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For Men, Penis Size Matters Most in the Locker Room

Update Date: Jun 13, 2013 04:45 PM EDT

Men care more how they "measure up" in the locker room than in the bedroom, new research suggests.

A new study on men's body image reveals that men are far more concerned about how they measure up against their buddies than what their female partners think of their penis size.

While most men insist that size doesn't matter when it comes to sex, many admit to feeling insecure about how they compare to their male friends, according to Australian researchers.

Lead researcher Dr. Annabel Chan Feng Yi of Victoria University surveyed 738 men aged 18 to 76 about their body image and found that many men were insecure about their weight, physique and penis size.

However, instead of worrying about what their girlfriends may think about their bodies, many admit that they cared more about what their friends thought.

"Men's pre-occupation with size was rarely to do with pleasing sexual partners or even appearing as a better sexual partner," Chan said in a news release.

"It was often more about competition with other men. Many felt most insecure about their size in environments where other men might see them, such as gym change rooms," she explained.

Surprisingly, most of the men who experienced 'locker room syndrome' were actually happy with their size when it came to satisfying their partners in the bedroom.

However, she explains that a desire to compete against other men led to an obsession with body building and being muscular, especially among gay survey respondents.

"The research demonstrates that societal pressures on body image are certainly not unique to women and that while men share similar body image concerns they often don't have the appropriate forum to discuss them or adequate professional support to deal with them," she said.

"There is clearly a need to provide more research-based training for clinicians working in this field and public awareness to de-mystify and de-stigmatizing the topic of male body image," Chan said, adding that the findings also highlighted an urgent need to incorporate the experience of men facing obesity issues and its implications in further research, instead of just focusing on men's drive for muscularity.

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