Skip to comments.Genes drive ability to orgasm: Scientists say DNA exerts strong influence on whether women climax
Posted on 06/08/2005 3:40:51 AM PDT by PatrickHenry
A woman's genetic make-up accounts for at least a third of her ability to climax during sex, say researchers, and may even account for as much as 60%.
Further investigations into the genetic differences that influence orgasms in women could help produce drugs to treat female sexual dysfunction, they say.
Relatively little is known about the female orgasm, the peak of sexual excitement normally marked by vaginal contractions. "It's a taboo subject," explains Tim Spector, who directs the Twin Research Unit at St Thomas' Hospital, London, and co-authored the report.
Women do not need to climax in order to conceive and give birth, a fact that makes the evolutionary cause of their orgasm slightly mysterious. In contrast, men who cannot orgasm miss the chance to pass on their genes and fall victim to natural selection.
So what function does the female orgasm serve? As well as making women more interested in the activity of procreation, recent investigations have found the contractions it involves can bring sperm closer to the egg, increasing the chance of conception.
Evolutionary psychologists have also suggested that the female orgasm might help women to select caring partners: those who are particularly attentive in the bedroom may also be more supportive in other aspects of life.
To find out which factors most affect a woman's ability to climax, Spector and his colleagues sent a questionnaire to more than 4,000 female twins to complete anonymously. Recipients included nearly 700 pairs of identical twins, who share the same DNA.
The researchers asked how often the women climaxed during sex. Only 14% of the women reported always achieving an orgasm. At the other end of the spectrum, 16% of them said they never reach orgasm or are unsure about whether they do or not.
As in other studies of twins, the scientists assume that twins share similar family environments. The overall difference between trends in identical twins and fraternal twins is thus attributed to genetic influences. The analysis suggests that genes explain at least 34% of the probability that a woman orgasms during sex. When it came to masturbation, this number climbed to 45%, the researchers report in Biology Letters1.
This number could go even higher, they add, if one could account for other variables, such as the different techniques of the women's partners. Genetic influences have been seen to account for as much as 60% of variability in other complex traits, such as obesity.
Pleasure in a pill
The number of genes that influence the female orgasm remains unknown. But researchers reason that comparing the DNA of women who always orgasm with that of those who never do could shed light on the biological pathway behind the process. Drugs could then be developed to target the most influential genes or gene products in this pathway.
Medications for male erectile problems, such as Pfizer's Viagra (sildenafil citrate), have already given men more options, says London-based relationship therapist Ruth Mitchell. But she says women lack a similarly popular and effective treatment.
Even with the promise of drugs, Mitchell cautions that many factors besides biology affect the ability to orgasm. "There's such a huge impact from conditioning and expectation," she says.
I always told her it wasn't my fault.
But should I tell her its her parents fault?
Sounds like a bad counseling session.
My friend ay the University of New Jersey, who studies such things claims that the intensity of a person's orgasms is related to the way a person sneezes. As we all know a sneeze can vary from an imperceptable grunt to a an uncontrollable AH CA CHOOO!!
Personally, he doesn't think it is genetics.
I once had the experience of reading the Bible out loud to two people, a man and a woman, who were shacking up.
The woman, when I was finished, suddenly loudly exclaimed, 'my goodness, when I hear a man read scripture, it makes me HOT!'. I was startled, and I calibrated this experience to some other Sunday afternoon experiences I recalled.
This article says nothing about what many many women already know: the greatest aphrodisiac is when their mate speaks the truth to them, from the heart. Lying is a turn off, in short. But if most folks can't trust themselves to tell the truth or trust others to tell the truth, well that has pretty unhappy implications for HER future sex life.
Sadly, in our world today, good liars are rewarded. And the art of 'telling the truth', why that art is just fantasy and not to be discussed!!
Evolution in and of itself is well disguised, it very effectively promotes the art of deception. This article is titanically deceptive in that it approaches this one hot button subject, and offers genetic thinking and great and glorious scientists and their research as the solution. For only scientists are trustworthy .... yeah, right.
Men who don't take their wives to church: take this suggestion... pick a typical 'mega-church' protestant church. Take your wife there, just once. Then, after Sunday lunch, observe the changes of this 'exposure' in your wife. It is just a mere scientific experiment, and you have nothing to lose.
But I predict this: your Sunday afternoon will be of a different, and very likely more rewarding than usual character. Then evaluate for yourself, scientifically, the data provided by the experiment.
(Another way to calibrate the above info is to consider this: pornography, the 'writings of whores', has the ability to promote sexual desire too, but why? Because it is an arena where artificial truth telling is masterfully practiced. After all, the writers of Penthouse Forum MUST be telling their truths, right? Porn-writers are in effect sitting in a pseudo-pew, imitating what is already in churches.
And for many, given they never experience bona fide truth telling, they'll take that product and result, the artifical jolts, and convince themselves this is the best they can come up with.)
The article mentioned twin peaks, hehehe.
"Actually, it just proves that men named "Gene" are fantastic lovers..."
Nyuh-uh! Not all of them. I once dated... Oh, never mind.
Like Gene Simmons? Or is it Gene Autry?
The Michael Jackson Complex is an obvious fixation on mutilation of and deviance with human anatomy in the media. It is indicative of a societal mental illness that caters to the lowest common denominator and generated with Pavlovian behavioral conditioning in popular culture.
A modern use of idolatry, Pavlovian behavioral conditioning, conditioned responses...
Wine and Barry White ..."
Works for Chef on Southpark.
Best post of the day!
IMO it all cumulates down to how the twin peaks are handled.
Do you believe this is a result of the authoritative truth or the effect of what is perceived as confirmation of mutual dedication?
I imagine it depends on how a man looks in his jeans and whether or not he makes love to the woman in his jeans. You can tell I got the audio version of this story.
I don't think it's all that mysterious. Early in development, the equipment is the same. It's the early exposure to testosterone that causes the male fetus to differentiate as a male; the "default" pathway leads to a female. There is a genetic syndrome where an XY person lacks the androgen receptors and is an infertile female. Since the equipment starts out the same, I expect the nerves and brain connections to be similar, too.
Beyond Seven minute placemarker.
Does that mean she is having at least a third and maybe 60% of an orgasm? Isn't that called premature articulation, or something like that?
Does that mean that you are curve challenged , or unable to curve?
To be serious about this article, it is not mentioned that a man can have an ejaculation not involving an orgasm, so IMHO this article is not very scientific at all.
There are many ways to curve. At least I don't have the bill clinton curvature.
No, not at all. Gould's thesis was that the female orgasm was not adaptive, not that it was not genetic. He theorized that it was the result of the fact that the clitoris is the homologue of the penis. Therefore, the female orgasm exists as a sort-of side note to the selective pressure to generate the male orgasm, but that there was no direct adaptive pressure on the female which resulted in the clitoris or the female orgasm. In a similar manner, males have nipples, but they are not there because of any adaptive pressure for men to have nipples, but because of the adaptive pressure on women to have nipples. Male nipples are homologues of true female nipples.
Nothing in this view is challenged by the article. In fact, in some ways it supports it. If the female orgasm was purely adaptive, I would expect the genetic correlation to be even higher.
If anything, I think Gould's theory is correct, but incomplete. I think it is an accurate account of the origin of the clitoris and female orgasm, but it failed to account for pre-adaptation. That is to say, although the female orgasm did not originate as an adaptation, it is becoming adaptive. I think that if female orgasm accompanied by vaginal contractions actually moves the cervix closer to the sperm creating a fertilization advantage, this can be a true adaptation, but one made possible by the preadaptive homologue responsible for the female orgasm in the first place.