The Average Penis and Erection Size: What the Data Says

Average Penis and Erection Size: What the Data Says

At some point or another, every guy has wondered about their penis size. And who can blame them? With over 115 million people visiting popular porn sites like PornHub every day (the equivalent of the populations of Canada, Australia, Poland and the Netherlands), we’ve created a distorted sense of what size a “normal” penis is.

But actually, studies show time and time again that the real average penis size is smaller than we think it is.

A study published in the British Journal of Urology reviewed all of the available information about penis sizes that researchers have collected over the years. With over 17 studies and 15,000 male participants included, the results showed that the average flaccid (not erect) penis size is actually around 3.61 inches (9.16cm). When erect, the average size hovered around 5.17 inches (13.12cm).

When it comes to circumference (the length around the penis), the average sizes flaccid and erect were 3.66 inches (9.31cm) and 4.59 inches (11.66cm), respectively.

Size Flaccid Length Erect Length Flaccid Circumference Erect Circumference
in 3.61 5.17 3.66 4.59
cm 9.16 13.12 9.31 11.66

 Compare that with the average of 6 inches that most men think is normal, and you can see that our sense of reality is a little distorted. So in this guide, we’re gonna be diving into penis research (awesome) to find out just how different the perception vs. reality of “average” size really is, as well as trying to figure out why we think the average size is so much bigger than it really is.

"Is My Penis Size Normal?" – The King’s College Penis Study

Unrealistic expectations about penis size have spread like wildfire through mainstream media and pornography. Most dudes think that the 9 inch nuclear warheads they see in porn are normal and that their sub-9” penis is too small. It doesn’t sound like a big problem, but actually penis size is a common source of anxiety for men, and a surprising number of guys worry about whether or not their penis is big enough.

This is probably a good time to mention that, apparently, there’s a “massage” technique out there called “jelqing”. What is jelqing? Does jelqing work?

Jelqing is a technique that involves massaging the penis to improve blood flow and, supposedly, size. First thing to note is that the penis is most definitely not a muscle, so it can’t be “trained” in a way to increase its size.

Yes, we realize that we used a lot of quotation marks in that brief description about jelqing. But the technique itself isn’t important. Just the fact that there’s so much buzz around the technique should tell you that men are desperately trying to increase the sizes of their penis, which means that there really is quite a bit of anxiety around the issue.

Cue the King’s College Penis Study – a big (no pun intended) review of the available scientific evidence about penis size to help combat Body Dysmorphia Disorder (BDD), which they say “causes a person to have a distorted view of how they look and they can spend an obsessive amount of time worrying about their appearance. This can include worries over their weight, specific parts of their body and, for men, the size of their penis.”

With a whopping 17 studies and about 15,000 penis measurements included in the scientific paper, the researchers were able to look at a huge amount of data about penis size – from flaccid length to erect length to average circumference.

As we noted above, the researchers found these results:

  • Average flaccid penis size: 3.61 inches (9.16cm)
  • Average flaccid penis circumference (girth): 3.66 inches (9.31cm)
  • Average erect penis length: 5.17 inches (13.12cm)
  • Average erect penis circumference (girth): 4.59 inches (11.66cm)

The results should come as a relief to most men. This means that the average size of “six inches” that’s thrown around in casual conversation and media is fake news.

Average Penis Size: Data vs. Perception

As we also said before, there’s a big gap between what people think the average penis size is and what the data actually shows.

Get ready for more penis research.

UK company Health Bridge Limited conducted a survey to get a better picture of what the world thinks about penis size.

When they asked men and women what they thought the average penis size was and averaged the responses, here’s what they found:

  • Women believe average penis size to be around 5.43 inches (13.8cm)
  • Men believe average penis size to be around 5.55 inches (14.1cm)

Again, both men and women overestimate how big the average penis really is. It’s also pretty interesting to note that men reported a higher average size.

Whether that’s because guys tend to “round up” their size in conversation or because men watch more porn, it means that we’re our harshest critics.

But they also took it one step further and asked men and women what their ideal penis size is.

  • Women reported an ideal penis size of 6.22 inches (15.8cm)
  • Men reported an ideal penis size of 6.53 inches (16.6cm)

Again, men are reporting higher numbers than women. It’s also important to realize that these numbers could be inflated by the overestimated average penis size. We tend to think that bigger is better, and using the reported average penis sizes of 5.43 inches and 5.55 inches (women and men, respectively) as a reference point, you can see that both think that the ideal penis size is about 1 inch larger than what they think is “normal”.

This could mean that if people’s perception of “normal” wasn’t already grossly inflated, their ideal penis size would be more likely to float around the size found in the King’s College Study.

But here’s where it gets even more interesting. Do different countries have different preconceptions of what “normal” is?

The average length given by participants did vary by country, with Poland reporting the biggest perceived average penis length at 6.18 inches (15.7cm) and the UK reporting the smallest average penis size of 4.88 inches(12.4cm). Germany, Italy, Austria and the U.S. all featured estimates well above the real average, at 5.83 inches (14.8cm), 6.02 inches (15.3 cm), 6.14 inches (15.6cm), and 5.63 inches (14.3cm), respectively.

Average penis size by country

Overall, everybody thinks penises are bigger than they actually are. Again, whether that’s because porn makes us think that the average size is over 6 inches or because of the inflated numbers thrown around in casual conversation, we can see why men get anxious about their size.

Does Penis Size Matter? Do Women Care About Penis Size?

So now we know that the data shows that the average penis is smaller than we think, “average” and “ideal” sizes varying between countries and genders.

But now we get into the important stuff – does penis size even really matter?

In the same survey, women were asked how important penis size was to them in a potential partner. 67.4% said that size is somewhat important and not a major concern to them. 21.4% felt that penis size was not important. Only 11.2% of women said that size was very important to them.

So size isn’t as important to women as men think (This is our favorite statistic in the entire article if we’re honest 🍆).

Should You Be Worried About Your Penis Size?

There’s a lot of things that you can modify if you make the right lifestyle changes. You can lose weight, gain muscle, drop habits and change the way you think. But you can’t change your penis size – even if you pick up….”jelqing” (shuddering just thinking about it).

Combine that with the fact that everyone seems to be overestimating the average penis size and that women don’t seem to care about the size of your member, it becomes pretty clear that the solution is not to really give much attention to your genitals. Rather, show them some love. Clean them well, groom them and wrap them in an awesome pair of comfy boxer briefs.

Oh, and here's a discount code: BOXERBRIEFS. Use that at checkout for 10% off any amount of undies. Buy 3 and we'll bump that up to 15%, no code needed.

You can also make some small changes to find that special someone who’ll appreciate your guy for who he is. To help you with that, we’ve also made a comprehensive guide to a perfect first date.

Want more info from guys who know what they’re talking about? Check out the Nooks blog. Want awesome underwear? Check out our sustainable, crazy comfy boxer briefs.