The news is upsetting, for those of us who are anatomically challenged in the genital department.
Mrs Grumble had always humoured Alf, assuring him what he lacked in length he made up for in prowess, although that was some while ago.
It seems she might have been faking it.
A big willy is a much bigger deal to your average woman than Mrs Grumble ever led him to believe.
According to The Australian (here), the question of whether penis size matters has been probed by a team of international scientists.
And after questioning 105 Australians, these scientists found that, yes, women do find larger men more attractive.
What’s more, the scientists tell us prehistoric women who could see the sex organs of their scantily clad male counterparts may have helped influence the evolution of larger genitals in men by choosing to mate with partners who were bigger.
The researchers are saying they decided to tackle the topic of – well, to put it bluntly, the topic of a bloke’s tackle – because past studies had offered conflicting answers, and may have been sullied by asking the women too directly.
“Since penis size is a sensitive subject. It’s hard to determine whether females lied or ‘self-deceived’ in their responses,” said lead author Brian Mautz, a postdoctoral researcher in evolution and sexual selection at the University of Ottawa.
So they embarked on a new type of study, using computer-generated images of generic male figures with varying heights, body shapes and flaccid penis lengths.
A sample of 105 Australian women were asked to view 53 of these life-sized robot-like pictures, which rotated so they were visible at different angles.
Alf is tempted to observe at this juncture that the Ottawa researchers did not conduct this study in their own country, but went Down Under, although going down under was what it was all about, when you think about it.
But let’s got on with the story.
The women – all heterosexual – were not told they were participating in a study about penis size. They were simply asked to rate the figures according to sexual attractiveness. Their answers were collected anonymously.
Researchers found that women rated tall men with long penises as the most attractive.
The women also tended to gaze longer at the larger men. But not too long – each rating was made in about three seconds.
But how big is best?
Here, we are left disappointed.
“We didn’t find an ideal (ie ‘most attractive’) penis size or height,” Mautz explained.
“The attractiveness scores were still increasing at the largest values for these traits.”
The findings were published in a peer-reviewed scientific journal in the United States, called the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS).
Af does not subscribe to journals with more than two words in the title and hence would have missed news of the study, except he happens to browse through The Australian to keep an eye on goings-on in that country.
The study says its results hint at why human males tend to have relatively larger genitalia when compared to other primates.
“Our results show that female mate choice could have played a role in the evolution of the relatively large human male penis,” the authors wrote.
“Before clothing, the non-retractable human penis would have been conspicuous to potential mates.”
The study did not get into the racial background of men and whether that may affect penis size.
Just as well. Some things are better not known.