Size matters, with other guys

Last updated 12:50 13/06/2013
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PEER PRESSURE: When it comes to body image, men are more worried about what their gym buddies think than they are their sexual partners.

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A new study has found size matters, but not where you'd think. 

Well, we are talking about penises, but for men, it's not as much of an issue in the bedroom as it is in the locker room.

According to a new study from Victoria University in Melbourne, men are more shy around other men than they are with their own sexual partners. 

Doctorate of Clinical Psychology graduate Dr Annabel Chan Feng Yi surveyed 738 men online and found insecurity about weight, body image and penis size was a common trend.

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

The men surveyed ranged in age from 18 to 76 years old.

The study found insecurities were centred around the need to compete.

"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," Chan said.

Gay respondents also spoke of the need to bulk up and be muscular around other men. 

"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 more public awareness to de-mystify and de-stigmatise the topic of male body image."

With this week being National Men's Health Week, Chan said there was a clear need for further research on male obesity issues and body image issues. 

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