Phallocarps (was Re: Breast Size (Was: Re: Homosexuality and genetic determinism))

Herb Huston (
10 Jun 1995 18:07:58 -0400 added to newsgroups.

In article <>,
Lemonhead <> wrote:
}Actually I remember reading a book (I think it was called something likt
}*The Third Chimpanzee* or something like that) that argued that human
}penii (is that the correct word? I got that from a local disk jockey)
}were of more importance to men, kind of a "i'm bigger and badder" kind of
}thing. He used an example of some kind of penis sheath among some
}people, I forget who, where they would put on these three foot long,
}well, penis sheaths. I think it was some kind of warrior thing.

Other facts confirm the role of a large penis as a threat or
status display toward other men. Recall all the phallic art
created by men for men, and the widespread obsession of men
with their penis size. Evolution of the human penis was ef-
fectively limited by the length of the female vagina: a man's
penis would damage a woman if it were significantly larger.
However, I can guess what the penis would look like if this
practical contraint were removed and if men could design them-
selves. It would resembe the penis sheaths (phallocarps) used
as male attire in some areas of New Guinea where I do field-
work. Phallocarps vary in length (up to two feet), diameter
(up to 4 inches), shape (curved or straight), angle made with
the wearer's body, color (yellow or red), and decoration (e.g.,
a tuft of fur at the end). Each man has a wardrobe of several
sizes and shapes from which to choose each day, depending on
his mood that morning. Embarrassed male anthropologists inter-
pret the phallocarp as something used for modesty or conceal-
ment, to which my wife had a succinct answer on seeing a phallo-
carp: "The most immodest display of modesty I've ever seen!"

Thus, astonishing as it seems, important functions of the human
penis remain obscure. Here is a rich field for research.

-- Jared Diamond, _The Third Chimpanzee: The Evolution and Future of the
Human Animal_, 1992, HarperCollins, New York, page 76.

-- Herb Huston