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If you have any medical questions or concerns, please talk to your healthcare provider. The articles on Health Guide are underpinned by peer-reviewed research and information drawn from medical societies and governmental agencies. However, they are not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment.
A lot of guys have some anxiety about the size of their penis, but statistically speaking, most guys have an average-sized penis. How big is that? Probably not as big as you think.
Average penis length and girth
A 2015 research review found that the average erect penis size is 5.17 inches long (13.12 cm). And the average erect penis circumference (aka “girth”) is 4.59 inches (9.31 cm). For a flaccid penis, that size goes down a bit to 3.6 inches (9.16 cm) long on average, with an average girth of 3.67 inches (9.31 cm) (Veale, 2014).
Why, then, do most men think the average penis size is more than 6 inches long? We can thank a researcher named Alfred Kinsey for that (King, 2020). He and his colleagues published a report in the 1960s that claimed that the average penis size was over 6 inches, and unfortunately, that problematic number has buried itself deep in our psyche (Kinsey Institute, n.d.). After more extensive research on the topic, we now know that it was an overshoot of about 20% beyond the actual number.
How many guys have 7 inches or more?
It’s rare. Super rare. According to the available research, just one in a hundred guys have a penis that measures between 7–8 inches erect.
Numerous studies have found that Kinsey’s original estimate of 6 inches is around a full inch longer than average. While we’ll take his findings with a grain of salt, Kinsey’s other research showed that extremely large penises (over 7–8 inches) are exceedingly rare. In fact, the original Kinsey penis-size survey found that only (Kinsey Institute, n.d.):
- 1% of men have a penis between 7–8 inches
- 6 in 1000 guys (0.6%) have a 9-inch penis
- Just over 0.2% of guys have a penis larger than 9 inches—that’s 2 in 1000
Up to 90% of male penises are within an inch of the average size. Statistically speaking, that means most guys have a normal-sized penis. No, really. Your penis is most likely within the normal range.
Is my penis normal? Size, shape, firmness, and curvature
How to make your penis bigger
While most penises are a perfectly adequate size, many men are still unsatisfied with the size of their penis and want to find ways to make it bigger. If your penis falls in the normal range but you’re still bothered by the size of your penis, you may have what some researchers call penis anxiety or penis dysmorphic disorder (PDD—a type of body dysmorphic disorder).
In some cases, though, especially if you’re in the rare group of people with a micropenis, penis enlargement procedures or devices may be able to help. Learn more about the penis enlargement options available.
Does penis size matter?
The size of your penis almost definitely matters more to you than to anyone else, including your sexual partner or partners. One large study showed that only about 50% of men are satisfied with their penis size, while a whopping 85% of women are satisfied with their partner’s penis size (Lever, 2006).
A lot of myths and stereotypes link penis size to race, hand size, or even shoe size. But there just aren’t enough credible studies to back up any of these claims. Most guys have a penis that’s within an inch of the average size, so you’re probably right where you need to be. If you still have concerns, you can speak with your healthcare provider about the options available.
- King, B. M. (2021). Average-size erect penis: fiction, fact, and the need for counseling. Journal of Sex & Marital Therapy, 47(1), 80–89. doi: 10.1080/0092623X.2020.1787279. Retrieved from https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/32666897/
- Kinsey Institute. (n.d.). Penis size FAQ and bibliography. Retrieved from https://kinseyinstitute.org/research/publications/penis-size-faq-bibliography.php
- Lever, J., Frederick, D. A., & Peplau, L. A. (2006). Does size matter? Men’s and women’s views on penis size across the lifespan. Psychology of Men & Masculinity, 7(3), 129–143. doi: 10.1037/1524-9184.108.40.206. Retrieved from https://psycnet.apa.org/record/2006-09081-001
- Veale, D., Miles, S., Bramley, S., Muir, G., & Hodsoll, J. (2015). Am I normal? A systematic review and construction of nomograms for flaccid and erect penis length and circumference in up to 15 521 men. BJU International, 115(6), 978–986. doi: 10.1111/bju.13010. Retrieved from https://bjui-journals.onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1111/bju.13010
Yael Cooperman is a physician and works as a Senior Manager, Medical Content & Education at Ro.