Thursday, July 16, 2020

Average-Size Erect Penis: Fiction, Fact, and the Need for Counseling

Average-Size Erect Penis: Fiction, Fact, and the Need for Counseling. Bruce M. King. Journal of Sex & Marital Therapy, Jul 15 2020.

Most men believe that the average length of an erect penis is greater than 6 inches (15.24 cm). This belief is due, in part, to several often-cited studies that relied on self-reported measurements, with means of about 6.2 inches (15.75 cm) for heterosexual men and even greater for gay men. These studies suffered from both volunteer bias and social desirability bias. In this review, the combined mean for 10 studies in which researchers took measurements of erect penises was 5.36 inches (13.61 cm; n = 1,629). For 21 studies in which researchers measured stretched penises, the mean was approximately 5.11 inches (12.98 cm; n = 13,719). Based on these studies, the average length of an erect penis is between 5.1 and 5.5 inches (12.95–13.97 cm), but after taking volunteer bias into account, it is probably toward the lower end of this range. Studies show that a majority of men wish they were larger, with some choosing penile lengthening surgery. These surgeries are considered by the American Urological Association to be risky. Most men seeking surgery have normal sized penises. Counseling with factual information about penis size might be effective in alleviating concerns for the majority of men who worry about having a small penis.

Studies find that many men have concerns that their penis is not large enough and that they are smaller relative to other men (Johnston, McLellan, & McKinlay, 2014; Lee, 1996; Lever, Frederick, & Peplau, 2006; Morrison, Bearden, Ellis, & Harriman, 2005; Tiggemann, Martins, & Churchett, 2008). They equate penis size with sexual competence and masculinity (Morrison et al., 2005; Tiggemann et al., 2008; Wylie & Eardley, 2007). As a result, 45–68.3% of men wish they had a larger penis (Lever et al., 2006; Tiggemann et al., 2008). Most men believe that the average erect penis is over 6 inches (15.24 cm) in length, and for many their ideal penis length is considerably longer than that (Johnston et al., 2014).

This paper reviews all known studies of measurements of erect or stretched penis length. The review includes 10 studies that relied on self-reported measurements, 11 studies in which researchers measured erect penises, and 22 studies in which researchers measured stretched penises (see Table 1). Only studies of abnormalities of the penis, or of children, were excluded. The purpose of not excluding other studies is two-fold: (1) to point out the methodological flaws in many studies that contributed to men’s false beliefs that the average-size erect penis is 6+ inches (15.24+ cm) in length, and (2) based on better conducted studies, to estimate within a small range of values the actual mean length of an erect penis. By including flawed studies, therapists may better address false beliefs by clients based on those studies. The primary sources for the review were Medline and Social Sciences with Full Text (1975 to present), using “penis” as the key search word.


With one exception (Herbenick et al., 2014), the studies of erect penis length that relied on self-reported measurements had serious flaws, most notably volunteer bias and social desirability bias. Some of these studies have no doubt contributed to men’s insecurities about penis size and should be dismissed and ignored. In 22 studies, researchers measured stretched penises, thus eliminating social desirability bias, but this technique tends to under-report erect penis size (e.g., Habous et al., 2015; Şengezer et al., 2002). In 11 studies, researchers measured erect penises. However, one used an unconventional technique (Sparling, 1997) and this and another study had obvious volunteer bias (Ansell Research, 2001; Sparling, 1997). Based on the other nine studies, the actual average length of an erect penis is probably between 5.1 and 5.5 inches (12.95 to 13.97 cm).
Recall that among the studies in which researchers measured erect penis length, one of the largest reported means was 5.71 inches (14.5 cm) (da Ros et al., 1994). In that study, only 12% of men had an erect penis longer than 6.3 inches (16.0 cm). In the study in which men self-reported erect penis lengths in order to receive correctly-sized condoms (but there still may have been some over-reporting due to social desirability), only 17% of men had penises that were longer than 6.3 inches (16.0 cm) (Herbenick et al., 2014). Mean erect penis lengths in these two studies were at the high end of the many studies in which measurements could be trusted as accurate. Thus, it is likely that even fewer than 12–17% of men have a penis that measures greater than 6.3 (16.0 cm) inches when erect.
In a previous review of studies of penis size, Veale et al. (2015) cautioned that because many of these studies relied on volunteers there is still the possibility of volunteer bias. That is, men with larger penises might have been more likely to volunteer to be measured than men with smaller penises. If true, the estimated average erect penis length of 5.1 to 5.5 inches (12.95 to 13.97 cm) is likely to be toward the lower end of this range.
For a review of flaccid penis length and circumference, see Veale et al. (2015).

Growth mindset was studied longitudinally from high school through 4 college years; the mindset was not associated with grades at any point, even in students for whom university was especially challenging

Testing the association of growth mindset and grades across a challenging transition: Is growth mindset associated with grades? Yue Li, Timothy C. Bates. Intelligence, Volume 81, July–August 2020, 101471.

• Reports two near-replications of the relationship of mindset to grades across a challenging transition (n = 832)
• Growth mindset was studied longitudinally from high school through four years of university
• Growth mindset was not associated with grades at any point
• Growth mindset was not associated with grades across the challenging transition from high school to university
• Growth mindset was not associated with grades even in students for whom university was especially challenging

Abstract: Mindset theory predicts that whether students believe basic ability is greatly malleable exerts a major influence on their own educational attainment (Blackwell, Trzesniewski, & Dweck, 2007). We tested this prediction in two near-replication studies (total n = 832). In study 1 we tested the association of mindset with university grades in a cross-sectional design involving self-reported grades for 246 undergraduates. Growth mindset showed no association with grades (β = −0.02 CI95 [−0.16, 0.12], t = −0.26, p = .792). In study 2, we implemented a longitudinal design, testing the association of mindset with grade transcript scores across a series of challenging transitions: from high school to university entry, and then across all years of an undergraduate degree (n = 586). Contrary to prediction, mindset was not associated with grades across the challenging transition from high-school to the first year of university (β = −0.05 CI95 [−0.14, 0.05], t = −0.95, p = .345). In addition, mindset was unrelated to entry grades (p = .808). And no support was found for a predicted interaction of mindset with academic disadvantage across the transition (β = −0.03 CI95 [−0.12, 0.07], t = −0.54, p = .592). Follow-up analyses showed no association of mindset with improvement in grades at any subsequent year of the degree (minimum p-value 0.591). Jointly, these two near-replication studies suggest that, even across challenging transitions, growth mindset is either unrelated to educational attainment or has a very small negative influence.

Keywords: Intelligence-mindsetEducational attainmentGrowth mindsetChallenging transitions

Does Growth Mindset Do What It Promises? It doesn't

Does Growth Mindset Work? Marc Effron, Talent Strategy Group, May 2020.

But there has to be something there!

Many reasonable people will ask, “if growth mindset doesn’t do what it promises, how come when I changed my mindset I was able to overcome obstacles or to succeed where I previously couldn’t?” There are a multitude of reasons that people succeed at something after they first fail or under-perform. The most obvious reason is that they were capable the entire time but didn’t try or didn’t try hard enough. When they either tried, tried again or tried harder, their existing capabilities allowed them to succeed.

Why isn’t that the epitome of growth mindset? First, because Dweck explicitly states that growth mindset is not about effort.32 Second, because you could put a less intelligent person in that same situation, have them apply the same mindset and the same amount of effort and they wouldn’t achieve the same results.

A less intelligent, personality-disadvantaged individual with a growth mindset will not outperform a more intelligent person with a growth mindset. The difference in achievement will be due to fixed characteristics like intelligence and personality, not to someone’s mindset.

People can also succeed at Time B where they didn’t succeed at Time A if they apply any of the scientifically proven methods to improve their performance at work. Those methods include setting goals, changing their behaviors, working harder, influencing better or any of the other scientifically-proven approaches I wrote about in 8 Steps to High Performance.

In that book, I also cautioned that our core personality traits and intelligence are the largest factors in our success and that one’s efforts and mindset will only move someone as far as those fixed characteristics will allow.  It would be wonderful if everyone engaged in all of those scientifically proven tactics so they could be as successful as possible.  There’s no proof that also having a growth or fixed mindset would make any difference in the outcome.

Why you should avoid the term “growth mindset”

You may believe that there’s no harm in urging people to have a growth mindset. It may not hurt if, when you say that term, you mean that someone should engage in tactics that are proven to make them more successful. But, in that case, why not tell someone specifically that they should try harder or practice more or keep a positive attitude.  If you mean that they should have a "growth mindset" (they should believe that intelligence and personality can change and that they will be more successful for that belief), you’re harming individuals who may not be able to succeed and doing nothing for people who would have succeeded anyway.

Let’s separate positive intention from scientific proof

The growth mindset concept captures the best of our humanistic spirit (anyone can improve if they just believe!) and confirms the worst of our scientific ignorance (can’t anyone improve if they just believe?).  It purports to solve a problem that may not exist or that may be more effectively addressed by other means if it does exist. In any case, a growth mindset intervention would be sharply constrained by the more powerful influence of intelligence and personality.  The science is clear that adopting a growth mindset does not meaningfully increase performance in adults or children. You become a higher performer when you engage in any of the multitude of activities that are proven to make you a high performer. If we want to help more people to succeed, let's focus our efforts there first.

The Effects of Personality Traits and Situational Factors on the Deliberativeness and Civility of User Comments on News Websites

The Effects of Personality Traits and Situational Factors on the Deliberativeness and Civility of User Comments on News Websites. Johannes Beckert, Marc Ziegele. International Journal of Communication, Vol 14, Jul 2020.

Abstract: Comment sections have become an integral part of digital journalism. They enable users to share their viewpoints and discuss news issues with others. From a deliberative perspective, there is controversy regarding the democratic benefits of comment sections. Though previous research  analyzed causes and effects of uncivil and low-quality comments, it is not clear what makes users contribute deliberative and civil comments. The present study combines data from an online survey and a content analysis of the comments that the survey participants provided to investigate the relative importance of personality traits and situational states for commenting behavior. The findings show that the quality of user comments is both a matter of personality traits and situational states. Incivility was found to be triggered mainly by sadistic personality traits and specific article topics, whereas deliberative comments result from high levels of agreeableness, cognitive involvement, and from low levels of extraversion and positive affect.

Keywords: user comments, deliberation, incivility, personality, involvement, multimethod