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Measuring Up: An Improved Outlook On The View, Ahem, Down There

With a new study on penis size, some welcome perspective on the perennial question, "Am I Normal?" (Hans and Leslie/flickr)MoreCloseclosemore
With a new study on penis size, some welcome perspective on the perennial question, "Am I Normal?" (Hans and Leslie/flickr)

A remarkable post on WBUR's CommonHealth blog this week took a very tough issue head on: penis size. It turns out that most of us are better off than we thought.

Which is good, I guess. However, it means I’ll never again get to tell the old joke about the time I flashed the woman at the front desk of the library who looked up and said, “Microbiology, third floor.”

Still, it’s a good thing, no? The old way of wondering if we measured up, so to speak, involved listening to other men bragging at the bar and trying to separate the wheat from the chaff, or sneaking a peek in the locker room. Neither was easy to do, and the latter could get you banned from the Y.

Now science has come to the rescue. The blog entry, titled "'Am I Normal?’ Check Biggest Study Yet Of Penis Size, Among 15,000 Men” details a study that has taken the guesswork out of the male genitalia game. Thanks to these clearly underpaid scientists we know all about “flaccid,” “stretched” and “erect” penises. Which, first off, makes me thankful I wasn’t in the “stretched” group. Secondly, it brings new meaning to the phrase “too much information.”

If it were up to me, I would have canned this whole study, saved some money, and told all those worried men out there to buy a ruler and get a life.

The researchers looked at the results of 17 previous studies where members were medically measured. The result was the largest sample of men, more than 15,500, who had put it all on the line for an assortment of medical member measurers (and I thought I was embarrassed by the title on my business card!). They plotted the results and shared their findings.

By the time I’d charted my exact latitude and longitude on the nonogram accompanying the story, I did indeed feel better about myself. Not that I had great worries: my wife has always told me I’m “fine down there.” Then again, I’ve seen how she stumbles over eye charts. And as for parallel parking, she can’t tell a foot from a yard (ask my insurance company). In short, no member measurer is she.

The study also tells us that men Google ways to increase their “manhood” more than how to cook an omelet, play guitar or change a tire. That’s a lie: We’re far too busy watching internet porn to waste time doing searches. Further, real men don’t cook omelets.

While the results of this study gave me reassurance in one area, it unsettled me in another. There are only so many scientific minds on this planet, and to have even a handful of them engaged in such a superfluous effort seems like a waste — especially when what we really need to be chasing are advancements in the fight against diseases like cancer, diabetes, ALS and myriad other medical problems that affect people in very real ways.

If it were up to me, I would have canned this whole study, saved some money, and told all those worried men out there to buy a ruler and get a life.

Then again, it feels kind of nice for once to be normal.

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