Size matters more in the change room than the bedroom - research

Men admit they feel insecure about their bodies in front of their mates.Photo / Thinkstock
Men admit they feel insecure about their bodies in front of their mates.Photo / Thinkstock

Most men are more concerned about how they measure up against their male friends than what their girlfriends think of their penis size, a new study has found.

While most men insisted it's not size that counts in the bedroom department, many admitted to still feeling insecure about how they compared to their male friends.

Victoria University Doctorate of Clinical Psychology graduate Dr Annabel Chan Feng Yi carried out an online study of 738 men about their body image.

She found most of the men, aged between 18 and 76, were insecure about their weight, build and even their penis size.

But instead of being concerned over what their girlfriend's may think of their physique, many admitted it mattered most what their friends thought.

"Men's pre-occupation with size was rarely to do with pleasing sexual partners or even appearing as a better sexual partner," Dr Chan said.

"It was often more about competition with other men. Many felt most insecure about their size in environments where other men might see them, such as gym change rooms."

She said those who suffered from "locker room syndrome" were actually content with their size when it came to sexual matters with their partner.

But a desire to compete against other males led to an obsession with body building and being muscular - especially among homosexual men who were surveyed.

"The research demonstrates that societal pressures on body image are certainly not unique to women and that while men share similar body image concerns they often don't have the appropriate forum to discuss them or adequate professional support to deal with them.

"There is clearly a need to provide more research-based training for clinicians working in this field and public awareness to de-mystify and de-stigmatising the topic of male body image."

The research also highlighted an urgent need to incorporate the experience of men facing obesity issues and its implications in further research, instead of the current one-sided focus on men's drive for muscularity, she said.

But while men don't seem to put too much emphasis on what their partners think of penis size, recent research shows it is still very important to the modern woman.

Women were shown several images of the male form with varying combinations of height, shoulder-to-body ratio and, of course, penis length.

They were then asked to rate the attractiveness of each man - with penis size ending up the most influential factor, according to the research published in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS) earlier this year.

Researchers at the University of Ottawa, Canada, found that while women's opinions were influenced by a variety of physical features - tall and broad-shouldered men tended to be favoured over shorter men with bigger waistlines - the size of a man's penis reigned supreme in the attractiveness stakes.

But they did also find that it was important to those surveyed for penis size to be in proportion with the rest of the body.

- DAILY MAIL

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