In a study ostensibly about whether women care if penises have been surgically repaired to treat distal hypospadias (when the urethra's opening is on the underside of the penis), scientists learned which characteristics of male genitalia matter most to a woman. Reporting in the Journal of Sexual Medicine under the title, "What is a Good Looking Penis?" Swiss researchers find that, at least among the 105 women they surveyed, the position and shape of the urethral opening is the least important of eight characteristics—a potentially reassuring finding for the men affected by what the researchers frame as one of the "most common penile malformations." It's thought to occur in about 0.3% to 0.5% of male births, and while it's generally surgically corrected within the first year of life, "men with an operated hypospadias are reported to be more dissatisfied with their penile appearance."
So where do length and girth fall on the importance scale? Near the bottom, at Nos. six and seven, respectively. Here's what matters most to the women, who ranged in age from 16 to 45: the somewhat vague "general cosmetic appearance," followed by, in order, skin, glans shape, scrotum appearance, and pubic hair appearance. And with age comes acceptance: "The multiple regression analyses indicated that the older and the more sexually interested a woman is, the more normal she perceives the appearance of a penis to be." A survey published yesterday by Cosmopolitan of 1,100 readers (most of them women) echoed these findings: 89% said they aren't worried about the size of their partner's penis, even though only 33% characterized said members as "large." (This teen actually had surgery to reduce the size of his penis.)