By Michelle Dassinger
Everything you’ve ever heard about penis size is true.
Or at least that’s what Richard Edwards, author of “The Definitive Penis Size Survey” says.
According to Edwards, Caucasians, including Indo-Pakistanis, have larger penises than Asian men. This difference amounts to about one inch in both the flaccid and erect states. His latest revised figures indicated black men’s penises average a little over seven inches erect versus six and a half inches for Caucasians.
Edwards, a medical researcher for a large teaching hospital in the United States, began his on-line penis size survey (www.connection.com/-dickie/quest.html) four and a half years ago. Along with filling out a questionnaire, survey participants are required to submit a photo of their erect penises. The latest edition of the study involves over 3,000 subjects.
Many Ryerson students have heard similar statements about relations and penis size before, but they don’t all believe the survey results are accurate.
“You can’t stereotype like that—there’s usually a majority and a minority and there’s exceptions to every rule,” says John Tran, a first-year electrical engineering student. “You can’t just say that because he’s Asian he has a small peni or because he’s black he has a big penis.”
Despite what critics say, Edwards believes his results are accurate. “My ‘Measurement Verification Project,’ which requires subjects to submit a photo of their erect penises next to a tape measure, is in complete agreement with the results of the questionnaire.”
Dr. Robert Stubbs, a plastic surgeon specializing in penis lengthening surgery in Toronto, has been measuring adult men’s penises for seven years. He agrees with Edwards’ results. “Blacks have, on average, bigger penis than [Caucasians] and [Caucasians] have on average bigger penises than [Asians],” Stubbs says.
But even if this is true, some feel these studies belittle people of different races.
“It enforces other stereotypes about our sexuality, that we should only be regarded as sexual objects—not as humans,” says Monique Brand, a first-year social work student.
Stubbs said people are reluctant to believe penis-size studies because everyone wants to be equal.
“In Canada we’ve got a lot of cultures and a lot of differences and unless you’re tolerant, you can be called a racist,” he says. “Unless you try to explain the people that there is a difference but the difference is okay.”
University of Western Ontario psychology professor J. Philippe Rushton has also researched racial differences in penis size. In his book, Race Evolution and Behaviour, he write he does not doubt the connection between penis size and race. “There definitely is one, there’s no question about it,” he says, adding that ancient Greeks were among the first to note penis size differences.
“Unfortunately, most people dismiss these as stories of stereotypes.”
Rushton says these differences are hormonal and black men have between three and 19 per cent more testosterone than white men.
“It may be that testosterone is the mediator of the penis size differences,” RUshton says. “So a race with a large amount of testosterone, among all the other things testosterone confers, like deep voice and more muscle, it gives a larger penis.
Rushton is contantly being called a racist for his attempts to map races on an evolutionary scale. He believes blacks are the least evolved, and Asians the most highly evolved. He puts Caucasians in the middle.
These studies are not the first to find penis size difference along racial lines. In September, researchers at British Columbia’s Children’s Hospital began a similar study by measuring the penis sizes of babies. Although the study has been completed, the results are not yet available.
Even though many Ryerson students don’t see anything wrong with these types of studies, some feel threatened by people like Rushton because he may be drawing unfounded conclusions about race.
“Sometimes people go in with an open mind trying to find out the truth,” says Prince Sefah, an information technology management student. “But there are always some people who go in with very bad intentions trying to find a way to stereotype people.”
Third-year commerce student Bart Molenda believes even controversial claims—like Rushton’s—deserve consideration. “I think it’s important because it raises arguments [and] it makes people think,” he says. “Just like perhaps we look at Freud right now and we think the theories he came up with are ludicrous, but look how many people he stimulated to argue against him to form their own theories.”
Rushton is confident his theories are valid because there isn’t any conflicting evidence.
“People who disagree with me should really go and gather some measurements themselves,” he says. “Nobody can do that.”
Stubbs cautiously admits some of Rushton’s claims may be true.
“Rushton may have said things with too much emphasis, [but] he may be a racist who’s correct on some of the things he says,” says Stubbs. “I don’t think I’m a racist, I just try and, as a physician, call what I see.”
In his book, Rushton claims the World Health Organization’s guidelines specify smaller condoms should be sent to Asia, medium-sized ones to North America and Europe and the largest condoms to Africa. The WHO denies make these specifications, saying it deals with international health matters and penis size is clearly not one of them.
Whether or not the results of “The Definitive Penis Size Survey” are true, one thing is clear—penis size is of great importance to men.
“One’s penis defines oneself as being a male,” Edwards says. “Men tend to assume that one’s masculinity is proportional to one’s penis size.”
Sefah agrees. “One of the things you use to show your manhood is your penis and that’s the classic differentiation between men and women.”
Stubbs’ practice proves men to worry about their size. Between November 1993 and July 1995, Stubbs discussed penis lengthening surgery with over 1,000 men.
“They are their penises, “ he says. “Men are just penises on sticks, penises on legs. It’s a symbol of manhood just like breasts are a symbol of femininity. Every morning they check it when they get up.”