Upcoming Event

Evolution of the Female Orgasm

Jan 25, 2019 |
New Haven, CT
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"The complexity of the endocrine and neurological mechanisms underlying female orgasm suggest that this character is performing an important biological function, and it thus can be explained as an adaptation caused by natural selection. However, the situation is complicated by the manifest fact that orgasms are not necessary for a woman to conceive and that a surprisingly large fraction of women do not experience orgasm during penetrative intercourse. In this talk I will discuss an alternative explanation for these features of female orgasm, namely that it evolved in the primate lineage from copulation induced ovulation after ovulation became spontaneous. This scenario is supported by phylogenetic evidence and more recent experimental results and undermines Freud’s assertion that the lack of vaginal orgasm in some women is a sign of psychological immaturity on the part of the woman. Instead, difficulty with vaginal orgasm seems to be a natural consequence of how natural selection has modified external female genitalia after ovulation became independent of copulation."