A new study on penis size from Australian researchers confirms what women have known all along: size matters, but it isn’t everything. The study results give tall men reason to take comfort but for shorter, pear-shaped men? Not so much. The results show that for women, the most attractive men are tall, have average to long penises and…a gym membership.

The study, led by the Australian National University, surveyed 105 young Australian women, who were shown life-sized computer models of nude men, and asked to rate their attractiveness. The only variables in the models were height, body shape and flaccid penis size. 

The women’s ratings showed that penis size is an important criterion when judging a man’s attractiveness or desirability, but it is less important than height. Per the study, men who are taller and have larger penises apparently offer the best of both worlds—those computer models scored the highest in terms of attractiveness.

Unfortunately for shorter-stature men, a larger penis doesn’t do much to firm up their attractiveness. Those models still rated less attractive than the tall models, even when the shorter models had longer penises. Body shape was a heavy influencer for attractiveness as well, with computer models featuring broad shoulders and narrow hips scoring the highest ratings. But before guys get out their measuring sticks, the study concluded that size only matters to a certain point. While about 3 inches flaccid length seemed to be the ideal, flaccid penises longer than that didn’t score significantly higher in attractiveness ratings.

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The researchers suggest that female preference for large penises is instinctual. (This was a scientific study, after all, and not just out to prove that women can be as shallow as men when it comes to looks and attractiveness.) Our prehistoric sisters were looking for the male most capable of hunting prey and defending against predators; hence the tall, broad-shouldered guys were evolutionarily favored.  But these gals were picky, and they also wanted the male most likely to sire offspring, and—get this—a larger penis, during intercourse, could force out of the vagina the sperm of competing males who’d already, ahem, “become acquainted” with that female, and thus the tall male could establish himself as baby-daddy. (Unless of course the little homo sapiens came out short and pear-shaped, in which case, a shorter, chubbier stature male had the winning swimmers.) In any case, this process of natural selection may have led human males to develop disproportionately large genitalia—human male penises are the largest of any species, relative to the rest of their body.

The study deliberately omitted other physical factors that women may assess to determine attractiveness, such as nose and chin size, hair type (and abundance) or condition of teeth. And despite this study spelling less-than-stellar news for short men, it’s worth nothing what women also already know, and that’s that broad shoulders and a big, tall package aren’t everything. A smart, nice, shorter guy with a winning personality and a great sense of humor might not pick up a lot of hotties at the bars, but sooner or later, women will take notice. And while we may like to date a well-hung hunk or two along the way, we’ll marry the nice guy who makes us laugh.