Remember the Missouri State University professor who said recently she needed thousands of penis pictures for a study? Well, she just discontinued it.
Sociologist Alice Walker had been collecting penis pictures in an effort to study the relationship between penis size and self-esteem, but the enormous public response has compromised the reliability of her research, she says, and must now end.
Her study gained attention earlier this week after several publications reported she was soliciting a total of 3,600 photos penis photos from men aged 22 and above. The participants were also supposed to measure their genitals and answer questions, one of which was if they believed their penis size was below average, average, or above average.
The Great Penis Study Is About Self-Esteem
For the study to be accurate, Walker needed to make sure the penis sizes men were giving away are accurate, but given the overwhelming response the study has gotten, things would have definitely been muddled. She launched the study on June 18 and reportedly was able to receive a few hundred images a week later.
Talking with Springfield News-Leader, Walker said she was collecting photos via online portals, hospitals, and nightclubs all outside of the southwest Missouri area so that no colleagues or friends felt pressured to get involved in the study.
"We are not recruiting locally. I don't want there to be anything dicey. You don't want there to be anything awkward," she said.
Despite the sensationalist ways in which her study was reported by various publications, Walker says it's actually a legitimate area of study, and that she was following all guidelines of participant security.
Had it continued, Walker would have investigated the connection of penis size to male body dysmorphia, which rarely gets talked about in society. She's also particularly interested in our bias for size, or how bigger penises are worshipped in culture. She wants to know how "that worship impacts men."
She will unfortunately never get answers to those questions, at least not for now. She still believes that the relationship between penis size and self-esteem is a worthwhile area of research, as she says in a press release, but given the scale of the response, the project simply can't continue.
"The reliability of the study as a whole has been compromised."
An Interesting Thing About Men's Perceived Penis Size
Though the study will never come to pass, Walker says she still had an interesting experience with the initial photos she received, especially with how the men measured their penises. She says there were a number of submissions from men with above-average penises who thought they were just average. Barely even halfway through her data pool, the study already showed an interesting disconnect between actual size and the perceived size.
The photos have since been destroyed.