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Big Dick Energy Study Cancelled Under Controversy

Friday Jul 6, 2018

Big Dick Energy hit the internet last week after Ariana Grande said that her fiancé Pete Davidson was well-endowed. New York Magazine wrote a piece about what they call "Big Dick Energy" and a meme was born.

But in academia, studying BDE is a no-go.

A Missouri State University professor had hoped to complete a study on penis size and self-esteem, but she discontinued it after a week-and-a-half.

The reason? "Alicia Walker realized that the survey responses were skewed and that some of them were jokes, in part due to inaccurate media coverage of the study," reads a report on the website World University Rankings.

Walker is an assistant professor of sociology at Missouri State University-Springfield.

"The study called for up to 3,600 male participants over the age of 22 to respond to a survey that asked about their size, self-image, sexual relationships and sexual habits," the World University Rankings post continues. "She also asked for photographs of them measuring their genitalia to ensure consistent measurement technique. No identifying information was collected with the surveys or photos, and according to a statement by Missouri State, all the submitted photos and surveys have already been destroyed and were never viewed. Walker had also been conducting qualitative interviews by email or phone, which will not continue."

Walker was accused by critics that claimed she was collecting "dick pics." They claimed that she was "only looking to prove that men with small penises had lower self-esteem, which affected her data pool. The data were skewed towards men of below-average size and prevented Walker from discovering if high self-esteem correlated with men who were above average," reports WUR.

"With the widespread misrepresentation of the study's aims and methodology, you have to question what's happening to your participant pool," Walker wrote. "I'd fielded emails from men who [said that] they had purposefully responded with joke answers (for example, some reported uploading pictures of SpongeBob and other cartoon characters, their pets, etc.) in an effort to throw the study's findings into jeopardy."

She also received abusive emails and phone calls. Saying that they were only a small minority, nonetheless "Every single one of them specifically mentioned that they were upset that I as a woman would dare do this study," she wrote. "I asked why my gender made a difference, and none of them could tell me. Knowing that these folks wouldn't have said anything had I been a male researcher was beyond frustrating."

Ironically after announcing her decision to close the study, she received an outpouring of support from men.

"I have had so many men beg me to do the study anyway. So many men have messaged to say that they have absolutely no outlet to discuss this. They cannot talk to their male friends because they will only get ridicule," she wrote. "This study was an opportunity for them to vent and process."

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