Sunday, May 20, 2012

Women's Orgasms: Their Evolutionary Origins and Implications

Why do women have orgasms?  I would say that it's a great thing that they do; but there are some people that are not so sure about that, like Rush Limbaugh.

But let's look at the views as to their origins. There are two opposed views of how orgasms in women came about. One view is that the fact that some women have orgasms is because their doing so serves an adaptive function in various possible ways: pair bonding, mate selection, or enhanced fertility.  Let me re-phrase these.  The fact that women have orgasms facilitated the formation of pair bonds that endure, with the result being two parents for the offspring and increased survivability of them.  [If we both get orgasms, we enjoy being together more and have sex more often.  After all, it takes a very self-contained guy who is content to copulate with someone who just lays there.]  The mate selection view holds that women use orgasm as a sort of test for “quality” of possible partners.  ["If you ring my bell, you are a better bet to mate with in the long term." (she hypothetically thinks)]  The enhanced fertility theory, meanwhile, proposes that uterine contractions during female orgasm help to “suck up” sperm into the uterus.  [So our orgasms help the little wigglers along into meeting Miss Ovum.  Okay.]

Now I thought of a possible reason why women fake orgasms.  Their doing so is for the same reason that they use make-up, wear bra inserts or have breast implants, and wear perfume: to present false signals as to their reproduction value to unsuspecting males.  Still, how can you blame us? After all, there's a lot of chicanery we must sort through that guys deliver.  And, maybe with time, the guy might get better at performance.

The by-product camp, on the other hand, claims that female orgasms are to this day an incidental by-product of male orgasm, not an evolutionary adaption. In effect, women got a unexpected bonus by having orgasmic capacities although they're not, strictly speaking, necessary for continued survival of the species.  In other words, we're just on for the ride.  

But wait!  That kind of interpretation completely neglects women's reasons for having sex.  Let's face it: through most of history women have borne most of the risks associated with sex: early pairings in marriage, unwanted, premature pregnancy, death from complications related to childbirth, infant mortality and the despondency that goes with it.  As a matter of fact, the greater longevity of women as compared to men is really a twentieth century phenomenon: in earlier times men actually lived longer than women because of mortality due to birth complications, bearing too many offspring, and other things.  In short, there are many reasons for women being wary about sex. 


In fact, even today, women desire sex less often, and prefer fewer sexual partners than do men.  And, unfortunately, sex is not always orgasmic for them.  However, when they have those magical moments, that motivates them to try to have them on other occasions.  And since the likelihood of orgasms is not certain, they are really equivalent to being on a variable ratio schedule of reinforcement when it comes to rewards for lovemaking.  This schedule of payoffs normally results in a higher response rate with it.  Also, the uncertainty of orgasms reduces the likelihood that their impact will become jaded with time.

Finally, it is a fact that female orgasms can occurs as a result of other means in addition to intercourse.  Men who develop more skill in foreplay may be naturally selected because they are better bets to be devoted mates and parents.

10 comments:

Big Sky Heidi said...

This is neat! I never thought of why the Big O occurred. Good ideas!

Pigs have 30 minute orgasms. I wish reincarnation was true.

Mike said...

'unsuspecting males'

That's all guys, right?

Anonymous said...

This is totally disgusting.

Anemone said...

Having Ohs was totally unexpected, having been told I should submit to me husband by my fundy background

Bilbo said...

39%? What's wrong with us American men? I'm certainly willing to do my part ... I'll be back after I go and show this to my wife ...

Elvis Wearing a Bra on His Head said...

Only 39%? We need a government program to address this glaring deficiency.

Banana Oil said...

I second Elvis's motion.

The Bastard King of England said...

When better women are made, better men will make them.

Anonymous said...

Interesting at www.LoveExpos.org they say Love is an energy that can be stored in water, food and other items such as skin lotion. They say Love Burst Energies contained in the human orgasm can be used to procreate healthy babies or used to expand the Love Energies in one’s Mind so one can self heal oneself as well as expand the Conscious Awareness of one’s Mind.

Anonymous said...

Oh hey ... I saw something similar on facebook the other day. I think it would be pretty cool if our orgasms could in fact be used to repair our bodies and minds !!
Doesn't seem like that much of a stretch. I mean if stress can cause all sorts of diseases it's quite possible this ultimate "feel good" experience could do the reverse.
Would love to attend a workshop ... should be fun!!