Check it out, from ABCNEWS.com:
When Alfred Kinsey did his groundbreaking research in the mid-1940s, researchers simply gave men stamped postcards. Each one simply held a postcard against his erect penis, marked how long it was, and slipped the results in the mail.
"They never had to hold a ruler against themselves," says Kinsey spokesman Jennifer Bass.
Measuring an erect penis is no easy matter. Kinsey, Masters and Johnson, and various urology groups have been satisfied with either letting the men do it themselves or with surveys of a few dozen volunteers.
But condom companies need more accurate measurements for the best-fitting products ? even if sex experts assure us that size doesn't matter. Lifestyles says it did the largest and most accurate measure of penis size ever just three weeks ago. Company representatives went to Cancun, Mexico, at the heart of spring break, hoping to get 1,000 guys to drop their trousers, get aroused, and let a team of nurses measure them individually.
The guys got to go into a private tent outside Daddy Rock nightclub, where they found girlie magazines and other items to put them in the mood. Then came the doctor and two nurses. Each penis was measured by two of the four nurses.
"It was a highly professional operation," said Dr. Francisco Ordonez, who supervised the research. "The nurses wore disposable latex gloves and the men were all good-humored and well-behaved."
It's amazing what some college guys on spring break will do for some free T-shirts, condoms and other prizes. The researchers thought holding the testing in such an environment, where guys tended to cluster in bunches, would help get true variety.
"In other tests, guys responded individually, and perhaps only guys who were proud of their penis size would respond," says Joseph. "In this test, we thought peer pressure would help coax guys who wouldn't ordinarily do such a thing into doing it."
Still, when it came time for measuring, about 25 percent of the guys weren't up to the job and had to face a little humiliation in the name of science.
Ordonez and his team had to be satisfied with 300 respondents. That's far fewer than they hoped for. But it's nearly twice as many as a similar study in Brazil last year, which had similar results.
The Importance of Girth
"It's absolutely important that we have the best information to make the best-fitting condom," said Carol Carrozza, Lifestyle's vice president of marketing. "If a condom is too tight, it constricts circulation. It's uncomfortable, and it reduces sensitivity. If it's too loose, that's dangerous."
According to the study, the average erect penis had a girth of 4.972 inches. About 75 percent of men were between 4.5 and 5.5 inches.
"We already have a larger condom," says Carrozza. "What our research shows is that 17 percent of erections measured under 4.5 inches, and there might be a market for that."
Of course, once again, the frail male ego comes into play, and while condoms come in large, studded, ribbed and flavored varieties, you don't see small or petite or narrow models. We'll just have to see what kind of circumlocution the marketing folks come up with.