By Phil Stewart
Brasilia - Brazilian men boast longer penises than their American counterparts, at least according to a survey of male genitalia conducted by a Brazilian urologist.
Dr Paulo Palma said on Friday that the average erect Brazilian penis reaches 14,5cm - about the length of a Nokia cellular telephone with the antenna.
Palma said that compares with an average erect American penis of about 12,9cm - the length of a Nokia cellular phone without the antenna.
"The tendency is that Brazilian penises are bigger," Palma said in a telephone interview. "But American men shouldn't be upset about this small difference."
He added that women only have sensitivity within the first 8cm of the vagina, making what he called abnormally large "porn star" penises not only ineffective but painful for women.
A man only needs a penis of 7cm for him and his partner to enjoy intercourse, he said.
Palma's survey made the cover of this week's edition of major Brazilian news magazine Istoe, which did a story on what it called the local obsession with large genitalia.
But Palma's methodology has been challenged. He said he only conducted tests on 150 Brazilian men, and took his US data from a 1997 study presented by the American Urological Association.
One critic is Brazil's Dr Bayard Santos, author of the book The Measure Of Man, and a specialist in penis enlargement.
Santos said his survey of 2 188 men in southern Brazil showed the average size of the nation's penises was 15cm - a full 0,5cm longer than Palma's estimate.
He also believes that differences between US and Brazilian penises have been exaggerated.
Santos stressed that for love making purposes, the most important aspect of the penis is its width - adding anything less than about 9cm in circumference is not enough to satisfy a woman.
But, unlike Palma, Santos defends a large penis as a symbol of a man's masculinity. He says men who want to increase the size of their genitalia shouldn't be scorned.
"The penis is symbolic of the man," Santos said. "If a woman has the right to use breast implants, then why can't a man increase the size of his penis?"
He is competing for mention in the Guinness Book of World Records for the world's biggest penis enlargement, safely transforming one of his patient's genitalia from 11cm in 1994 to 27cm today. - Reuters