To enjoy the full Mail & Guardian online experience: please upgrade your browser
20 Feb 2006 10:22
The length of his penis is key to a homosexual man’s self esteem and how he sees his body in general, according to a recent Dutch study undertaken at Utrecht University.
The majority of gay men regard a large sexual organ as ideal, and having one is linked to self-esteem, Liesbeth Woertman, a senior lecturer in clinical psychology, has found.
Woertman, a psychologist and sexologist, surveyed 251 gay men with an average age of 29 together with a colleague specialising in social and organisational psychology.
“Our study reveals that how gay men see their penis has considerable influence on how they value themselves in general,” Woertman said.
“It is not known whether if there is a similar link in heterosexual men, but there are various reasons for assuming that the self-image of heterosexual men is linked to how they evaluate the most characteristically masculine part of their body,” she added.
The men surveyed said their penises were the most attractive parts of their body, followed by their stomachs and their skin.
Woertman has previously confirmed that gay men spend more time, money and effort on their appearance than straight men.
She offers as one explanation that gay men are sex objects for men.
The psychologist believes that, despite the derogatory remarks, gay and straight men differ little from each other, and that their attitudes are converging regarding appearance.
This is because women are increasingly seeing men as sex objects, she believes.
“Appearance has thus become more important for the straight man,” she said, calling for more research into how heterosexual men see their bodies.
She suspects that contemporary men are less satisfied with their appearance than earlier generations.
Create Account | Lost Your Password?