After the authors of "Super Freakonomics" belittled the Indian male in a chapter about condoms, medical researchers in New Delhi have said he can still hold his own in the world.
The authors, US economist Steven D Levitt and journalist Stephen J Dubner, had inferred from an Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) study that Indian men are less endowed than men in other parts of the world.
They said "...60 per cent of Indian men have penises too small for the condoms manufactured to fit WHO specs". They also said for two years "more than a 1,000 Indian men had their penises measured and photographed by the scientists."
But now ICMR Deputy Director General, Dr R S Sharma, says the authors had not factored the entire research findings before jumping to the conclusion. Instead, they had referred only to a small data sample collected by one of the researchers from his centre, Maharashtra.
"The claim made in the book 'Super Freakonomics' is based on the statement given to a website by...Dr R R Shinde, the head of PSM department at KEM Hospital, Mumbai ...(but) the statement... can't be considered as an average data of an Indian man," says Sharma.
The research had begun in July 2001 to help the government understand why most Indian men say no to condoms. One of the notions was that the condoms could be oversized. To test it, the researchers had decided to line up men from all states, and measure them from base to tip in their viagra mood. Since the number of experts needed for the "sensitive job" could not be found, the test was conducted only on 1377 healthy men from Delhi, Punjab, Bihar, Orissa, Assam, Maharashtra and Karnataka.
The job entailed "measuring length and circumference of an erect male penis" through the internationally recognised Strip Method.
Among others things, the study found that the sizes varied from state to state, and hence, deriving a standard average length from the data was not possible. Though the study did indicate that the average size of an erect penis in the sampled states is smaller than the international size, the specification could not be stretched to include the entire country.