It’s not unusual for scientific studies to ask for the help of volunteers, but it’s not every day that those volunteers are asked to share photos of their penises. But that’s exactly what Alice Walker, a sociologist at Missouri State University, did. She also asked the men to measure their penises and say if they believed them to be bigger than average, smaller than average, or below average.
She had no trouble finding volunteers after launching the study on June 18. By June 26, she had already received a few hundred images. But the efforts of willing participants were in vain, because Walker has now canceled the study.
“I made this decision voluntarily,” Walker, who had intended to study the relationship between penis size and self-esteem, said in a university press release.
“I continue to believe the relationship between penis size and self-esteem is an important site of scientific inquiry, but the public reaction to the project threatens the reliability of the survey responses. The reliability of the study as a whole has been compromised,” she said.
Walker didn't elaborate on what kind of “public reaction” she was referring to, but there’s a huge (pun intended) chance it involved inappropriate photos that lacked the clinical perspective she was seeking.
All photos sent to Walker were stored in a secure research database and have since been destroyed, according to the university.
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