With the countless studies on sex, penis size, and testosterone out there, it's clear that researchers are obsessed with men's genitalia. And most of the time, they don't have good news: A new report says infertile men have an increased risk of dying younger, specifically citing those with two or more abnormalities in their semen. That's right — as if it wasn't bad enough that a guy can't have kids, he's probably going to kick the bucket soon. Thanks, science.
The medical field abounds with foreboding statistics for men, but said "findings" are often contradictory, if not just plain weird. Take this example: If infertility seems likely to kill you, you may want to look into just getting rid of your junk altogether. Because according to a different study, it's castration that guarantees a longer life for men. We're scratching our heads right along with you.
While women have plenty to complain about when it comes to scientists' tendency towards sexist assumptions, research on male anatomy always seems to put men in an impossible position: Bigger isn't better... but sometimes it is? Take a look at some of the craziest recent findings about male genitalia — and their subtexts.
Real Headline: "Men with smaller testes make better fathers, study claims"
Big balls = bad dad, supposedly. One study published in the journal PNAS (hah, get it?) says smaller testicle size in men is linked to better child-rearing.
Fathers' ball size and their testosterone levels were analyzed when researchers showed the men pictures of their own child. Apparently, men with smaller testes reacted more strongly to the photos, and were more likely to take charge of parenting jobs.
The study (problematically) suggests that some guys may be more wired to assume the fatherly role, hinting that decreases in testosterone may suppress efforts to mate and instead make men focus on parenting.
You know how they say big shoes? Nope. All about the hands. Fingers, actually.
Apparently, finger length can tell you all about the size of a man's penis. A study published in the Asian Journal of Andrology says that the lower the ratio between the length of a man's index finger and the length of his ring finger, the longer his penis.
But wait, there's more: Researchers used something called the 2D:4D ratio, which looks at the measurements of a man's index finger and ring finger. The ratio is an indication of how much testosterone you were exposed to as a developing fetus. Men usually have a longer ring finger compared to their pointer, and scientists even say that gay men have a relatively higher, more "feminine" 2D:4D ratio. Again, not problematic at all.
Subtext: "See, don't feel bad!"
In this case, researchers suggest that bigger isn't always better. Researchers questioned 545 couples in Kenya, and what they found was pretty surprising. For every one inch longer a man's penis was, the likelihood of his wife cheating on him increased by one-and-a-half times.
"Women associated large penises with pain and discomfort during sex which precludes the enjoyment and sexual satisfaction that women are supposed to feel," the study says.
One woman even said that it hurt so much that she had to find another partner. Yikes.
Contradictory to the Kenyan report, other studies claim that a bigger penis size does in fact make a positive difference for women.
I mean, forget personality. An Australian study found that after height, broad shoulders, and a trim waist, penis length made the list of top qualities preferred in terms of attractiveness. The longer, the better. As the size increased, so did the scores of appeal.
Because there is apparently endless funding for research on this important topic that is always overlooked, even more research says women who have "frequent vaginal orgasms" are more likely to climax with larger penises.
Subtext: "Everyone knows you have a small penis, and they're judging you"
Dr. Christopher Morriss-Roberts, a senior lecturer at the University of Brighton, suggests that athletes look up to teammates with bigger penises, and that those who have them are more likely to become leaders. It's a double-edged sword (we are cracking ourselves up) however, because if it's too big, guys get suspicious as to how effectively you can actually use that leader-stick for sex.
"This knowing of who has a large cock and who didn’t within a homosocial environment helped individual sporting males climb up a social hierarchy of importance,” Morriss-Roberts writes. "Those with the larger penises were revered and idolised by their teammates as a symbol of masculinity."
Finally, we know what really goes on in those locker rooms. (And that researchers in Brighton use the word cock.) All of science's mysteries have been solved.