Women aren’t the only ones who can suffer from a negative body image that has little to no basis in reality: Many men stress about their penis size—although their level of penis anxiety isn’t tied to how big they actually are, according to new research published in The Journal of Sexual Medicine.
For the study, researchers from Kings College London gave 173 men a questionnaire that asked them about their beliefs surrounding their own penis size (46 of the men also agreed to have their penis size measured by a urologist).
Turns out, 30 percent of the men surveyed were dissatisfied with their penis size—compared to the 35.2 percent who were satisfied. Interestingly, men’s actual sizes had very little to do with how they felt below the belt.
“There are men with a larger penis than average who are ashamed about their size, and there are men with a smaller than average size in whom size is not an issue,” researchers wrote in the study.
So why does a guy’s below-the-belt confidence matter? It’s about a lot more than penis size: Researchers found that men’s penis anxiety levels correlated with other mental health measures like depression and overall anxiety—although further research is needed to determine whether other factors, like a man’s performance in bed or his partner’s sex drive, could be related to his beliefs about his penis size.
Tell us: Are you surprised by this study? Share your thoughts in the comments below!