One Missouri State University sociology professor would like to see pictures of your penis — for science, of course. Professor Alicia Walker is studying the correlation between penis size and self-esteem and has turned to the internet in search of volunteers. But this new penis pic study hasn’t been embraced by everyone.
Walker is asking participants to voluntarily provide the measurements of their penis when erect and flaccid, as well as photographic evidence, in a research project that has been has been approved by the Missouri State University Institutional Review Board.
“By doing this study, we hope to learn how men navigate their experiences in terms of self-esteem, sexual competence, tendency to use condoms, and anxiety about penis size or performance,” the study’s online research portal states.
“I am a researcher who investigates topics related to intimate sexual relationships and sexual behavior, so it’s completely appropriate that I conduct it,” Walker says.
The minimum age requirement to participate in the study is 22, which should help to ensure there are no underage participants and will exclude most undergraduate students. This penis pic study is not being funded by the university itself.
“The purpose is to investigate how men feel about their bodies in a culture where we place emphasis on size, including size of penises,” Walker says, “and to further look at how that impacts their tendency toward safe sex, relationships and more.”
The professor is using Reddit to find volunteers for the penis pic study, and some of the platform’s users have questioned her about her need for the “dick pics.”
“The photographs are only required for the survey portion,” is her reply. “This is because we ask for specific measurements of length and girth and to ensure data validity and uniform measurement we must ensure all participants are correctly using the bone press method.”
One Reddit user hilariously writes in response to Walker’s solicitation, “Small weiner low self esteem. Average weiner, not as low self esteem as small weiner but still low. Big weiner has good self esteem. Now pay me.”
“The men I’ve talked to thus far are in a great deal of distress because of how we view penis size at present. And how they feel is absolutely impacting their condom use, their willingness to even attempt to approach potential sexual partners, and even going to the doctor for a physical exam,” she says. “Their physical health is actually impacted by how they feel about their penis. This isn’t a frivolous study.”
The study is open to all types of men, including “[Assigned Male At Birth], [Assigned Female At Birth], Post-Phallo, Intersex, Genderqueer, etc.”
An assistant running the study with Walker notes on Reddit they are seeking to put more trans individuals into their work as well: “I want to get the LGBT — and particularly transgender — community more visibility in terms of formal academic studies. … There are many individuals who could contribute to the study that were not [Assigned Male At Birth] or that [do] not identify as being male.”