It's as official as anything quantifying one's genitals can ever be — British men have bigger penises than either of their continental rivals, German men or French men. Cheers, Continental Europe.
The Britons, at an penal average of 5.5. (erect) inches, also beat out the Australians (5.2) and the Americans (5.0, wah, wah, waaaah). However, all the financially woe-begotten southern Europeans seem to have a third leg-up on the more fiscally disciplined (or lucky, or greedy) members of the Eurozone — Greeks sported an averaged of 5.8 inches and the Italians — like the nightingales they sing, like the eagle they fly — an average of 6.2 inches. Telegraph writer Stephen Adams makes a pretty crass joke about North and South Koreans "drawing the short stick" in terms of global erection-measuring, while men from the Congo (7.1 inches), Ecuador (7.0 inches), Ghana (6.8 inches), and Colombia (6.8 inches) had the most oppressive phalluses.
Now, what you're probably asking yourself at this point is: what manner of offensive ethnography is this? Excellent question! The study, published in the journal Personality and Individual Difference, was first of all conducted by an understatedly "controversial" professor from Ulster University named Richard Lynn, who is notable for his thesis that some races have evolved to be more intelligent than others. So that's the sort of warped imagination a study like this springs out of. It's also important to note that Lynn used previously-gathered data on average penis length from 113 different countries, and, as Salon's Debby Herbenick noted earlier this week when conservative chanticleer Rush Limbaugh announced that feminism has caused penises everywhere to shrivel up and die, getting accurate dick measurements is thoroughly tricky. Go figure.
Lynn himself admits that the website (the website! what happened to field work, hmm?) from which he collected his data has not been verified by other academics, which is as close as an academic may ever come to outright announcing, "None of this is true, just btw." For all its flaws, the study — or news of the study as reported by several story-hungry outlets —is, in fact, extremely relevant, since it comes galloping closely on the heels of Jen Doll's Atlantic Wire article about how a lot of scientific studies swatted at by the media are either mostly or utterly bogus. With just the kernel of a lurid/controversial idea, a researcher can drum up some figures and troll readers like the dimwitted groupers we can be, by either reaffirming or challenging some of our most deeply held beliefs, such as the fact that Americans have the biggest pee-pees.
Stiff Brits beat their rivals [Telegraph]
Image via Sergiy Telesh/Shutterstock.