communicate about sensitive issues like penis size and sexual satisfaction. They do not wish the other parties to suffer emotionally and they keep the problem to themselves, hoping their partner finds out soon and that there is nothing that can be done about their partner's current penis size. Most people do not know that the penis can actually be enlarged. It is just like any other muscle in the body, the penis can be made bigger.

Penis growth

As men worry about their penis size they will try various techniques for enlargement. However, they should first understand how the penis grows. The penis is basically composed of three separate chambers or areas. The Corpus Cavernosum are the two larger chambers on either side of the penis. The Corpus Spongiosum is the smaller chamber found on the bottom and middle of the penis.

When sexually aroused, blood enters the penis and an erection occurs, hardening the penis. Most of the blood flows through, and is held in, the Corpus Cavernosum, which is made of sponge-like, penile tissue. The size of a man's penis is limited by the size and 'elasticity' of the penile tissue of the Corpus Cavernosum. The key to penis enlargement therefore lies in strengthening and increasing the size and capacity of this tissue.


One route touted for larger penises is penis enlargement surgery or phalloplasty, which uses a laser. It is the most advanced surgical method available for penis enlargement, penile lengthening or increasing penile circumference (widening or thickening). Men who want a larger penis to improve the sexual pleasure of their partner and/or enhance their self-confidence will visit a surgeon who uses the Minimally Invasive Surgery using Laser (MISL) Phalloplasty technique. When a man decides to enlarge his penis he should find a competent phalloplasty surgeon to ensure success without any complications.

Surgery can be of benefit to some men, but certainly not all of them.

It is worrying that men are flocking private clinics which advertise penile augmentation (enlargement) procedures and make extravagant and misleading claims about their results. Current cosmetic surgical procedures are largely unproved by research, unreliable in their benefits, and may carry the risk of serious complications. Urologists generally consider this type of surgery to be still experimental in nature, and not a standard procedure.

Pills and herbal products

Male enhancement pills attempt to allow the widening and enlargement of the penile tissue found in the Corpus Cavernosum and also increase its capacity for holding blood. The herbal ingredients found in these pills may do this by increasing blood flow to the penis. The end result, if successful, is a fuller, longer penis. Some of herbal products promoted for male enhancement include Catuaba, L-Arginine, Sarsasparilla, American Ginseng and Muira Puama.

According to, "Pills, ointments and nutritional supplements which are freely available on the market do not contain any of the hormones necessary for penis growth and are therefore completely ineffective for enlarging the penis. With such preparations, however, which mostly consist either of a simple mix of vitamins and minerals or herb extracts, there are still not insignificant health risks with incorrect applications or overdose. The assertion of being able to enlarge the penis with this medication is absurd. Taking nutritional supplements, which are often recommended, as part of a penis enlargement treatment (provided as so-called 'penis patches') does not bring any improved treatment results either. From a legal point of view, the sale of the aforementioned medication also contravenes the Pharmaceuticals Act of most countries."

Blood volume

The success or failure of any male enhancement product lies in its ability to adapt the Corpus Cavernosum chambers to larger capacity and more effective overall function. Furthermore, some herbal male enhancement pills are believed to have an effect on the endothelial cell, which is responsible for enhancing blood flow of arteries and veins. Penis growth occurs only when the volume of blood that the penis can hold is increased.

Men will find that there is more promotion of 'easy ways' to enlarge the penis' length and thickness while improving erection. However, a smart buyer is an informed buyer. Care should be taken for money spent on scams, unproved products and 'fly by night' companies promoting penis enlargement products. It is better to invest in a loving relationship with your partner for sexual satisfaction.

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