Old Wives' Tales
Radio & TV
Toxin du jour
Claim: The size of a man's nose, hands, or feet is a reliable indicator of the size of his penis.
Origins: A long-lived mistaken belief relates penis size to a visible body part: hand, foot, or nose. Among those who consider there might be something to such a correlation, some say masculine length directly relates to a man's shoe size, while others assert the measurement of the subject's hand from wrist to fingertip will reveal his exact personal dimensions. Still more believe a man's proboscis tells the tale when measured from the middle of his eyebrows to the tip, making his masculine information as plain as the nose on his face. Others who have been romanced by the belief opt for more generalized comparisons, avowing that large hands, feet, or noses correspond to larger equipment below.
Until only recently, the only refutation of this hypothesis was anecdotal — for every supposed relative measurement, menfolk could always be found whose vitals defied the supposed wisdom. ("I used to believe your theory until I met my
Urologists at St. Mary's Hospital and University College Hospital in London recorded the penile length of
The St. Mary's study was not the first attempt to test the theory, but it was the first to adhere to a scientific standard. Although previous tests had appeared to show at least a mild correlation, the studies themselves were seriously flawed, as they relied upon the subjects to accurately report their personal information. The
That the study disproves the relationship doesn't mean belief in it is likely to wane. We want to believe a link exists between the size of the penis and some other appendage
Yet it's not all desire for order: we also delight in the theory of penile endowment relating to hand, foot, or nose size because, if true, such relationship would give us insight into a very private aspect of folks we might want to know more about. It's the mental equivalent of "I've seen you naked!" in all its smugly superior juvenility. A hated boss becomes less fearsome if one can imagine him with a small penis, just as an admired sports figure becomes less daunting when pictured the same way.
Although penis size has no bearing on sexual satisfaction, we live in a society which deals a consumeristic lesson of "bigger is better." Some of this carries over to color males' perception of themselves, convincing many
Last updated: 11 July 2007
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