A medical study has confirmed every unendowed man’s worst nightmare: women really do think bigger is better when it comes down to what’s in your pants.

Well, that's if we're talking about vaginal orgasms achieved through penetrative sex, and not clitoral orgasms, which "the experts" like to argue are two totally different things, natch.

The findings, published in The Journal of Sexual Medicine, saw 323 women at a Scottish university asked to recall their sexual activity within the last month.

They were asked about penile-vaginal intercourse, vaginal orgasm and clitoral orgasm and whether penis length influenced their ability to orgasm.

Of these, 160 women had experienced vaginal-only orgasms and had had enough sexual partners to compare size experiences.

33.8 per cent of that figure claimed to prefer bigger-than-average penises, 60 per cent said size did not matter to them, and 6.3 per cent said they preferred shorter appendages.

Overall the women who reported the highest number of vaginal orgasms during the previous 30 days tended to say they preferred longer penises, the findings revealed.

size matters

Size matters: Or at least she seems to think so (posed by model)

Researchers found penis size was however not related to the frequency of clitoral orgasm.

"Male anxiety about penis size may not reflect internalised, culturally arbitrary masculine stereotypes, but an accurate appreciation that size matters to many women — just as men feel legitimate anxiety when they enter the mating market about their intelligence, personality traits, sense of humor, social status, height, wealth, and other traits known to be favored by women across cultures," study researcher Stuart Brody, a psychologist at the University of the West of Scotland, told LiveScience.

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Of the prevalence of vaginal orgasms among women who preferred longer penises, he added: "This might be due at least in part to greater ability of a longer penis to stimulate the entire length of the vagina and the cervix."

But other researchers appear to have poured scorn on the findings.

"There's such variability in preference," said Barry Komisaruk, who researches female sexual response at Rutgers University.

Women who orgasm through vaginal stimulation may indeed prefer longer penises, Komisaruk told LiveScience, but not everyone prefers to orgasm that way.

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"There are so many different factors," said Komisaruk, who was not involved in Brody's study. "Once it gets to the kind of specifics that they're talking about, I get wary."

Catchily entitled Women Who Prefer Longer Penises Are More Likely To Have Vaginal Orgasms (But Not Clitoral Orgasms): Implications For An Evolutionary Theory Of Vaginal Orgasms, it concludes: “Women who prefer deeper penile-vaginal stimulation are more likely to have vaginal orgasm, consistent with vaginal orgasm evolving as part of a female mate choice system favouring somewhat larger than average penises.”

The study comes on the back of research which suggests British men typically have bigger penises than their French counterparts but are less well endowed than Germans.

The average penis size for a British man is apparently 5.5in when erect - larger than the French at 5.3in, Australians (5.2in), Americans (5.1in) and Irish (5in).

Men from Africa's Republic of Congo are best equipped with an average penis length of 7.1in, while the average manhood in North and South Korea measures in at a mere 3.8in, the research claims.

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British men typically have bigger penises than their French counterparts

However doubts about the study by Dr Richard Lynn, emeritus professor of psychology at Ulster University, have been raised after some of the data was taken from websites.

The research published in the scientific journal Personality and Individual Differences claims Ecuadorian men are among those with the largest penises, with an average length of 7in. They are followed by Ghanaians at 6.8in and Colombians at 6.7in.

British men rank 78th out of 113 nationalities in the table of average penis lengths, according to the study.

In Europe, Icelanders are the best endowed at 6.5in and the Irish are the second smallest at 5.03in - behind Romanians at 5.01in.

British men come in just under the Germans, who are in line with the European average of 5.7in.

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Africans have the biggest penises with an average of 6.3in, while north-east Asians the smallest at 4.2in, the study claims.

Research author Mr Lynn said that the findings confirm previous theories of "race differences in penis length".

He concludes: "For most of these populations, penis lengths are predictable and confirmed."

But critics argue that Mr Lynn's research is flawed because he has gathered data on penis length from websites.

Jelte Wicherts, professor of methodology at Tilburg University, Holland, told The Telegraph: "This is a brave paper in a controversial area but the data has no methodology."

Average penis size by country (in inches):
  • Republic of Congo, 7.1
  • Ecuador, 7
  • Ghana, 6.8
  • Colombia 6.7
  • Iceland 6.5
  • Italy 6.2
  • South Africa 6
  • Sweden 5.9
  • Greece 5.8
  • Germany 5.7
  • New Zealand 5.5
  • UK 5.5
  • Canada 5.5
  • Spain 5.5
  • France 5.3
  • Australia 5.2
  • Russia 5.2
  • USA 5.1
  • Ireland 5
  • Romania 5
  • China 4.3
  • India 4
  • Thailand 4
  • South Korea 3.8
  • North Korea 3.8

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  • 1. Don't Talk Yourself Out Of What You Need

    It's too easy for us women to convince ourselves to settle for less. We're so helpful and accommodating, so eager to please and afraid of rejection that we're quick to give up the things we need, including when it comes to sex. What we need to see is that doing this will leave us chronically frustrated. While it's true that every relationship requires a certain amount of compromise, going without the things that we really need just doesn't work. We'll end up unhappy in the relationship or resentful toward our partner. The bottom line is, we need to know what we can't live without, sexually, and what we just can't live with. We ignore these non-negotiables at the expense of a fulfilling sex life.

  • 2. Share Your Needs And Feelings With Your Partner

    If you can't ask them for what you want in bed, you shouldn't be sleeping with them. Good sex happens when we feel safe and at ease. If we're afraid to ask for something or to tell our partner that we don't like something, sex will never be more than mediocre. This second tip follows from the first one, in that once we identify what we want and don't want, we have to express these things clearly. It's unfair to expect our partner to be a mind-reader and "prove" that they care by somehow knowing what we want without our having to tell them. Healthy sex comes out of healthy communication.

  • 3. Accept Your Body As It Is Now

    We need to be in touch with our bodies; with what feels good, what feels not so good and what feels wrong. We also really need to stop judging ourselves in terms of our weight and our shape. Only a superficial dope would give us a hard time over our imperfections. If someone makes us feel bad about our physical selves, this is more a reflection of his inadequacies than of our own. Our negative self-talk has to stop. The running commentary on how fat we are, how much cellulite or how many wrinkles we have is guaranteed to kill the mood, often before it even starts. Feeling good about our bodies is crucial if we're going to let go and enjoy ourselves. Being physically self-conscious will keep us from experiencing the joyful abandon of great sex.

  • 4. Never Refuse Sex As A Punishment Or Use It As A Reward

    In the bad old days, some women were led to believe that the way to get a man to toe the line is to offer sex for good behavior or withhold it when the man has displeased them. Most of us today recognize this as hateful behaviour and a recipe for disaster. Men don't want to be controlled or punished, especially around sex. They don't want to be made to feel like little boys. When we're hurt or angry at our partner, we need to share our feelings with him in an adult way. We can even say that we're too upset for sex, right now. What we mustn't ever do is make him feel like we're deciding when he gets to have sex, based on whether he's been "good" or "bad." On the other hand, using sex as a reward turns us into sex objects and makes sex into a commodity for our partner to "earn." It's no longer two people being intimate or enjoying each other. Commodifying sex makes it into a business transaction and our bodies then become objects for trade.

  • 5. No Pets In The Room

    We might love Fluffy or Rover, but they don't belong in the bedroom when we're being intimate. Our pets are very territorial and could get jealous or want to play, too. Dogs might bark or even growl. Cats might jump onto the bed and start walking around. We can avoid these disasters by remembering to shut the door and leave our four-legged friends outside.

  • 6. Have A Sense Of Humor

    Sex is about connection and intimacy, but also it's about having fun. It can be mind-blowingly great or occasionally, things can go wrong. Having a good sense of humor about sex will keep things in perspective. Being able to laugh at ourselves and at the comical aspects of sex will take the pressure off the whole experience. We might love and adore our partner, but we don't have to be so serious about making love to them. Humour relieves pressure and is a great way to connect.

  • 7. Enjoy The Give And Take

    The best sex is the kind in which each person is trying to please the other one. The sharing in sex is one of the things that make it great. It can be technically amazing, but when one person gets the impression that the other person really isn't there with them, it can ruin the whole experience. What makes someone a fantastic lover is not their technical ability or their repertoire of moves but their attentiveness and their efforts to make their partner happy. When both people show that they really care about meeting their partner's needs, sex becomes something wonderful.