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Length and circumference of the penis are commonly discussed in in various contexts, such as clinical significance, cultural aspects, determinant of male attractiveness, and factor of sexual satisfaction.

Penile length varies greatly between healthy males of all races, although some medical conditions can manifest with abnormal penis length and/or circumference.

Clinical Significance Of Penile Length

The normal length of the penis depends mainly on age. The mean length of penis at birth is about 3.5 cm, and it is supposed to slightly increase until the end of the first year due to increased testosterone levels. During childhood, testosterone levels are low and penile size normally does not increase much until adolescence when penis starts growing again and reaches its adult size.

Research has shown that the size of a flaccid penis is not proportional to its erect size. In other words, some small penises erect more than some larger penises.

Many studies have been done to determine average size of erect penis, but they used different methods, so the results varied from 12.5 cm to 16 cm.

Micropenis is a condition in which an adult length of an erect penis is less than 7 cm. This condition can be a consequence of a hormonal imbalance during prenatal or postnatal development and genetic anomalies, as well as environmental factors such as improper nutrition, exposure to harmful chemicals, and radiation.

Micropenis can be treated with hormone replacement therapy or surgery, depending on the cause.

It is not rare that parents bring older boys in because of small genitalia, but in most of them, the actual problem is so-called "buried penis". It is a condition in which the stretched penis has a normal size, but it seems smaller because of the surrounding fat tissue. Therefore, buried penis is most common in obese boys. If measured size is below 2.5 standard deviations for the age, further examination is required.

Penile Length And Male Attractiveness

There are controversial opinions about the relation between penis size and male attractiveness. Some studies suggest that males with longer penises are more attractive, based on female choice, but only up to 7.6 cm of flaccid size. Penises larger than 7.6 cm brought decreasing female interest. Other studies report that penis size does not affect male attractiveness at all, or that it has significance only in combination with other factors, such as shoulder-to-hip ratio and height.

Penile Length And Sexual Satisfaction

The most acknowledged sex researchers in the US, Masters and Johnson, claim that penile length (within normal range) cannot possibly have an effect on female sexual satisfaction, as the vagina is a potential space that conforms to the length of the penis. On the other hand, the width of the penis could have a potential effect on female satisfaction, based on results of interviews with females. In one study, of 50 sexually active, female, undergraduate students, 45 reported that width of the penis was more important than the length.

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