Archives of Sexual Behavior

, Volume 28, Issue 3, pp 213–221 | Cite as

The Relation Between Sexual Orientation and Penile Size

  • Anthony F. Bogaert
  • Scott Hershberger


The relation between sexual orientation andpenile dimensions in a large sample of men was studied.Subjects were 5122 men interviewed by the KinseyInstitute for Research in Sex, Gender, and Reproduction from 1938 to 1963. They were dichotomouslyclassified as either homosexual (n = 935) orheterosexual (n = 4187). Penile dimensions were assessedusing five measures of penile length and circumferencefrom Kinsey's original protocol. On all fivemeasures, homosexual men reported larger penises thandid heterosexual men. Explanations for these differencesare discussed, including the possibility that these findings provide additional evidence thatvariations in prenatal hormonal levels (or otherbiological mechanisms affecting reproductive structures)affect sexual orientation development.



Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. Bailey, J. M., and Pillard, R. C. (1991). A genetic study of male sexual orientation. Arch. Gen. Psychiat. 48: 1089–1096.Google Scholar
  2. Bailey, J. M., and Zucker, K. J. (1995). Childhood sex-typed behavior and sexual orientation: A conceptual analysis and quantitative review. Dev. Psychol. 31: 43–55.Google Scholar
  3. Bailey, J. M., Willerman, L., and Parks, C. (1991). A test of the maternal stress theory of human male homosexuality. Arch. Sex. Behav. 20: 277–294.Google Scholar
  4. Baskin, L. S., Sutherland, R. S., DiSandro, M. J., Hayward, S. W., Lipschutz, J., and Cunha, G. (1997). The effect of testosterone on androgen receptors and human penile growth. J. Urol. 158: 1113–1118.Google Scholar
  5. Blanchard, R., and Bogaert, A. F. (1996). Biodemographic comparisons of homosexual and heterosexual men in the Kinsey interview data. Arch. Sex. Behav. 25: 551–579.Google Scholar
  6. Bogaert, A. F., and Blanchard, R. (1996a). Physical development and sexual orientation in men: Height, weight, and onset of puberty differences. Pers. Indiv. Diff. 21: 77–84.Google Scholar
  7. Bogaert, A. F., and Blanchard, R. (1996b). Handedness in homosexual and heterosexual men in the Kinsey interview data. Arch. Sex. Behav. 25: 373–378.Google Scholar
  8. Byne, W., and Parsons, B. (1993). Human sexual orientation: The biologic theories reappraised. Arch. Gen. Psychiat. 50: 228–239.Google Scholar
  9. Conte, F., and Grumbach, M. (1995). Pathogenesis, classi. cation, diagnosis, and treatment of anomalies of sex. In Degroot, L. J. (ed.), Endocrinology, W. B. Saunders, Philadelphia.Google Scholar
  10. Dörner, G., Geier, T., Ahrens, L., Krell, L, Münx, G., Sieler, H., Kitter, E., and Müller, H. (1980). Prenatal stress as possible aetiogenic factor of homosexuality in human males. Endokrinologie 75: 365–368.Google Scholar
  11. Ellis, L., and Ames, M. A. (1987). Neurohormonal functioning and sexual orientation: A theory of homosexuality-heterosexuality. Psychol. Bull. 101: 233–258.Google Scholar
  12. Freedman, M. (1975). Homosexuals may be healthier than straights. Psychol. Today 8: 28–32.Google Scholar
  13. Gebhard, P. H., and Johnson, A. B. (1979). The Kinsey Data: Marginal Tabulations of the 1938- 1963 Interviews Conducted by the Institute for Sex Research, W. B. Saunders, Philadelphia.Google Scholar
  14. Geschwind, N., and Galaburda, A. M. (1985). Cerebral lateralization. Biological mechanisms, associations, and pathology: II. A hypothesis and a program of research. Arch. Neurol. 42: 634–654.Google Scholar
  15. Hamer, D. H., Hu, S., Magnuson, V. L., Hu, N., and Pattatucci, A. (1993). A linkage of DNA markers on the X chromosomes and male sexual orientation. Science 261: 321–327.Google Scholar
  16. James, W. J. (1989). Foetal testosterone levels, homosexuality, and handedness: A research proposal for jointly testing Geschwind' and Dörner' hypothesis. J. Theoret. Biol. 136: 177–180.Google Scholar
  17. Jamison, P., and Gebhard, P. (1988). Penis size increase between flaccid and erect states: An analysis of the Kinsey data. J. Sex Res. 24: 177–183.Google Scholar
  18. Kinsey, A. C., Pomeroy, W. B., and Martin, C. E. (1948). Sexual Behavior in the Human Male, W. B. Saunders, Philadelphia.Google Scholar
  19. LeVay, S. (1991). A difference in hypothalamic structure between heterosexual and homosexual men. Science 253: 1034–1037.Google Scholar
  20. Levy, J. B., and Husmann, D. (1996). Congenital adrenal hyperplasia: Is there an effect on penile growth? J. Urol. 156: 780–782.Google Scholar
  21. Lindesay, J. (1987). Laterality shift in homosexual men. Neuropsychologia 25: 965–969.Google Scholar
  22. Nedoma, K., and Freund, K. (1961). Somatosexulní nálezy u homosexuálních mužu [Somatosexual findings in homosexual men]. Ceskoslovenska Psychiatre 57: 100–103.Google Scholar
  23. Siever, M. D. (1994). Sexual orientation and gender as factors in socioculturally acquired vulnerability to body dissatisfaction and eating disorders. J. Consult. Clin. Psychol. 62: 252–260.Google Scholar
  24. Siminoski, K., and Bain, J. (1993). The relationship among height, penile length, and foot size. Ann. Sex Res. 6: 231–235.Google Scholar
  25. Sutherland, R. S., Kogan, B. A., Baskin, L. S., Mevorach, R. A., Conte, F., Kaplan, S., and Grumbach, M. M. (1996). The effect of prepubertal androgen exposure on adult penile length. J. Urol. 156: 783–787.Google Scholar
  26. Swaab, D. F., and Hofman, M. A. (1990). An enlarged suprachiasmatic nucleus in homosexual men. Brain Res. 537: 141–148.Google Scholar
  27. Takane, K. K., George, F., and Wilson, J. D. (1990). Androgen receptor of rat penis is down-regulated by androgen. Am. J. Physiol. 258: E46.Google Scholar
  28. Tripp, C. A. (1975). The Homosexual Matrix, McGraw-Hill, New York.Google Scholar
  29. Ward, I. L. (1984). The prenatal stress syndrome: Current status. Psychoneuroendocrinology 9: 3–11.Google Scholar
  30. Ward, I. L. (1992). Sexual behavior: The product of perinatal hormonal and prepubertal social factors. In Gerail, A. A., Moltz, H., and Ward, I. L. (eds.), Handbook of Behavioral Neurobiology: Vol. 11. Sexual Differentiation, Plenum Press, New York.Google Scholar
  31. Ward, I. L., and Weisz, J. (1980). Maternal stress alters plasma testosterone in fetal males. Science 207: 328–329.Google Scholar
  32. Zilbergeld, B. (1978). Male Sexuality, Little, Brown, Boston.Google Scholar
  33. Zucker, K. J., and Bradley, S. J. (1995). Gender Identity Disorder and Psychosexual Problems in Children and Adolescents, Guilford, New York.Google Scholar
  34. Zucker, K. J., Bradley, S. J., Oliver, G., Blake, J., Fleming, S., and Hood, J. (1996). Psychosexual development of women with congenital adrenal hyperplasia. Horm. Behav. 30: 300–318.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Plenum Publishing Corporation 1999

Authors and Affiliations

  • Anthony F. Bogaert
  • Scott Hershberger

There are no affiliations available

Personalised recommendations