Quit it with the dick jokes, already.

There’s a lot of people out there who are having a giggle over the “breaking news” of Hitler’s ‘genital deformities’ — do me a favor and educate yourself about hypospadias before you start throwing a ton of nasty dick jokes out into the world.

For one thing, hypospadias is more common than you might think. It is a situation where the urethral channel opens lower than normal. Instead of opening at the tip of the penis, it opens elsewhere, sometimes even on the shaft or down near where the scrotum hangs. More and more men are being affected by this; nearly 1 in 125.

Hypospadias develops during the part of a pregnancy where the child’s gender is determined, around week 8–12. It is uncertain what causes hypospadias. Some theories suggest environmental pollution or an increase in female hormones in the water and food supply, but these are often disputed and have not been proven scientifically. I know people who have hypospadias who strongly identify as male; I know some who identify as gender-fluid or intersex.

Hypospadias does not mean the same thing as “micropenis” but it can cause a shortened shaft due to painful curving as the child grows, especially once the child begins to get regular erections. Surgery is commonly required to help fix the situation and relieve discomfort, but it has its drawbacks by potentially severing nerves and limiting the amount of pleasure possible from sexy times.

Consider how awkward this is to deal with. Also consider the poor children who have prudish or scared parents who ignore the problem and refuse to discuss body parts with them. They figure things out alone. They hide. They get teased for sitting down to pee, but if they stood, they’d spray everywhere and get yelled at for that instead. Imagine gym class.

Everyone’s laughing about Hitler. “Of course he was a megalomaniacal dictator, he had a tiny penis! HAR HAR HAR! He must drive a Hummer, too!” Quit it. Seriously. Genital size has nothing to do with sexual prowess, confidence, anger, or frustration . It certainly doesn’t cause you to raise an army and start a genocidal rampage across Europe.

Before you go laughing about other people’s genitals, even Hitler’s, think about how much you like having people laugh about things YOU have no control over. Don’t be a jerk.

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