More and more parents are attending paediatricians’ offices with concerns about their son’s penis size, according to an article in The New York Times.
But in fact paediatricians say the most common characteristic is that the children are overweight.
While the mother is usually the one to attend the appointment, concerns actually stem from the father, says Dr Perri Klass.
“Most of the time, everything (to do with the penis) is perfectly normal. But what most of those boys have in common is their physique. They tend to be overweight,” he says.
“I see dissatisfaction with the phallus very regularly,” agrees Dr. Aseem Shukla, a Paediatric Urologist at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia and associate Professor of Urology at the Perelman School of Medicine.
He told The New York Times it was common for parents of boys aged 10-11 years to say: “My son’s penis is too short.”
Doctors say that more often than not there is no cause for concern and explain that in babies and toddlers the penis can often appear to be very small.
This is more so the case when the child is larger than average. Parents of overweight children then express concern that the genitals may be an issue when in fact they are not.
Dr Klass explains that the penis in children can sit behind a section of fat which is located in front of the pubic bone. This layer can hide the penis well into adolescence, according to the article in The Times.
Dr Shukla says this is what is known as “hidden penis” and it can be a combination of the penis not having grown yet, as well as the child being overweight and then penis being hidden by a bigger fat pad in the stomach than that in an average sized child.