Penis size preference study uses 3D models shows women prefer larger penis for one-time partners

Nicole Prause, PhD is shown with two, 3D-printed models. Photo by Neal Preston.
Nicole Prause, PhD is shown with two, 3D-printed models. Photo by Neal Preston.
LOS ANGELES - Sept. 2, 2015 - PRLog -- While much has been written about women’s comfort with their own bodies, men also worry about their physical appearance. Men mostly worry about their height, muscularity, weight, and hair loss, but the size of their penis also continues to be a concern for many men. They might find some reassurance in a new study conducted at the University of California, Los Angeles, appearing in the peer-reviewed journal PLOS ONE. The study used a new method for assessing women’s sexual preferences by using 3D printing to create penis models of different lengths and girths.

In this study, 75 women came to the laboratory and answered questions about their sexual history and feelings. They then completed tasks that used 33, 3D-printed, navy-colored phalluses that varied in length and girth around the average penis size in the USA. These women were shown a penis model, and they then tried to find the same penis model after a delay. These women also were asked to select the penis size they wanted on a partner for a long-term relationship, and the penis size they wanted in a one-night relationship.

         "This study is novel in its use of 3D-printed penis models, also called 'haptic' stimuli, which are being used more often to study basic human senses", said Nicole Prause, PhD, lead author on the study.

Data showed that women preferred a slightly-above-average penis size in a long-term partner (length=6.3 inches or 16.0 cm, circumference=4.8 inches or 12.2 cm). Yet, they preferred a significantly larger penis, mostly in girth rather than length, when considering a one-night sexual partner (length=6.4 inches or 16.3 cm, circumference=5.0 inches or 12.7 cm). Fifteen (20%) of the women reported that they ended a relationship, in part, because their partner’s penis was too small, while 5 (7%) reported that a partner’s penis had been too large. Data also showed that women were able to remember the sizes of the penis models fairly accurately.

"The finding is important in reassuring people that relationship context is important, so finding a partner is a matter of matching rather than measuring up”, Prause suggested. Geoffrey Miller, PhD, co-author on the study, added “Human penises evolved to be unusually long and thick, consistent with our findings about women's preferences. Yet a man's intelligence, kindness, sense of humor, and other mental traits are also extremely important to women.”

While many studies have asked women about their penis size preferences, this is the first study to use 3D models, to test how accurate women are at remembering phallus size, and to ask about the effect of the expected length of the relationship on penis size preferences.

The study authors: Nicole Prause, PhD, is a sexual psychophysiologist and founder of Liberos LLC (, a company in the UCLA startup program using brain stimulation to alter sex drive. Jaymie Park, BA, and Shannon Leung, BS, were research assistants in Dr. Prause’s Sexual Psychophysiology and Affective Neuroscience ( laboratory. Geoffrey Miller, PhD, is an evolutionary psychologist and Associate Professor at the University of New Mexico.

Nicole Prause, PhD
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