Do Women Pretend Orgasm to Retain a Mate?
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The current study tested the hypothesis that women pretend orgasm as part of a broader strategy of mate retention. We obtained self-report data from 453 heterosexual women (M age, 21.8 years) in a long-term relationship (M length, 32.8 months) drawn from universities and surrounding communities in the southeastern United States. The results indicated that (1) women who perceived higher risk of partner infidelity were more likely to report pretending orgasm, (2) women who reported greater likelihood of pretending orgasm also reported performing more mate retention behaviors, and (3) women’s perceptions of partner infidelity risk mediated the relationship between pretending orgasm and the performance of cost-inflicting mate retention behaviors, such as Intersexual Negative Inducements (“Flirted with someone in front of my partner”) and Intrasexual Negative Inducements (“Yelled at a woman who looked at my partner”). Thus, pretending orgasm may be part of a broader strategy of mate retention performed by women who perceive higher risk of partner infidelity.
KeywordsFemale orgasm Infidelity risk Mate retention Evolutionary psychology Sexuality
The data for this study were collected at Florida Atlantic University. The article for this study was prepared while the first author was at the HIV Center for Clinical and Behavioral Studies at Columbia University and New York State Psychiatric Institute, where she was supported by Award Number T32 MH019139 (Principal Investigator, Theodorus Sandfort, Ph.D.), from the National Institute of Mental Health. The content is solely the responsibility of the authors and does not necessarily represent the official views of National Institute of Mental Health or the National Institutes of Health.
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