Women Rate Penile Appearance

The “general cosmetic appearance” of a man’s penis is important to women, according to new research published in The Journal of Sexual Medicine.

The study findings could reassure men with surgically corrected hypospadias, a congenital condition in which the urethra (the tube that allows urine and semen to leave the body) opens on the underside of the penis instead of the tip. Usually, the condition is corrected before a boy’s first birthday.

Still, men with corrected hypospadias often worry about how their penis looks to sexual partners.


What is a good looking penis? Women chime in. (Click to tweet)


A group of Swiss researchers asked 105 women between the ages of 16 and 45 to rate 20 photosets of male genitalia. Ten of the photosets showed circumcised penises. The others showed penises with surgically corrected hypospadias. Photos included several different angles.

The women rated the circumcised penises as the most “normal-looking.” But many of the corrected penises were considered just as normal-looking. (Circumcised penises were chosen for the study because they more closely resemble those with corrected hypospadias.)

The women also ranked the importance of eight penile features, including length, girth, shape, and the position of the urethral opening.

While general cosmetic appearance was most important, the location of the urethral opening was at the bottom of the list.

The results can be useful for healthcare providers who counsel men with corrected hypospadias, the researchers noted. Understanding that partners are unlikely to be bothered by corrected genitals – and might not even notice – may improve a man’s genital self-image and sexual self-confidence.


The Journal of Sexual Medicine

Ruppen-Greeff, Norma Katharina, MSc, et al.

“What is a Good Looking Penis? How Women Rate the Penile Appearance of Men with Surgically Corrected Hypospadias”

(Full-text. First published online: July 20, 2015)


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