The United States government has come under fire for funding a study into how the size of a gay man’s penis size effects his sex life and general well-being with particular focus on whether penis size results in the decision to be a ‘top’ or a ‘bottom’.

The study by the National Institutes of Health resulted in a 2009 report entitled ‘The Association Between Penis Size and Sexual Health Among Men Who Have Sex with Men.’

Among the findings of the study were that gay and bisexual men with a “below average” sized penis would assume a “bottom” sexual position, while those with an “above average” sized penis would generally be a “top”. Those with an “average” sized penis identified themselves as “versatile”.

It is unclear exactly how much the study cost to conduct, although some newspapers report that it formed part of a $899,769 research grant. The data for the study originated from a survey of more than 1,000 gay and bisexual men at events in New York City.

There are conflicting reports over whether the funding extended meerly to anaylising the results of the surveys or conducting them also. “The data were not collected using taxpayer funds,” Jeffrey Parsons, a professor with Hunter College said in an email to Fox News. “NIH funds were not used to measure anyone’s penis size.”

“This country is broke and we cannot spend money on this kind of stuff,” Andrea Lafferty, president of the Traditional Values Coalition said, branding it as an example of “institutional waste” adding that the study was “wacky.” The organisation originally stated that the study cost $9.4m to conduct, a claim that has since been discredited.