We’ve all heard about the health risks associated with a sedentary lifestyle, but scientists think it might play a role in a bizarre benefit of sorts. According to a study by researchers from several prestigious universities, the average length of erect penises on a global level has increased from just under five inches to about six inches between 1992 and 2021.
Yes, that’s right. Today’s top story is about the length of that organ. But don’t worry — I’ll try to avoid any juvenile jokes on the topic. Instead, we’ll dig into the basis for the study and the theories that scientists have put forward in an effort to explain the growing trend.
Researchers looked at scientific papers dating all the way back to 1942, but for the purposes of the 24% increase in length, all the data was compiled from roughly the past 30 years.
Scientists only used measurements taken in a clinical setting by a doctor and didn’t include patients who had just undergone pelvic surgery.
In the end, the research showed a clear increase “across several geographic regions and subject populations.”
Given the global decline in sperm count and an unexplained increase in diseases like testicular tumors, some scientists actually expected to find the opposite results from their study.
As researcher Michael Eisenberg explained: “Given the trends we'd seen in other measures of men's reproductive health, we thought there could be a decline in penile length due to the same environmental exposures.”
Nevertheless, scientists react to the evidence — and here are some theories they’ve come up with:
- Hormonal changes due to a sedentary lifestyle and widespread obesity
- Going through puberty earlier in life than in previous generations
- Environmental factors like exposure to hormone-disrupting chemicals