Can shoe size predict penis size?

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OBJECTIVE: To establish if the ‘myth’ about whether the size of a man’s penis can be estimated from his shoe size has any basis, in fact. SUBJECTS AND METHODS: Two urologists measured the stretched penile length of 104 men in a prospective study and related this to their shoe size. RESULTS: The median stretched penile length for the sampled population was 13 cm and the median UK shoe size was 9 (European 43). There was no statistically significant correlation between shoe size and stretched penile length. CONCLUSION: The supposed association of penile length and shoe size has no scientific basis.

Source

Their methodology obviously … oh, never mind. It does not end here. The original cite has “Related Articles” that get even farther from reality.

I suppose we should be fortunate that they are not asking this question the other way ’round. For the benefit of shoe sales departments.

Comments

  1. #1 Tony P
    March 29, 2009

    Of course there’s no correlation. However do the following:

    Bend your middle finger down to touch your palm. Mark the point and then measure from there to the tip of your middle finger.

  2. #2 Jim Thomerson
    March 29, 2009

    Generally, for any measurement, average individuals are most common in any population. So, if we look at correlation between two measurements, we would expect a correlation between averages. Too bad, as my shoe size is US size 15EEEE.

  3. #3 Stephanie Z
    March 29, 2009

    Tony, what’s your n?

  4. #4 Greg Laden
    March 29, 2009

    Why is everyone missing the obvious problem with this study? Which was probably done by men with small shoes.

  5. #5 Pieter B
    March 29, 2009

    Aside from the fact that it was published 6 1/2 years ago?

  6. #6 Greg Laden
    March 29, 2009

    Pieter, what does that have to do with anything?

  7. #7 Wayne Conrad
    March 30, 2009

    OK, I’ll take a guess, even though it’ll expose just how ignorant I am. What the heck.

    I’m a science and math ignoramus, and everything I know about statistics is wrong. But does Fig. 2 show a weak but definite relationship between shoe size and penile length? Or is the sample size too small to be able to say that?

    Also, I’m curious why the penile length in Fig 1b (solid bars) is so non-normal. Yeah, not everything in nature is a normal distribution. Lots of things aren’t. But that looks interesting. It makes me want to what other studies have found the distribution to be. If the distribution in nature is indeed more normal than they found, what could account for the difference? Measurement error? Sampling bias? Or are the odds of getting a good curve against you with only 104 samples spread across 14 bins? My ignorance of statistics is showing, I know.

    Last, I wonder about stretched penis length as a valid estimate for erect length. They say they have two prior studies validating that, but I don’t know that I believe it just because they say so. If it’s not a valid proxy, then any “sample” that gets an erection during measurement messes the data up.

  8. #8 Wayne Conrad
    March 30, 2009

    Oh, and… “the method used by this group involved pulling the glans three times to obtain reliable measurements” is a real eyebrow-raiser. As in, “You really ought to explain that if you want me to believe this was a means of collecting reliable data and not a means of turning a hand-job into data points.” The fact that it was a Urologist doing the pulling wouldn’t make it any less of a sex act: In Victorian times, physicians used to relieve women of “hysteria” with clitoral stimulation. But they had a nice euphemism for it, and it was a physician doing it in order to treat a disease, so it was all fine and proper, as far as anyone was concerned.

  9. #9 Ace of Sevens
    March 30, 2009

    Unless I’m missing a link, I don’t have access to the full paper, but I would think both penis size and shoe size would correlate strongly with height.

  10. #10 Wayne Conrad
    March 30, 2009

    Ace of Sevens, the paper is here.

  11. #11 aweb
    March 30, 2009

    I find it difficult to believe that there isn’t some correlation between the two…as Ace of Sevens mentioned, you would think that the size of particular body parts should correlate with the size of the person to some degree. Size of feet certainly does, as does hand size, so it would be an interesting find to know that penile size doesn’t depend, at all, on person size.

    Other problems – converting a measureable variable like “length of foot” into a categorical variable like Shoe size and then performing a regression. Why would anyone do it that way?

    Calling the age distribution “biphasic” is an incredible stretch… 3 extra people does not a distribution peak make.

    Of course, the interesting question with shoe size is whether it gives you more information that height does not. That is, once the height is accounted for, does foot size give you any more information?

  12. #12 Epinephrine
    March 30, 2009

    Wow, how’d this get missed for an Ig Nobel?

  13. #13 humorix
    March 30, 2009

    The measure of the penis ???!! In when the Penis ² ?

  14. #14 José
    March 30, 2009

    Pieter, what does that have to do with anything?

    Because the widespread adoption of miracle drugs like Enzyte and Extenze have thrown any data collected 6 ½ years ago out the window. I mean, if they didn’t really work, could they afford to give away the first month for free?

  15. #15 Frank Fernandis
    September 10, 2010

    There have been million of blogs but only few of them actually talks good and inform you the actually stuffs that you need know about.Thanks.

  16. #16 Ash
    March 22, 2011

    They say the 2:4 digit ratio predicts a large penis. That is, if the fourth digit is longer than the second digit, the man is more apt to have a larger penis. A longer 4 to 2 ratio is indicative of more fetal-serum testosterone and may be the reason, as we know deficient amounts of fetal-serum testosterone can create a micropenis.

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