warning Hi, we've moved to USCANNENBERGMEDIA.COM. Visit us there!

Neon Tommy - Annenberg digital news

Official Penis Shame Scale Devised

Gabi Duncan |
October 8, 2013 | 11:15 a.m. PDT

Staff Reporter

Penis shame scale proves that guys worry about measuring up (Pinterest).
Penis shame scale proves that guys worry about measuring up (Pinterest).
Penis size has always been a delicate matter for the male sex, and understandably so. In a world that fixates on size, men face constant pressure about whether they are measuring up.

New research shows that all this anxiety may be completely unnecessary and self-inflicted. 

According to the new study published in The Journal of Sexual Medicine, most men are insecure about the size of their penis even if they are well-endowed. 

Dr.David Veale led the study “Beliefs about Penis Size: Validation of a Scale for Men Ashamed about Their Penis Size.”

SEE ALSO: HIV-Positive Porn Stars Argue For Safer Sex On Set

Veale said that penis shame is “an emotional feeling.” It is similar to other forms of body dissatisfaction that anyone can be susceptible to and is often not rooted in reality. 

Veale and his colleagues created the study to measure this anxiety and hopefully develop ways to improve guys’ body perception. The researchers recruited 173 men and gave them a questionnaire called BAPS (Beliefs About Penis Size Scale) that focused on their individual penis concerns. The questions concentrated on the issues of depression, anxiety, body image, quality of life, erectile dysfunction and the importance of penis size. After completing the questionnaire, 46 men agreed to have their penises measured for the study, in both the flaccid and erect states. 

The results: 30 percent of men were completely dissatisfied with their penises and only 35 percent reported contentment with their size. The penises measured in the study ranged from 2.75 inches to 7 inches when flaccid and 3.93 inches to 7.87 inches when erect.

SEE ALSO: Dudes Count Calories, Too

Researchers concluded that there was no correlation between the size of a man’s penis and his penis pride. It did not matter how much they were packing--all of the men possessed similar fears. Some of those fears included being laughed at by a sexual partner, changing in front of other men, not being able to have children and people being able to see the shape and size of their penis through their pants. 

Society has often portrayed the stereotype that guys with big penises are the cockiest, most confident guys around. Science is proving this to be inaccurate. The sensitivity that guys feel about their most beloved member most likely stems from past personal experiences. Locker rooms can be a guy’s worst nightmare. The ridicule guys face about their penis size at the gym can leave a lasting scar. Negative encounters in sexual relationships exacerbate the situation and leave men feeling even more inadequate. 

SEE ALSO: SexSCapades: Sex or Relationship?

The media also play a major role by continuously pervading the notion that bigger is always better. The porn industry, for example, represents unreal depictions of the average male penis size that most of the population cannot compete with. Inevitably, men create manifestations of what masculinity looks like and conclude that they are not up to par.

The bottom line is that inches do not necessarily add up to confidence. Penis shame can develop from a variety of influences, regardless of the breadth of a guy’s manhood.

Turns out, penises can be sensitive in more ways than one.

Reach Staff Reporter Gabi Duncan here. Follow her on Twitter.



Craig Gillespie directed this true story about "the most daring rescue mission in the history of the U.S. Coast Guard.”

Watch USC Annenberg Media's live State of the Union recap and analysis here.