Are the penises of the Indian males shorter by world standards? That should be a natural question flowing from a study by the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR). For the study found that condoms made according to international sizes are too large for a majority of Indian men.
Over a thousand men were covered by the two-year ICMR survey, and more than half of those measured had penises that were shorter for condoms of international standards. It has led to a call for condoms of mixed sizes to be made more widely available in India.
Over 1,200 volunteers from the length and breadth of the country had their penises measured precisely, down to the last millimetre.
The scientists even checked their sample was representative of India as a whole in terms of class, religion and urban and rural dwellers.
The conclusion of all this scientific endeavour is that about 60% of Indian men have penises which are between three and five centimetres shorter by international standards used in condom manufacture.
Doctor Chander Puri, a specialist in reproductive health at the Indian Council of Medical Research, told the BBC there was an obvious need in India for custom-made condoms, as most of those currently on sale are too large.
The issue is serious because about one in every five times a condom is used in India it either falls off or tears, an extremely high failure rate.
"Smaller condoms are on sale in India. But there is a lack of awareness that different sizes are available. There is anxiety talking about the issue. And normally one feels shy to go to a chemist's shop and ask for a smaller size condom," said Dr.Puri.
On the count of population control, condoms might not be major problem. For India's population seems to have stabilized. Though it stands at 1.17 billion, with a birth rate of 22.22 births/1,000 population, the total fertility rate, the number of births a woman is expected to have in her lifetime, is currently estimated at 2.7 and projected to decline, though slowly.
But the AIDS front is a matter of concern, for India has a high number of HIV infections, some say it is perhaps the highest in the world. In that respect, necessary attention must be paid to the right size of condoms for Indians, it is felt.
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