(NEW YORK POST) – A new study looks at the correlation between penis size and self-esteem – with part of the survey requiring photo documentation of men’s junk.
Alicia Walker, a sociology professor at Missouri State University, said she’s received a few hundred photos of male genitalia since launching her research June 18.
Walker, who studies intimate relationships and sexual behavior, said it’s “not especially strange. No,” to be receiving these images. “I’m a matter-of-fact person,” she told The Post. “For me it’s not an issue.”
As part of her survey, men 22 and older are asked to measure themselves using a specific scientific method; the photos are used to make sure guys did it right and then are deleted. There’s also an interview segment of the research that doesn’t require pictures.
Walker is trying to determine how a man’s perception of his size affects things like personal relationships, sexual competence or anxiety, condom use and even how often they go to the doctor.
“I’ve spoken to men who have been suicidal because of their anxiety and unhappiness with their size or perceived size,” Walker said. “Men that haven’t been to the doctor in more than a decade or are not using a condom because they’re convinced they can’t get one that fit them.”
Men she’s spoken to so far have pointed to porn, humiliating locker room incidents or encounters with potential partners, as having affected their perception of size and their self-esteem.
One man hasn’t tried to have a relationship in a decade — because of a joke a co-worker made in the break room insinuating ,”‘Oh, I can tell you’re not packing because of your jeans,’” Walker said.
Some men were so scarred they wouldn’t believe Walker when she bluntly told them they measured in as average, not small.
“They say I want to believe what you’re saying but I can’t because I’ve had decades of people tell me otherwise,” she recounted.
“We need to be talking about men’s body dysmorphia, and the way our society worships size and the way that worship impacts men,” Walker said.
“It really is incredibly damaging,” she added. “They can’t admit that they feel this. Imagine carrying around all this anxiety about your body and then imagine you can’t even tell your friends?”
On the other hand, people who thought of themselves as above average — even if they aren’t — didn’t have the same anxiety and, at times, didn’t even care if they had performance or relationship issues — which can be damaging too, Walker said.
The research will conclude in mid-August, after which Walker said she’d like to publish a series of academic articles.