The female orgasm may have evolved as a mate-selection tool, according to new research

Read the Story

Show Top Comments

> While the male orgasm is necessary for sexual reproduction, the female orgasm is not. I recall reading that female orgasm increased conception rates, as sperm was transported by the contractions. Perhaps someone has current data on this.


>While the male orgasm is necessary for sexual reproduction, the female orgasm is not. With no immediate biological reward (orgasm), why would women want to have sex? At the time where the connection between sex and babies wasn’t already made among humans? In modern times, what would motivate women who are afraid about / reluctant about pregnancy, childbirth or kids to still have sex? > The mate-choice hypothesis of the female orgasm posits that it “functions to select males.” The selection of good long-term mates could occur through various mechanisms. “He can make me come, so he’ll make a good father / he has good genetic material”? What? That’s not what I’ve noted from anecdotal evidence, maybe the article links to studies about how this hypothesis came to be…. > The “Mr. Right” hypothesis suggests that the female orgasm serves as a signal of a man’s value as a long-term mate. For example, female orgasm frequency has been associated with the partner’s family income, self-confidence and attractiveness. Seriously? > The study included a total of 175 heterosexual, female undergraduate students at Bowling Green State University, with an average age of 19. Participants were randomly assigned to one of six conditions, manipulating relationship context (short vs. long term) and orgasm frequency (never vs. occasionally vs. almost always). > Participants read a hypothetical scenario describing their relationship with a man named Michael. The short-term condition outlined a one-month relationship while the long-term condition referred to a one-year relationship. Following some general details about the relationship (such as where they met), participants then read about the sexual nature of their relationship (e.g., “In your relationship with Michael, you [never / occasionally / almost always] experience an orgasm.” So 175 female students aged 19 guessed their probable chance to get off of some hypothetical scenarios….and that’s a valid methodology? I thought it would be more like asking a diverse panel of women about their lived/living experience.


Every time I see a result featuring evolution in science journalism, and see that the people who wrote the paper were not evolutionary biologists, I immediately check out. Most people, even educated people, don’t understand evolution. I count myself in that category. More often than not, using “evolution” as an explanation in papers amounts to creating a just-so story. Anyway, the experiment described in this report has nothing to do with evolutionary theory.


How I think these studies work. Make a hypothesis especially one that can get some attention. Do a study. Make the data fit your hypothesis no matter how silly it is. Get more click bait funding for next time.


I’m sorry, but I struggle with the fact this study was based on a purely hypothetical test that was given after they were told an imaginary mate either made them orgasm never, occasionally, or always. There is absolutely no way that this even remotely approximates the complexity of real human relationships.