The inexact science of penis measurement.

Health and medicine explained.
Feb. 13 2006 5:20 PM

On the Matter of Size

The inexact science of penis measurement.

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My hope is that the golden age of penis literature will usher in another golden age—with a revenge-of-the-nerds twist—of alertness to the countless nuances embedded in statistics. Roger Maris and his mighty asterisk made us aware that the rate of home runs matters more than the raw number of dingers per season (60 HRs in 154 games trumps 61 in 162 games every time). The field of penis elongation should make us similarly mindful of the limits of selective information.

But in case you're still wondering, here is what we know: When self-measured, the median length of a stretched flaccid penis is about 5.1 inches. For an erect penis, most studies come in at 5.5 to 6 inches. The average flaccid penis is in the 3.5- to 4-inch range. If someone else is doing the measuring, well, the numbers come out lower. But go ahead, add a little extra. After all, it's Valentine's Day.

Kent Sepkowitz is a physician in New York City who writes about medicine.