Dr. Bob Wong of the School of Biological Sciences at Monash University in Australia and colleagues at The Australian National University and La Trobe University, projected life-size, 3D computer-generated male bodies to 105 female participants.
The images differed in height, body shape and penis size. The women were asked to assess the figures' sexual attractiveness.
The study, published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Science, found penis size influenced how the female participants perceived attractiveness -- the more ample, the more appealing.
"There is always much debate on the subject and we wanted to address the notion of whether size matters using a valid scientific approach," Wong said in a statement. "We found penis size affected a man's sexual attractiveness, but height was equally as important, with taller men considered more attractive."
The study also found taller men with larger genitalia were considered more attractive than shorter men with larger genitalia.
Dr. Brian Mautz of ANU said an overall impression of attractiveness to women, without focusing on any particular body part, is what distinguished the research from previous findings.
"The only previous study of this topic in humans used five small drawings of male figures that differed only in penis length," Mautz said. "It was very obvious to the female participants which character they were being asked to assess. In that situation, it's easy for people to self-deceive or lie and distort the results."
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