An Anxiety Disorder: Small Penis Syndrome

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Allan Schwartz, LCSW, Ph.D. was in private practice for more than thirty years. He is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker in the states ...Read More

If you read the recent essay on pornography and how it affects men and women you will remember that it was stated that many men engage in the solitude of watching pornography because they are extremely anxious about sexual performance. In the essay it was reported that penis size is an issue that plagues many men. A new study published in the British Journal of Urology International found that 85% of women are satisfied with the size and proportion of their partner’s penis. Yet, 45% of men are convinced that they have a small penis. The article also reports that actual small penis size is a relatively rare phenomenon.

The doctors who did the research cautioned that male complaints about the size of their penis are to be taken seriously. These men experience a lot of shame, embarrassment and anxiety. It is recommended that they be sent to psychotherapy.


Unfortunately, there are those people who are ready to take advantage of these unealistic male fears by selling penis extenders or advertising that plastic surgery can cure the problem. When considered that the so called “problem” is in the minds of these men it obvious that surgery will do nothing to allay the fears.

The real fears suffered by these men have to do with feeling inadequate as men. These feelings of inadequacy need to be explored in the therapy office and not in that of the plastic surgeon.

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Just to repeat, this is a serious issue that causes a lot of suffering for a large number of men. Perhaps it is akin to the women who are convinced that they are not thin enough no matter how much weight they lose or to those women who insist on breast enlargement even though they are nicely proportioned.

Your comments are always welcome

Editor’s Note: August 3rd, 2009: Several days ago, after watching a disturbing trend of angry comments start to bloom into outright advocacy of aggression (something we could not allow), we decided to turn off comments on our series of Small Penis Syndrome (SPS) articles. We regret that it has come to this as we have become amply aware that it is important that people have a place to go on the Internet where they can talk about this powerful anxiety and the shame that surrounds it. Today, we are restoring read-access to the older comments, but are not going to accept any new comments on the essays themselves. Instead, we ask that people interested in discussing Small Penis Syndrome please visit the special Small Penis Syndrome forum we have set up within our Mental Help Net Community especially for this purpose. We regret any inconvenience this shift in venue has or will cause those interested in participating in the discussion.

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