• Penile tumescence measurement;
  • Sexual arousal


The techniques of penile measurement have been developed in numerous laboratories in Europe, Australia, and the United States. Most researchers now use either circumference or volumetric devices, depending on the research rationale. Thermistors have not been adequately evaluated. This paper reviews the important measurement issues associated with each device, as well as relevant construction information. Examples of applied research are provided. With respect to overall efficacy of the transducers, we recommend volumetric procedures where precision of measurement is of critical importance. However, for efficiency and ease of use the circumference devices, particularly the mercury-in-rubber gauge, appear optimal. Penile tumescence measurement is of fundamental importance in determining basic parameters of the psychophysiological process of human sexual arousal.