A Missouri State University professor soliciting pictures of penises for a study about male self-esteem has decided to cancel her project.
The university cited "public reaction" in announcing the decision to end assistant sociology professor Alicia Walker's research, which aimed to explore how penis size affects sexual activity, condom usage, mental health, socializing and overall health.
"I made this decision voluntarily," Walker said in a statement. "I continue to believe the relationship between penis size and self-esteem is an important site of scientific inquiry, but the public reaction to the project threatens the reliability of the survey responses. The reliability of the study as a whole has been compromised."
Walker had looked for at least 3,600 men outside the Ozarks to submit pictures of their genitalia and measurement data.
The university said Thursday morning that "all submissions were stored in a secure research database" and that "none of the photographic submissions or survey responses have been or will be viewed. They have already been destroyed."
Walker previously told the News-Leader that research was conducted via an online survey as well as at hospitals and nightclubs.
"The survey itself has been closed to further activity," MSU announced Thursday. "No further interviewing will take place."
The university previously said Walker's study was a "legitimate area of research and she is conforming to all the guidelines of participant security."
Though she had said the pictures were "clinical," not "sexy," Walker's study drew headlines around the country before its cancellation. MSU has said her study was not funded by any governmental institute.
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