Why Women Have Orgasms An Evolutionary Analysis.1007_s10508-012-9967-x

apparently, female human orgasms are useful after all.

Abstract Whether women’s orgasmis an adaptation is argu-
ably the most contentious questioninthestudyoftheevolution
of human sexuality. Indeed, this question is a veritable litmus
test for adaptationism, separating those profoundly impressed
with the pervasive andmyriad correspondences between organ-
isms’ phenotypes and their conditions of life from those who
apply the ‘‘onerous concept’’ of adaptation with more caution,
skepticismor suspicion. Yet, the adaptedness of female orgasm
is a question whose answer will elucidate mating dynamics in
humans and nonhuman primates. There are two broad compet-
ing explanations for the evolution of orgasm in women: (1) the
mate-choice hypothesis, which states that female orgasm has
evolved to function in mate selection and (2) the byproduct
hypothesis,which states that female orgasmhas no evolutionary
function, existing only becausewomen share some early ontog-
eny with men, in whom orgasm is an adaptation. We review
evidence for these hypotheses and identify areaswhere relevant
evidence is lacking.Although additional research is needed
before firm conclusions can be drawn, we find that the mate-
choice hypothesis receives more support. Specifically, female
orgasm appears to have evolved to increase the probability of
fertilization from males whose genes would improve offspring


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