Re: Evolutionary purpose of female orgasm.

Bryant (
4 Oct 1995 15:04:02 -0600

In article <44m4cj$>,
NeilFoglia <> wrote:
>For something along similar lines as proposed, see "Mystery Dance" by Lynn
>Margulis and Dorion Sagan.
>It provides some interesting speculation as to why female orgasm
>eventually became useful and why it is important for the male to reach
>orgasm first.
>The explanation given is simple enough, if the female climaxed first, the
>chances are coitus would end and hence less fertilization would take

I'm in the process of writing an article on the evolution of female orgasm.

As may have been pointed out earlier in this thread, the female "upsucks"
the pool of sperm in the upper vagina during female uterine muscle
contractions during her orgasm. Baker and Bellis (1993, Animal Behavior
46:887-909) point out that sperm from one copulation reduces sperm
retention from subsequent copulations for up to a week.

Evidence for this was readily available in the 1960s. There was an
exchange in the British Medical Journal in 1967 in which doctors
speculated that there must be some uterine suction generated during
female orgasm. One doctor found a condom in a patient's cervical canal
after her body had pulled it from her lover during orgasm (?!) ...

Thornhill, Gangestad, and Comer (evolutionary psychologists) present
evidence (Human female orgasm..., in press, Animal Behavior) that females
orgasm more readily with healthy men exhibiting cues of developmental
stability. This finding, coupled with Baker and Bellis' work, suggests
that a "good genes" mate choice mechanism is operating during female orgasm.

Methinks Gould owes the adaptationists an apology!

UNM Biology