Michelangelo’s David would look VERY different if sculpted today! The size of the ‘ideal’ penis has increased in recent history, according to analysis of naked male artwork
- Scientists studied the size of penises in works of art from the Renaissance to the present day
- They found that the images got bigger over time
- Contemporary images may contribute to ‘feelings of inadequacy in men’
Michelangelo’s David is known for his diminutive manliness.
But if the Renaissance artist were making his sculpture in the present day, it seems he would probably have used a lot more marble for David’s base.
Scientists who have analyzed the size of penises in artwork from the Renaissance period to the present have found that they have grown larger over time.
“In paintings of naked men, the size of the penis has gradually increased over the past seven centuries, and especially after the 20th century,” said the researchers from Selcuk University and Biruni University in Turkey.
And contemporary depictions of large members could contribute to “feelings of inadequacy and dissatisfaction in modern men,” said the team, which analyzed 160 artworks of naked men created by 99 artists from 21 countries.
Michelangelo’s David is known for his diminutive manliness. But if the Renaissance artist were making his sculpture in the present day, it seems he would probably have used a lot more marble for David’s base.
Contemporary depictions of large members could contribute to “feelings of inadequacy and dissatisfaction in modern men,” the team said (stock image)
They chose to study paintings from the Renaissance period onwards (1400-1599) because then “people became central to painting and the images created attempted to reflect the ideal beauty of the human form.”
“As a result of the church’s diminished influence on art, nudes were often depicted during this period,” they said.
The first known examples of phallic images in art date back to the Stone Age, about 30,000 years ago.
Primitive human figures with a head, torso, limbs and penis have been found on cave walls in ancient Asia Minor near the city of Mersin in what is now Turkey.
“Throughout history, illustrations of the penis have had different meanings,” the Turkish team wrote in their research paper, published in the urology journal BJUI.
However, the size of the ideal penis seems to have increased in size over more recent history, particularly in the 20th and 21st centuries; this change can be clearly seen in paintings of male nudes from this period.
“Evolutions from artistic representation of the penis to a larger, possibly unrealistic, ideal in contemporary media may contribute to feelings of inadequacy and dissatisfaction with penis size in modern men.
“Further studies are needed to define the motivations and consequences of this penile perception today.”
A 2006 study of more than 50,000 men, published in the journal Psychology of Men & Masculinity, found that only 55 percent of men were satisfied with their penis size.
And a 2018 study published in the International Journal of Impotence Research found that self-reported small penis size is a risk factor for erectile dysfunction.
The phallus: an image of strength and virility
Phallic emblems can be found on a wide variety of Roman objects, from amulets to frescoes to mosaics to lamps.
They were symbols meant to bring good luck and ward off evil spirits.
As the ancient writer Pliny testifies, even infants and soldiers wore such charms to invite divine protection.