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Science: “Ladies, We Still Don’t Understand Your Orgasms”
by Jamie Frevele | 11:12 am, September 7th, 2011
After all this time, and all this science, scientists are still unsure of the evolutionary purpose of the female orgasm. Men have orgasms so they can ejaculate and spread their seed to continue their lineage. But why do women have orgasms? What it comes down to is this: No one can really figure it out. The female orgasm might be just as vestigial as lactation in men, a byproduct of a bygone part of our biological makeup that shows how very similar we really are.
Not that we’re complaining about our useless orgasms, but still. Sometimes it’s cool to know what’s going on behind all that excitement.
Scientists have been trying to figure out the female orgasm since science became a thing. Many theories posit that the female orgasm creates a bond between partners, so it’s more of an emotional function than a biological one, as opposed to the male orgasm which could almost be considered utilitarian. But surely, the female orgasm has some kind of purpose — maybe the lubrication that occurs allows for easier penetration, creating more ideal conditions for a prolonged act of intercourse so the male can reach climax and ejaculate inside. Biologically speaking, that means babymaking. But this has never been confirmed.
Then there is the matter of clitoral and penetrative stimulation: women are much more likely to achieve orgasm after clitoral stimulation, which, honestly, we can do without a mate. That makes the biological function of the female orgasm even less about reproduction and makes it an even greater mystery. (Again — not that we’re complaining about our mysterious, useless orgasms.)
One study looked at the occurrence of orgasm between sets of twins (and no, that’s not what it sounds like). Researchers found that sets of same-sex sets of twins had very similar occurrences of orgasms, but opposite-sex sets did not. It’s not clear whether the same-sex sets were fraternal or identical twins, but since there was no correlation, the researchers believed this flew in the face of orgasm as an evolutionary byproduct. However, they did say their results were not definitive. Yet another study in the Journal of Sexual Medicine “found near-zero correlations between women’s orgasm rates and 19 other evolutionarily relevant traits.”
So, basically, we know just as much as we did before: pretty much nothing. Except that our orgasms are hardly hurting anyone, and those of us who have them should just go ahead and keep on having them. Maybe girls just wanna have fun.
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