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The human penis is a very, uh, interesting organ. Sometimes it grows big and strong like a mighty Redwood. Other times it shrinks like a scared turtle. Some, like the one from Denmark, are even uncircumcised and look like when Senator Palpatine goes full emperor and if you’re one of those guys with a penis that looks like a wizard’s sleeve or if you’re a girl who has to deal with one of those penises devoid of a face and personality, I apologize.
And of course, you can’t talk about members without talking size. Turns out, humans used to have a penis bone, so they were bigger and sex lasted longer, but that disappeared about 1.9 million years ago because of monogamy. That’s right. Monogamy is directly responsible for dicks being smaller. It’s evolution, baby!
A new study published in Proceedings of the Royal Society might finally answer the mystery of what killed the penis bone: monogamy.
To explain how, I gotta lay out some key baculum facts—that’s the scientific name for the penis bone—for all the PB n00bs out there. Penis bones are diverse in shape and size across many different mammals. The baculum of a walrus is two-feet long. In the bonobo, it is eight millimeters. In this new study, scientists set out to trace the evolutionary history of the baculum to account for the vast differences in penis bone length amongst animals.
The study ultimately discovered “a clear [relationship] between the bone’s length and a species’ promiscuity: more promiscuous species had longer bacula,” writes The Economist.
Kit Opie, a postdoctoral research fellow at University College London who led the study, tells The Guardian that penis bone length was longer in males that engaged in “prolonged intromission”—meaning when species take more than three minutes to mate. Males use “prolonged intromission” to keep the female away from his competition while he impregnates her.
What scientists now theorize is that human lost their penis bones when monogamy became prevalent, about 1.9 million years ago. They no longer had the pressing need to keep away the competition by fucking for a long time. After all, “the average duration from penetration to ejaculation for human males is less than two minutes,” Brindle reminds us. (Dudes… get it together…) Nevertheless, despite the grumblings of lonely hearts, human males simply don’t have intense sexual competition because human females tend to mate with one male at a time.
Next time anyone complains about size, or stamina, or why every time you finish you bawl your eyes out, blame monogamy. If you want a sexual stallion, you need to let him run free off the farm every once in a while. Reverse evolution, it’s a thing. At least that’s what I’ll tell my next girlfriend.
Although, since we’re all friends here, I’ll come out and say it. I’m pretty happy I don’t have a penis bone. It’d make life absolutely miserable. Playing sports, sitting in a cramped bleacher seat at Fenway, being a restless sleeper — all that becomes extremely arduous with a dick bone. And what if you broke your penis bone? Would you still have your buddies sign the cast? Also, sex for more than two minutes, who has time?! If you’re able to sneak in an extra episode of The Office because sex finished early tonight, thank evolution. A true hero.
Image via Wikimedia Commons