While there's no such thing as "normal, " there is a ton of science on average penis size, length, and girth — even if it has little to no effect on satisfaction.

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Spend enough time watching '90s rom-coms or summers attending sleep-away camp and — thanks largely in part to the country's subpar sexual ed — you might be left with quite the, err, incomplete understanding of genitalia. So while you're well aware that comparison can be the thief of joy (and that American Pie is far from real life), you can't help but wonder about things such as the average penis length and whether there really is a "normal penis size" — no matter your relationship status or sexual orientation.

And if you are in a partnership with a penis-bearer, you may be wondering, "what is the average penis length?" even if you know that size doesn't make or break your time between the sheets. Research backs this up: In a 2015 study of 52,031 heterosexual men and women published in Body Image, 85 percent of women were satisfied with their partner's penis size. And in a 2002 study published in European Urology, 55 percent of women surveyed said penis length was downright "unimportant."

But if you're curious about the average penis length just for the sake of science, read on. (After all, didn't Albert Einstein say you should never stop questioning things?) Ahead, find out the average penis length, whether a certain penis size can really impact your sex life, and more.

What Is the Average Penis Size?

The most recent data comes from a massive, formal systematic review of penile measurements that was published in BJU International in 2014. Researchers looked at data from 17 studies involving 15,521 people whose penis length and penis circumference were measured by health professionals in the same exact way, so as to maintain consistency across the board. The penis-bearers in the study were measured when they were both erect and flaccid.

Turns out, the average length of a flaccid penis was 3.61 inches, while the average length of an erect penis was 5.16 inches. The average girth (aka circumference of the penis' widest section) was 3.66 inches when flaccid and nearly 5 inches when hard.

Another large-scale study published in 2013 in the Journal of Sexual Medicine, was done by Indiana University sex researcher Debby Herbenick, Ph.D., and involved self-reported data from 1,661 people with penises. Subjects were told that, by providing accurate measurements, researchers would help find them a better-fitting condom. (Related: Finally, the Answers to *All* of Your Pressing Penis Questions)

When the numbers came in, the average penis length when erect was 5.7 inches, and the average erect girth was 4.81 inches. Herbenick also pointed out in the study that the way a man is aroused appears to influence his size — and, to that point, oral sex appeared to have a greater effect than manual stimulation.

You can get a more global perspective from a 2007 study, which was published in Nature. The subjects were 301 men in India, whose measurements researchers wanted to compare with average penis sizes of men in other countries. In this study, the average penis length when flaccid was 3.2 inches and circumference of a flaccid penis was 3.6 inches. The average length of an erect penis was 5.1 inches and circumference was 4.5 inches.

Researchers also included a handy chart of penis dimensions from around the world, gathered from 16 studies, which all had similar findings. The average penis length when erect ranged from 4.7 to 6.3 inches.

It does bear noting that none of these formal studies looked at more nuanced factors such as level of arousal, temperature, or previous ejaculation. Perhaps there's more penis size investigative work to be done? In the meantime, while science hasn't necessarily pinpointed the exact, absolute average penis length, there appears to be a consensus that the average erect penis is just around 5 inches.

Average Penis Length and Sex

To be fair, women do have certain preferences when it comes to penis size, but length isn't their priority, according to a study published in BMC Women's HealthTrusted Source. Penis girth was more important to women than length for sexual satisfaction.

But there are a bevy of other things that go further to boost pleasure and satisfaction in the bedroom, and thankfully, there have been a few scientific deep-dives on these factors. The "Penis Perception Survey," conducted by behavior scientist and Director of the Sexual Health Promotion Lab at the University of Kentucky, Kristen Mark, Ph.D., asked 15,000 men and women about their perceptions, attitudes, expectations, likes, and dislikes about penises. (Related: I Tried a 30-Day Sex Challenge to Revive My Marriage's Boring Sex Life)

As it turned out, 65.9 percent of all respondents agreed that it isn't penis size but technique that matters the most. Other things that matter more than penis size: 71.9 percent of respondents said creativity, 77.6 percent said sexual communication, 69.1 percent said experience, 76.6 percent said connection, and 61.9 percent said attraction.

Women surveyed also preferred to spend a smidge more time getting it on. The female respondents said that sex currently lasts an average of 10 minutes, but they would ideally like sex to last 15 minutes or more than 20 minutes. (Men, on the other hand, agree that sex currently lasts an average of 10 minutes, but they would ideally like sex to last more than 20 minutes.)

While it didn't look specifically at other elements of pleasure next to penis size, a 2015 survey conducted by Herbenick looked at a variety of techniques that women aged 18-94 said they enjoy in bed. Only 18.4 percent said intercourse alone was sufficient for orgasm, while 36.6 percent said they need clitoral stimulation for orgasm during intercourse, and an additional 36 percent said that, while clitoral stimulation was not needed, their orgasms feel better if their clitoris is stimulated during intercourse. (Related: 4 Amazing Facts About the Clitoris That Will Revolutionize Your Orgasm)

Other aspects of sex play that amped up orgasms: more time building arousal, having a partner who knows what they like, and emotional intimacy. And less than 20 percent of women said that the duration of sex made for a more intense O.

Though so many (research-proven!) signs point to the fact that penis size isn't everything, you might want to know the best ways to bolster pleasure and step up intensity if your partner is packing a bit less than what the scientific community deems average. There's no end in sight to the information out there on surgical options, such as an inflatable penile prosthetic or an operation that involves a skin graft around the penis shaft to increase girth. But research published in the Journal of Urology concluded that "only men with a flaccid length of less than 4 centimeters [1.6 inches], or a stretched or erect length of less than 7.5 centimeters [3 inches] should be considered candidates for penile lengthening." (Related: What to Know About Sex with Circumcised vs. Uncircumcised Penises)

What's more, most partners will benefit from simple, technique-related strategies. For instance, you can try expert-approved sex positions for a small penis, such as reverse cowgirl or missionary anal, that will help your bae fit more snugly.

The Bottom Line On Average Penis Length

Sure, everyone has their preferences in the bedroom, and chances are, the medical community and society will always wonder about average penis size. But when it comes to what studies have concluded is the best fuel for setting sexual fireworks, there seems to be a resounding consensus: Not only is bigger not necessarily better, but it's got nothin' on creativity and chemistry. The average penis length, dear readers, is just a number.