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A Critic Takes On the Logic of Female Orgasm
New York Times ^ | 5/17/05 | DINITIA SMITH

Posted on 05/17/2005 8:12:54 AM PDT by JAWs

Evolutionary scientists have never had difficulty explaining the male orgasm, closely tied as it is to reproduction.

But the Darwinian logic behind the female orgasm has remained elusive. Women can have sexual intercourse and even become pregnant - doing their part for the perpetuation of the species - without experiencing orgasm. So what is its evolutionary purpose?

Over the last four decades, scientists have come up with a variety of theories, arguing, for example, that orgasm encourages women to have sex and, therefore, reproduce or that it leads women to favor stronger and healthier men, maximizing their offspring's chances of survival.

But in a new book, Dr. Elisabeth A. Lloyd, a philosopher of science and professor of biology at Indiana University, takes on 20 leading theories and finds them wanting. The female orgasm, she argues in the book, "The Case of the Female Orgasm: Bias in the Science of Evolution," has no evolutionary function at all.

Rather, Dr. Lloyd says the most convincing theory is one put forward in 1979 by Dr. Donald Symons, an anthropologist.

That theory holds that female orgasms are simply artifacts - a byproduct of the parallel development of male and female embryos in the first eight or nine weeks of life.

In that early period, the nerve and tissue pathways are laid down for various reflexes, including the orgasm, Dr. Lloyd said. As development progresses, male hormones saturate the embryo, and sexuality is defined.

In boys, the penis develops, along with the potential to have orgasms and ejaculate, while "females get the nerve pathways for orgasm by initially having the same body plan."

Nipples in men are similarly vestigial, Dr. Lloyd pointed out.

While nipples in woman serve a purpose, male nipples appear to be simply left over from the initial stage of embryonic development.

The female orgasm, she said, "is for fun."

(Excerpt) Read more at nytimes.com ...


TOPICS: Miscellaneous
KEYWORDS: biology; dynamohum; evolution; orgasm; science; sex; whypostthis; women
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Posted without comment. Okay, one comment. Who would be a of the female orgasm? I'd never criticize it! It's one of the priaseworthy things to have come down trhe pike! ...er... maybe I should rephrase that...
1 posted on 05/17/2005 8:12:54 AM PDT by JAWs
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To: JAWs
The female orgasm, she said, "is for fun."

I never knew that. I'm glad someone got a grant to figure this out.

2 posted on 05/17/2005 8:16:15 AM PDT by ClearCase_guy (The fourth estate is a fifth column.)
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To: JAWs

The female orgasm's only purpose is to allow men to sleep in peace after sex. :>)


3 posted on 05/17/2005 8:16:27 AM PDT by wvobiwan (United Nations = World-wide Criminal Organization)
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To: JAWs

Wimmen have orgasms?


4 posted on 05/17/2005 8:17:50 AM PDT by Argh
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To: JAWs

Well.


5 posted on 05/17/2005 8:18:33 AM PDT by Dallas59 (" I have a great team that is going to beat George W. Bush" John Kerry -2004)
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To: JAWs
"is for fun."

Well DUH! Every time I have sex, I look at the woman and can tell she's having way more fun than I am...

6 posted on 05/17/2005 8:19:45 AM PDT by HamiltonJay
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To: JAWs

Uh.... Anybody who has to ask cannot give a worthy opinion.


7 posted on 05/17/2005 8:19:47 AM PDT by Savage Beast (The Democrat Party: The Party of Sociopaths and Their (Mentally and Morally Retarded) Enablers!)
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To: JAWs; cyborg; Dashing Dasher

SIGH...

Over here.

Dasher, you'd better get your list ready.


8 posted on 05/17/2005 8:21:46 AM PDT by tiamat (Can't sleep...clowns will get me..can't sleep...clowns will get me...can't sleep....clowns will get)
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To: JAWs
While nipples in woman serve a purpose, male nipples appear to be simply left over from the initial stage of embryonic development.

The female orgasm, she said, "is for fun."

Going by this "logic", men's nipples should be every bit as sensitive as a woman's.....which we know isn't the case.

This woman's a loon.

9 posted on 05/17/2005 8:21:59 AM PDT by Psycho_Bunny (I know a great deal about the Middle East because Ive been raising Arabian horses" Patrick Swazey)
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To: JAWs

I'm just surprised that pissant didn't post this.

As for the other,
um,
ah,
I can think of whole threads on women's chat forums devoted to the advantages of electronics and batteries over dating/marriage. ;)


10 posted on 05/17/2005 8:22:47 AM PDT by najida (OK, so, ya see, uh huh.....I have this stress problem....maybe it's living without running water.)
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To: JAWs

Gee, I wonder if the author ever considered that maybe the Creator wanted BOTH male and female to enjoy their "becoming one"?!?


11 posted on 05/17/2005 8:23:07 AM PDT by Maria S
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To: JAWs

I don't think anything will come from this.


12 posted on 05/17/2005 8:23:19 AM PDT by Raycpa
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To: Psycho_Bunny
Not necessarily. There's less need for sensitivity, evolutionarily speaking in male nipples. They are underdeveloped and vestigial. I will not use this as a further analogy to the female orgasm because I know some posters will hunt me down and kill me if I follow the logic.
13 posted on 05/17/2005 8:24:30 AM PDT by JAWs
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Comment #14 Removed by Moderator

To: JAWs

It was a trade off.

Women have multiple orgasms, men get to pee standing up.


15 posted on 05/17/2005 8:25:08 AM PDT by tx_eggman (Liberalism is only possible in that moment when a man chooses Barabas over Christ.)
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To: JAWs

16 posted on 05/17/2005 8:25:21 AM PDT by evets (God bless President Bush and VP Cheney)
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To: ClearCase_guy

The female orgasm, she said, "is for fun."

whoa....I'm showing my wife this article right now.


17 posted on 05/17/2005 8:25:34 AM PDT by stylin19a ( Social Security...neither social nor secure.)
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To: JAWs
Proof positive that women are simply born to be naughty..

Actually, I have seen television progams which actually show a physical function of the female orgasm. One which I wont describe here.. Lets just say, it can help them little critters do their job..

18 posted on 05/17/2005 8:26:22 AM PDT by Paradox (In my heart, I will always be something of a Liberal, in my head, a Conservative. Head wins.)
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To: JAWs

Gee ya mean Evolution can't explain everything? (/sacarsm)


19 posted on 05/17/2005 8:26:22 AM PDT by apackof2 (Truth is absolute or absolutely nothing is True)
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To: HamiltonJay
Well DUH! Every time I have sex, I look at the woman and can tell she's having way more fun than I am...

Dude, I think you may be doing something wrong.

20 posted on 05/17/2005 8:26:47 AM PDT by Bluegrass Conservative
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To: tx_eggman
Women have multiple orgasms, men get to pee standing up.

We got the better deal. :)

21 posted on 05/17/2005 8:28:14 AM PDT by najida (OK, so, ya see, uh huh.....I have this stress problem....maybe it's living without running water.)
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To: apackof2

Women are smart enough to know where babies come from, and the human race has the most difficult childbirth, and prolonged child raising time period of any species.

If it weren't fun ... who'd do it?


22 posted on 05/17/2005 8:29:04 AM PDT by Tilly (I'm not paid to be stressed!!!)
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To: Paradox
Lets just say, it can help them little critters do their job..

It can also impede them. Like many things, it all depends on the timing.

23 posted on 05/17/2005 8:29:49 AM PDT by PBRSTREETGANG
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To: Tilly

Bingo!


24 posted on 05/17/2005 8:30:22 AM PDT by apackof2 (Truth is absolute or absolutely nothing is True)
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To: JAWs
Rather, Dr. Lloyd says the most convincing theory is one put forward in 1979 by Dr. Donald Symons, an anthropologist.

Good thing the Times is there to keep us up-to-date on breaking news.

25 posted on 05/17/2005 8:31:04 AM PDT by Zero Sum (Marxism is the opiate of the masses.)
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To: Psycho_Bunny
Going by this "logic", men's nipples should be every bit as sensitive as a woman's.....which we know isn't the case.

How do we know they aren't? Who the heck has ever felt both? from the perspective of the feel-ee, that is.

26 posted on 05/17/2005 8:31:25 AM PDT by HairOfTheDog
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To: JAWs
The female orgasm... has no evolutionary function at all

And I bet that very few women care, either.


But I do wonder how long it will take for the mods close this thread...

;*)

27 posted on 05/17/2005 8:32:06 AM PDT by Sweet_Sunflower29 (Illegal immigration - the trojan horse that's treated like a sacred cow)
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To: Paradox; ecurbh

I think I saw the same show... orgasm before sex in wimmen actually hinders pregnancy. Not that there's anything wrong with that ;~D


28 posted on 05/17/2005 8:34:38 AM PDT by HairOfTheDog
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To: JAWs
I don't understand what you're saying.  The doctor is stating that there's no evolutionary need for female orgasms....that the female orgasm is just for fun....subsequently it's logical to assume, based on the doctor's conclusion, that the male nipples would develop equally to a females, "just for fun"....since the female reproductive organ develops equally to a males in terms of orgasm.

The doctor is saying about the female sex organs the same thing you're saying about male nipples.....only we know the female orgasm isn't under-developed or vestigial, so it's entirely logical to assume the doctor doesn't have the slightest idea at all of what she's talking about.

29 posted on 05/17/2005 8:35:08 AM PDT by Psycho_Bunny (I know a great deal about the Middle East because Ive been raising Arabian horses" Patrick Swazey)
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To: tiamat; TheBigB

Just in case. Ping!


30 posted on 05/17/2005 8:37:04 AM PDT by Jet Jaguar (The noisiest people in the libraries these days are the librarians. (battlegearboat))
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To: HamiltonJay

How can you tell she's having more fun? Is she laughing?


31 posted on 05/17/2005 8:37:10 AM PDT by BBell
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To: Bluegrass Conservative
Dude, I think you may be doing something wrong.

Nope not remotely.. they are having a dozen or more O's to my one... they are having way more fun... but they do always come back again.. which is fine by me.

32 posted on 05/17/2005 8:37:52 AM PDT by HamiltonJay
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To: Jet Jaguar

Oh, I saw it.

But thanks anyway, JJ!


33 posted on 05/17/2005 8:40:03 AM PDT by tiamat (Can't sleep...clowns will get me..can't sleep...clowns will get me...can't sleep....clowns will get)
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To: HairOfTheDog
We know feeling in the nipples is not the same in men and women.  It's really, really, really old news.  Men cannot have orgasms simply from nipple stimulation.
34 posted on 05/17/2005 8:40:47 AM PDT by Psycho_Bunny (I know a great deal about the Middle East because Ive been raising Arabian horses" Patrick Swazey)
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To: Psycho_Bunny

Men's nipples are VERY sensitive.

You just have to know what to do is all...


35 posted on 05/17/2005 8:40:51 AM PDT by tiamat (Can't sleep...clowns will get me..can't sleep...clowns will get me...can't sleep....clowns will get)
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To: HairOfTheDog
Oh, that's why she didn't get pregnant...
36 posted on 05/17/2005 8:41:10 AM PDT by Syncro
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To: pissant

Saw this, thought of you.


37 posted on 05/17/2005 8:42:37 AM PDT by tiamat (Can't sleep...clowns will get me..can't sleep...clowns will get me...can't sleep....clowns will get)
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To: Psycho_Bunny

The "just for fun" aspect of female nipples is learned, you know. There's no evolutionary need for them to be pleasurable. I would argue that if mens nipples were emotionally thought of as sensual, they would be sensual.

It's all up here >>>points to brain<<<


38 posted on 05/17/2005 8:43:39 AM PDT by HairOfTheDog
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To: BBell

BBell wrote:
How can you tell she's having more fun? Is she laughing?




Good line!

;-)


39 posted on 05/17/2005 8:44:18 AM PDT by tiamat (Can't sleep...clowns will get me..can't sleep...clowns will get me...can't sleep....clowns will get)
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To: Psycho_Bunny
Are you a man or a woman?
40 posted on 05/17/2005 8:45:14 AM PDT by HairOfTheDog
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To: All

"I tell you, the Female Orgasm is a MYTH! I have had sex with hundreds of women, and not ONE of them has ever had an orgasm. It simply does not exist! "

41 posted on 05/17/2005 8:46:38 AM PDT by Paradox (In my heart, I will always be something of a Liberal, in my head, a Conservative. Head wins.)
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To: HairOfTheDog

Actually, I have heard a theory that endorphins are released during nursing...you sit and rock, feeding the kid, and it's pleasant.


42 posted on 05/17/2005 8:47:20 AM PDT by tiamat (Can't sleep...clowns will get me..can't sleep...clowns will get me...can't sleep....clowns will get)
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To: HairOfTheDog
...orgasm before sex in wimmen actually hinders pregnancy.

Orgasm before sex? Heck, they might as well orgasm before dinner and save me the expense.

43 posted on 05/17/2005 8:49:16 AM PDT by PBRSTREETGANG
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To: wvobiwan

Works for me. Or not, as the case may be.


44 posted on 05/17/2005 8:49:58 AM PDT by js1138 (e unum pluribus)
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To: PBRSTREETGANG

Heh.


45 posted on 05/17/2005 8:50:27 AM PDT by HairOfTheDog
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To: tiamat

Pleasant is not the word for it. I have breastfed six, and the word that best describes it is "fulfilling."


46 posted on 05/17/2005 8:50:27 AM PDT by coton_lover ("If He who was without sin prayed, how much more ought sinners to pray?" --St. Cyprian)
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To: coton_lover

I was trying to be polite.


47 posted on 05/17/2005 8:50:59 AM PDT by tiamat (Can't sleep...clowns will get me..can't sleep...clowns will get me...can't sleep....clowns will get)
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To: coton_lover

And good for you, BTW!


48 posted on 05/17/2005 8:51:19 AM PDT by tiamat (Can't sleep...clowns will get me..can't sleep...clowns will get me...can't sleep....clowns will get)
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To: Paradox

LOL!! Most women get turned of by scotch burps in their face.


49 posted on 05/17/2005 8:55:28 AM PDT by Millee (So you're a feminist......isn't that cute??)
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To: JAWs

The evolutionary logic of the female orgasm is pretty obvious. They have the same muscle spams men do only inward bound, thus if the timing is right they move the sperm of men who are more "skilled" closer to the egg giving them an advantage over less "desirable" men.

Plus of course there's the most basic reason for both: fun. How many people really and truly have sex for the sole purpose of breeding? How much of the perpetuation of the human race is because the process of making a kid is fun?


50 posted on 05/17/2005 8:56:01 AM PDT by discostu (quis custodiet ipsos custodes)
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