The Role Of The Female Climax

The male climax has never been difficult to understand in the context of its undeniable role in reproduction. But even now, in the 21st century, we are unable to apply logic Darwin-style to the female orgasm. Women can conceive whether or not they climax, so if a woman's orgasm isn't about conception (unlike the male climax) where does it fit into evolutionary theory? What is the purpose of the female orgasm, other than it being a fun time?

One theory holds that having an orgasm increases a woman's desire for future sexual encounters which would then lead them to reproduce. But other scientists feel that a woman's climax has no evolutionary purpose at all. Philosopher of science Dr. Elisabeth A. Lloyd, for instance, believes that the purpose of the female orgasm is to give her pleasure—period.

Embryonic Leftovers

Anthropologist Donald Symons developed a theory in 1979 that the female climax is left over from early embryonic development in the time before gender is established. Male and female embryos are identical until sex determination takes place, at around week eight of gestation. Until then, tissue and nerve pathways are being readied for the variety of human responses and reflexes, including that of orgasm.

Dr. Lloyd believes that the male nipples are a similar leftover item from this time of matched development. A woman's nipples serve a function while the male nipples seem to serve no purpose at all. It makes sense to say that a male's nipples originate from the earliest days of development in the embryonic state.

Lloyd discovered that between 5%-10% of all women have never experienced orgasm, though a large number of them still become pregnant. The scientist's figures are significantly lower than those cited by Dr. Alfred A. Kinsey, who in his 1953 work, "Sexual Behavior in the Human Female," stated that 39%-47% of all women said they always or almost always climaxed during sex. Lloyd says that the gap between Kinsey's figures and her own is so vast because Kinsey included clitoral stimulation as a variable in his own work.

Evolutionary Tool

In terms of the female orgasm as an evolutionary tool, this view was posited by Dr. Mark A. Bellis and Dr. Robin Baker in 1993; researchers from England's Manchester University. The scientists said that orgasm helped a woman to retain sperm in her uterus by creating a kind of vacuum. These researchers are under the impression that if a woman climaxes a minute before her partner ejaculates or even up to 45 minutes after the male climax, she will be able to retain a larger number of sperm.

Bellis and Baker made a second assertion: when women have intercourse with a new partner, they are more likely to climax and will thus retain a larger number of sperm. This increases her chances of conception. Women, so they say, seek out new partners to give their children a wider gene pool.

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