This Morning: Man with 'world's biggest penis' appears on show

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Scientists have been left baffled by the “worldwide” increase in the average length of an erect penis, which has rocketed from 4.8 inches to 6 inches for no clear reason. A team of researchers from Stanford, Emory University, and several universities in Italy went over 75 different research papers published between 1942 and 2021, which recorded erect penis measurements in up to 55,761 men. 

They made sure they looked into studies where scientists were doing the measuring, rather patients self-recording, which could limit the likelihood of an accurate result. 

The scientific paper – published in the World Journal of Men’s Health on Valentines Day – revealed “an increase in the average erect penile length in men from 1992 to 2021” that stretched “across several geographic regions and subject populations”. 

However, the experts have been left scratching their heads at the unexplained 24 percent increase over 29 years. 

In fact, Dr Michael L. Eisenberg from Stanford University School of Medicine, a co-auhtor of the study, said he expected the results to be very different. 

Referring to studies that have found sperm counts and testosterone levels are declining, he said: “We expected that we would see a similar declining trend when we looked at penile length, but we found quite the opposite.

“Our reproductive system is one of the most important pieces of human biology. If we’re seeing this fast of a change, it means that something powerful is happening to our bodies.

“We should try to confirm these findings and if confirmed, we must determine the cause of these changes

But scientists have come up with a number of theories that may help to explain the bizarre rise. For instance, they have speculated that global environmental causes could be behind the rise. This may also be linked to boys (and girls) going through puberty much earlier than in previous generations. 

Dr Eisenberg added: “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.”

Dr. Larry Lipshultz from Baylor College of Medicine in Texas, who did not work on the study, suggested that one possible explanation is the role of internet pornography. 

He said: “You might possibly blame online porn, but that’s just a theory.  The more someone has erections, there might be greater potential for better erections. The tissue would stretch more, hence would get longer.”

Another explanation is that a more “sedentary lifestyle” could be leading to hormonal changes that boost penis length. 

The researchers wrote: “It can be speculated that these changes may be linked with observations that pubertal milestones are occurring in younger boys than in the past. Investigators have hypothesized sedentary lifestyle/obesity or increasing exposure to hormone-disrupting substances may play a role.”

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The researchers also suggested that “chemical exposure, like pesticides or hygiene products” could also be changing hormonal levels in men.

However, it is important to note that while there are billions of men alive today, the study only focused on a group of 55,000. Meanwhile, penis measurements can also be affected by temperature, body size, among other factors. 

Further studies will be needed to back up the results and confirm the trend, the researchers added. 

They wrote: “Given the important implications of genital development for urinary and reproductive function, future studies should attempt to confirm the trend and identify the etiology.”

The next step will involve looking at other patient populations, such as the pediatric population, to determine whether there are similar changes. 

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