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Aesthet Surg J. 2019 Oct 15;39(11):1253-1259. doi: 10.1093/asj/sjz154.

Sociocultural Influences on Men's Penis Size Perceptions and Decisions to Undergo Penile Augmentation: A Qualitative Study.



An increasing number of men, dissatisfied with their penises, are seeking cosmetic procedures to enhance their penis size. However, little is known about the social and cultural factors that influence men to consider these procedures.


The aim of this study was to investigate the sociocultural factors affecting men's attitudes toward their penis size as well as their decisions to undergo penile augmentation.


One-on-one semistructured interviews were conducted with 6 adult men who had previously undergone a penile augmentation. The men were asked about the sociocultural factors that they thought contributed to dissatisfaction with their penis size, and their motivations for having penile augmentation. All interviews were audio recorded and then transcribed verbatim. Interview transcripts were analyzed through the use of thematic analysis.


Three main themes emerged from the interviews, namely "influence of pornography," "comparison with peers," and "indirect appearance-related teasing." The men noted that the large penises of male actors in pornography had skewed their perception of normal penis size. All men had compared their penises with those of their peers, usually in the locker room, and often felt their own penis was smaller as a result. None of the participants had received direct negative comments about their penis size, but were aware that having a small penis was a source of mockery from exposure to jokes on mainstream media sources.


These new insights into the sociocultural factors, namely media and peers, that influence men's desire for penile augmentation may assist clinicians in enhancing their communication with prospective patients.


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