A document that came from a large National Institutes of Health study that began in 2006, titled: “The Association Between Penis Size and Sexual Health Among Men Who Have Sex with Men” has been receiving a great deal of media attention.
This attention originated from Fox News and the Traditional Values Coalition, both seemingly pushing a political agenda. The attention is not simply because of the study’s conclusions, but because of the cost of original grant that came from the federal government and its link this study that examined penis size and sexual health .
The press discussing this article focused on some of the key findings that are easily sensationalized , namely; “Those gay men who felt they had small or inadequate penis sizes were more likely to become “bottoms,” or anal receptive, while gay men with larger penises were more likely to identify themselves as “tops,” or anal insertive. Another finding is also mentioned in most of the articles, a finding stating that men with smaller penises were more likely to be psychologically troubled than those with larger genitalia.
After reading the full publication, I can report that there was more to the study that just sexual positioning. It sought to explore four questions: First, to what extent is perceived penis size associated with penis size satisfaction? Second, understanding that condoms are often limited to a narrow range of available sizes, to what extent is perceived penis size associated with condom use, HIV, and STIs? Third, to what extent is perceived penis size associated with men’s sexual positioning (anal insertive vs. receptive)? Finally, to what extent is perceived penis size associated with psychosocial outcomes (e.g., adjustment in the GLBT community)?
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