Archives of Sexual Behavior

, Volume 41, Issue 5, pp 1127–1143 | Cite as

Why Women Have Orgasms: An Evolutionary Analysis

  • David A. PutsEmail author
  • Khytam Dawood
  • Lisa L. M. Welling
Original Paper


Whether women’s orgasm is an adaptation is arguably the most contentious question in the study of the evolution of human sexuality. Indeed, this question is a veritable litmus test for adaptationism, separating those profoundly impressed with the pervasive and myriad correspondences between organisms’ phenotypes and their conditions of life from those who apply the “onerous concept” of adaptation with more caution, skepticism or 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 competing 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 orgasm has no evolutionary function, existing only because women share some early ontogeny with men, in whom orgasm is an adaptation. We review evidence for these hypotheses and identify areas where 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 fitness.


Adaptation Byproduct Female orgasm Good-genes Mate choice 



We thank Drew Bailey, J. Michael Bailey, Steven Gaulin, the Editor, and three anonymous reviewers for their helpful comments on previous drafts of this article.


  1. Alcock, J. (1980). Beyond the sociobiology of sexuality: Predictive hypotheses. Behavioral and Brain Sciences, 3, 181–182.Google Scholar
  2. Alcock, J. (1987). Ardent adaptationism. Natural History, 96, 4.Google Scholar
  3. Alexander, R., & Noonan, K. M. (1979). Concealment of ovulation, parental care, and human social evolution. In N. Chagnon & W. Irons (Eds.), Evolutionary biology and human social behavior: An anthropological perspective (pp. 436–453). North Scituate, MA: Duxbury Press.Google Scholar
  4. Allen, M. L., & Lemmon, W. B. (1981). Orgasm in female primates. American Journal of Primatology, 1, 15–34.Google Scholar
  5. Andersson, M. (1994). Sexual selection. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press.Google Scholar
  6. Apostolou, M. (2007). Sexual selection under parental choice: The role of parents in the evolution of human mating. Evolution and Human Behavior, 28, 403–409.Google Scholar
  7. Baker, R. R., & Bellis, M. A. (1993). Human sperm competition: Ejaculate manipulation by female and a function for the female orgasm. Animal Behaviour, 46, 887–909.Google Scholar
  8. Baker, R. R., & Bellis, M. A. (1995). Human sperm competition: Copulation, masturbation, and infidelity. London: Chapman and Hall.Google Scholar
  9. Barash, D. (1977). Sociobiology and behavior. New York: Elsevier North-Holland, Inc.Google Scholar
  10. Barash, D. (2005). Let a thousand orgasms bloom! [Review of the book The case of the female orgasm: Bias in the science of evolution]. Evolutionary Psychology, 3, 347–354.Google Scholar
  11. Beach, F. A. (1974). Human sexuality and evolution. In W. Montagna & W. A. Sadler (Eds.), Reproductive behavior (pp. 333–365). New York: Plenum.Google Scholar
  12. Berglund, A., Bisazza, A., & Pilastro, A. (1996). Armaments and ornaments: An evolutionary explanation of traits of dual utility. Biological Journal of the Linnean Society, 58, 385–399.Google Scholar
  13. Bernstein, I. S. (1967). A field study of the pigtail monkey (Macaca nemestrina). Primates, 8, 217–228.Google Scholar
  14. Beyer, C., Anguiano, G., & Mena, F. (1961). Oxytocin release by stimulation of the cingulate gyrus. American Journal of Physiology, 200, 625–627.Google Scholar
  15. Blaicher, W., Gruber, D., Bieglmayer, C., Blaicher, A. M., Knogler, W., & Huber, J. C. (1999). The role of oxytocin in relation to female sexual arousal. Gynecologic and Obstetric Investigation, 47, 125–126.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  16. Blurton Jones, N. G., & Trollope, J. (1968). Social behaviour of stump-tailed macaques in captivity. Primates, 9, 365–393.Google Scholar
  17. Brewer, G., & Hendrie, C. A. (2011). Evidence to suggest that copulatory vocalizations in women are not a reflexive consequence of orgasm. Archives of Sexual Behavior, 40, 559–564.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  18. Brindley, G. S., & Gillan, P. (1982). Men and women who do not have orgasms. British Journal of Psychiatry, 140, 351–356.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  19. Brody, S., & Weiss, P. (2010). Vaginal orgasm is associated with vaginal (not clitoral) sex education, focusing mental attention on vaginal sensations, intercourse duration, and a preference for a longer penis. Journal of Sexual Medicine, 7, 2774–2781.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  20. Burton, F. D. (1971). Sexual climax in female Macaca mulatta. In H. Kummer (Ed.), Proceeding, third international congress of primatology (Vol. 3, pp. 180–191). Basel, Switzerland: S. Karger.Google Scholar
  21. Buss, D. M., Haselton, M. G., Shackelford, T. K., Bleske, A. L., & Wakefield, J. C. (1998). Adaptations, exaptations, and spandrels. American Psychologist, 53, 533–548.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  22. Buss, D. M., & Schmitt, D. P. (1993). Sexual strategies theory: An evolutionary perspective on human mating. Psychological Review, 100, 204–232.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  23. Carmichael, M. S., Humbert, R., Dixen, J., Palmisano, G., Greenleaf, W., & Davidson, J. M. (1987). Plasma oxytocin increases in the human sexual response. Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism, 64, 27–31.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  24. Carmichael, M. S., Warburton, V. L., Dixen, J., & Davidson, J. M. (1994). Relationships among cardiovascular, muscular, and oxytocin responses during human sexual activity. Archives of Sexual Behavior, 23, 59–79.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  25. Carter, C. S. (1992). Oxytocin and sexual behavior. Neuroscience and Biobehavioral Reviews, 16, 131–144.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  26. Carter, C. S. (1998). Neuroendocrine perspectives on social attachment and love. Psychoneuroendocrinology, 23, 779–818.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  27. Chaix, R., Cao, C., & Donnelly, P. (2008). Is mate choice in humans MHC-dependent? PLoS Genetics, 4, e1000184.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  28. Chevalier-Skolnikoff, S. (1974). Male-female, female–female, and male–male sexual behavior in the stumptail monkey, with special attention to the female orgasm. Archives of Sexual Behavior, 3, 95–116.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  29. Chivers, M. L. (2007). A narrow (but thorough) examination of the evolutionary significance of female orgasm. Journal of Sex Research, 44, 104–109.Google Scholar
  30. Clark, R., & Hatfield, E. (1989). Gender differences in receptivity to sexual offers. Journal of Psychology and Human Sexuality, 2, 39–55.Google Scholar
  31. Clayton, A. H., Clavet, G. J., McGarvey, E. L., Warnock, J. K., & Weiss, K. (1999). Assessment of sexual functioning during the menstrual cycle. Journal of Sex and Marital Therapy, 25, 281–291.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  32. Clutton-Brock, T. H. (1982). The functions of antlers. Behavior, 79, 108–124.Google Scholar
  33. Cohen, D. L., & Belsky, J. (2008). Avoidant romantic attachment and female orgasm: Testing an emotion-regulation hypothesis. Attachment and Human Development, 10, 1–10.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  34. Costa, R. M., & Brody, S. (2007). Women’s relationship quality is associated with specifically penile-vaginal intercourse orgasm and frequency. Journal of Sex and Marital Therapy, 33, 319–327.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  35. Cross, B. A., & Wakerley, J. B. (1977). The neurohypophysis. International Review of Physiology, 16, 1–34.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  36. Daly, M., & Wilson, M. (1982). Whom are newborn infants said to resemble? Ethology and Sociobiology, 3, 69–78.Google Scholar
  37. Daly, M., & Wilson, M. (1983). Sex, evolution, and behavior (2nd ed.). Belmont, CA: Wadsworth.Google Scholar
  38. Darling, C. A., & Davidson, J. K. (1986). Enhancing relationships: Understanding the feminine mystique of pretending orgasm. Journal of Sex and Marital Therapy, 12, 182–196.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  39. Darling, C. A., Davidson, J. K., & Cox, R. P. (1991). Female sexual response and the timing of partner orgasm. Journal of Sex and Marital Therapy, 17, 3–21.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  40. Davenport, W. H. (1977). Sex in cross-cultural perspective. In F. A. Beach (Ed.), Human sexuality in four perspectives (pp. 115–163). Baltimore: The Johns Hopkins University Press.Google Scholar
  41. Dawood, K., Kirk, K. M., Bailey, J. M., Andrews, P. W., & Martin, N. G. (2005). Genetic and environmental influences on the frequency of orgasm in women. Twin Research and Human Genetics, 8, 27–33.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  42. Dickinson, J. L. (1997). Multiple mating, sperm competition, and cryptic female choice in leaf beetles (Coleoptera: Chrysomelidae). In B. J. Crespi & J. C. Choe (Eds.), Social competition and cooperation in insects and arachnids (Vol. 1, pp. 164–183). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
  43. Dixson, A. F., & Bancroft, J. (1998). Primate sexuality: Comparative studies of the prosimians, monkeys, apes, and human beings. New York: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  44. Dunn, K. M., Cherkas, L. F., & Spector, T. D. (2005). Genetic influences on variation in female orgasmic function: A twin study. Biology Letters, 22, 260–263.Google Scholar
  45. Eibl-Eibesfeldt, I. (1975). Ethology: The biology of behavior. New York: Holt, Rinehart, and Winston.Google Scholar
  46. Eschler, L. (2004). The physiology of the female orgasm as a proximate mechanism. Sexualities, Evolution & Gender, 6, 171–194.Google Scholar
  47. Espmark, Y. (1971). Antler shedding in relation to parturition in female reindeer. Journal of Wildlife Management, 35, 175–177.Google Scholar
  48. Fisher, S. (1973). The female orgasm: Psychology, physiology, fanstasy. New York: Basic Books.Google Scholar
  49. Folstad, I., & Karter, A. J. (1992). Parasites, bright males and the immuno-competence handicap. American Naturalist, 139, 603–622.Google Scholar
  50. Fox, C. A., & Fox, B. (1971). A comparative study of coital physiology, with special reference to the sexual climax. Journal of Reproduction and Fertility, 24, 319–336.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  51. Fox, C. A., Wolff, H. S., & Baker, J. A. (1970). Measurement of intra-vaginal and intra-uterine pressures during human coitus by radio-telemetry. Journal of Reproduction and Fertility, 22, 243–251.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  52. Gangestad, S. W., & Simpson, J. A. (2000). On the evolutionary psychology of human mating: Trade-offs and strategic pluralism. Behavioral and Brain Sciences, 23, 573–587.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  53. Gangestad, S. W., & Thornhill, R. (1997). The evolutionary psychology of extrapair sex: The role of fluctuating asymmetry. Evolution and Human Behavior, 18, 69–88.Google Scholar
  54. Gangestad, S. W., & Thornhill, R. (2008). Human oestrus. Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences, 275, 991–1000.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  55. Garver-Apgar, C. E., Gangestad, S. W., Thornhill, R., Miller, R. D., & Olp, J. J. (2006). Major histocompatibility complex alleles, sexual responsivity, and unfaithfulness in romantic couples. Psychological Science, 17, 830–835.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  56. Gebhard, P. H. (1966). Factors in marital orgasm. Journal of Social Issues, 22, 88–95.Google Scholar
  57. Georgiadis, J. R., Kortekaas, R., Kuipers, R., Nieuwenburg, A., Pruim, J., Reinders, A. A., et al. (2006). Regional cerebral blood flow changes associated with clitorally induced orgasm in healthy women. European Journal of Neuroscience, 24, 3305–3316.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  58. Georgiadis, J. R., Reinders, A. A., Paans, A. M., Renken, R., & Kortekaas, R. (2009). Men versus women on sexual brain function: Prominent differences during tactile genital stimulation, but not during orgasm. Human Brain Mapping, 30, 3089–3101.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  59. Gerloff, U., Hartung, B., Fruth, B., Hohmann, G., & Tautz, D. (1999). Intracommunity relationships, dispersal pattern and paternity success in a wild living community of Bonobos (Pan paniscus) determined from DNA analysis of faecal samples. Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences, 266, 1189–1195.Google Scholar
  60. Goldfoot, D. A., Westerborg-van Loon, H., Groeneveld, W., & Slob, A. K. (1980). Behavioral and physiological evidence of sexual climax in the female stump-tailed macaque (Macaca arctoides). Science, 208, 1477–1479.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  61. Goodall, J. (1965). Chimpanzees of the gombe stream reserve. In I. DeVore (Ed.), Primate behavior (pp. 425–473). London: Holt, Rinehart and Winston.Google Scholar
  62. Gould, S. J. (1987). Freudian slip. Natural History, 87, 14–21.Google Scholar
  63. Gould, S. J., & Lewontin, R. C. (1979). The spandrels of San Marco and the Panglossian paradigm: A critique of the adaptationist programme. Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences, 205, 581–598.Google Scholar
  64. Gould, S. J., & Vrba, E. S. (1982). Exaptation: A missing term in the science of form. Paleobiology, 8, 4–15.Google Scholar
  65. Gouzoules, H., Gust, D. A., Donaghey, B., & St. Andre, E. (1998). Estrus vocalizations in two primate species (Cercocebus torquatus atys and Macaca nemestrina): Evidence for an effect of intrasexual competition. Evolution of Communication, 2, 189–215.Google Scholar
  66. Grafenberg, E. (1950). The role of the urethra in female orgasm. International Journal of Sexology, 3, 145–148.Google Scholar
  67. Grammer, K., Fink, B., Moller, A. P., & Thornhill, R. (2003). Darwinian aesthetics: Sexual selection and the biology of beauty. Biological Reviews of the Cambridge Philosophical Society, 78, 385–407.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  68. Green, S. M. (1981). Sex differences and age gradations in vocalizations of Japanese and lion-tailed monkey. American Zoologist, 21, 165–184.Google Scholar
  69. Hamburg, B. A. (1978). The biosocial basis of sex differences. In S. L. Washburn & E. R. McCown (Eds.), Human evolution: Biosocial perspectives (pp. 155–213). Menlo Park, CA: Benjamin/Cummings.Google Scholar
  70. Hamilton, W. J., & Arrowood, P. C. (1978). Copulatory vocalizations of chacma baboons (Papio ursinus), gibbons (Hylobates hoolock), and humans. Science, 200, 1405–1409.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  71. Hanby, J. P., & Brown, C. E. (1974). The development of sociosexual behaviours in Japanese macaques (Macaca fuscata). Behaviour, 49, 152–196.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  72. Hanby, J. P., Robertson, L. T., & Phoenix, C. H. (1971). The sexual behavior of a confined troop of Japanese macaques. Folia Primatologica, 16, 123–143.Google Scholar
  73. Harcourt, A. H., Stewart, K. J., & Fossey, D. (1981). Gorilla reproduction in the wild. In Reproductive biology of the great apes: Comparative and biomedical perspectives (pp. 265–318). New York, NY: Academic Press.Google Scholar
  74. Harris, J. M., Cherkas, L. F., Kato, B. S., Heiman, J. R., & Spector, T. D. (2008). Normal variations in personality are associated with coital orgasmic infrequency in heterosexual women: A population-based study. Journal of Sexual Medicine, 5, 1177–1183.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  75. Hauser, M. D. (1990). Do chimpanzee copulatory calls incite male-male competition? Animal Behavior, 39, 596–597.Google Scholar
  76. Henshaw, I. (1969). A theory of occurrence of antlers in females of the genus Rangifer. Deer, 1, 222–225.Google Scholar
  77. Herberich, E., Hothorn, T., Nettle, D., & Pollet, T. V. (2010). A re-evaluation of the statistical model in Pollet and Nettle 2009. Evolution and Human Behavior, 31, 150–151.Google Scholar
  78. Hess, J. P. (1973). Some observations on the sexual behaviour of captive lowland gorillas, Gorilla g. gorilla. In Comparative ecology and behavior of primates (pp. 508–581). New York: Academic Press.Google Scholar
  79. Hite, S. (1976). The Hite report. New York: Macmillan Publishing Co.Google Scholar
  80. Holmes, M. M., Putz, O., Crews, D., & Wade, J. (2005). Normally occurring intersexuality and testosterone induced plasticity in the copulatory system of adult leopard geckos. Hormones and Behavior, 47, 439–445.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  81. Hosken, D. J. (2008). Clitoral variation says nothing about female orgasm. Evolution and Development, 10, 393–395.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  82. Jennions, M. D., & Petrie, M. (2000). Why do females mate multiply? A review of the genetic benefits. Biological Review, 75, 21–64.Google Scholar
  83. Judson, O. (2005). Anticlimax [Review of the book The case of the female orgasm: Bias in the science of evolution]. Nature, 436, 916–917.Google Scholar
  84. Kaighobadi, F., Shackelford, T., & Weekes-Shackelford, V. A. (2011). Do women pretend orgasm to retain a mate? Archives of Sexual Behavior. doi: 10.1007/s10508-011-9874-6.
  85. Kanagawa, H., Hafez, E. S. E., Nawar, M. M., & Jaszczak, S. (1972). Patterns of sexual behavior and anatomy of copulatory organs in macaques. Zeitschrift fur Tierpsychologie, 31, 449–460.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  86. Kaufman, I. C., & Rosenblum, L. A. (1966). A behavioral taxonomy for Macaca nemestrina and Macaca radiata, based on longitudinal observation of family groups in the laboratory. Primates, 7, 205–258.Google Scholar
  87. Keeling, M. E., & Roberts, J. (1972). Breeding and reproduction of chimpanzees. In G. H. Bourne (Ed.), The chimpanzee (Vol. 5, pp. 127–152). Baltimore, MD: University Park Press.Google Scholar
  88. Kenrick, D., Groth, G., Trost, M., & Sadalla, E. (1993). Integrating evolutionary and social exchange perspectives on relationships: Effects of gender, self-appraisal, and involvement level on mate selection criteria. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 64, 951–969.Google Scholar
  89. King, R., Belsky, J., Mah, K., & Binik, Y. (2011). Are there different types of female orgasm? Archives of Sexual Behavior, 40, 865–875.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  90. Kinsey, A. C., Pomeroy, W. B., Martin, C. E., & Gebhard, P. H. (1953). Sexual behavior in the human female. Philadelphia: W. B. Saunders.Google Scholar
  91. Kirsch, P., Esslinger, C., Chen, Q., Mier, D., Lis, S., Siddhanti, S., et al. (2005). Oxytocin modulates neural circuitry for social cognition and fear in humans. Journal of Neuroscience, 25, 11489–11493.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  92. Knaus, H. (1950). The physiology of human reproduction (3rd ed.). Vienna, Austria: Wilhelm Maudlach Verlag.Google Scholar
  93. Kollar, E. J., Beckwith, W. C., & Edgerton, R. B. (1968). Sexual behavior of the arl colony chimpanzees. Journal of Nervous and Mental Disease, 147, 444–459.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  94. Komisaruk, B. R., Beyer-Flores, C., & Whipple, B. (2006). The science of orgasm. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press.Google Scholar
  95. Komisaruk, B. R., Whipple, B., Crawford, A., Liu, W. C., Kalnin, A., & Mosier, K. (2004). Brain activation during vaginocervical self-stimulation and orgasm in women with complete spinal cord injury: fMRI evidence of mediation by the vagus nerves. Brain Research, 1024, 77–88.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  96. Kruger, T. H., Haake, P., Chereath, D., Knapp, W., Janssen, O. E., Exton, M. S., et al. (2003). Specificity of the neuroendocrine response to orgasm during sexual arousal in men. Journal of Endocrinology, 177, 57–64.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  97. Kunz, G., Beil, D., Huppert, P., & Leyendecker, G. (2007). Oxytocin–a stimulator of directed sperm transport in humans. Reprod Biomed Online, 14, 32–39.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  98. Laumann, E. O., Gagnon, J. H., Michael, R. T., & Michaels, S. (1994). The social organization of sexuality: Sexual practices in the United States. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.Google Scholar
  99. Lemmon, W. B., & Oakes, E. (1967). Tying between stumptailed macaques during mating. Laboratory Primate Newsletter, 6, 14–15.Google Scholar
  100. Lever, J., Frederick, D. A., & Peplau, L. A. (2006). Does size matter? Men’s and women’s views on penis size across the lifespan. Psychology of Men and Masculinity, 7, 129–143.Google Scholar
  101. Levin, R. J. (2001). Sexual desire and the deconstruction and reconstruction of the human female sexual response model of Masters and Johnson. In W. Everaerd, E. Laan, & S. Both (Eds.), Sexual appetite, desire and motivation: Energetics of the sexual system (pp. 63–93). Amsterdam: Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences.Google Scholar
  102. Levin, R. J. (2002). The physiology of sexual arousal in the human female: A recreational and procreational synthesis. Archives of Sexual Behavior, 31, 405–411.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  103. Levin, R. J. (2011). Can the controversy about the putative role of the human female orgasm in sperm transport be settled with our current physiological knowledge of coitus? Journal of Sexual Medicine, 8, 1566–1578.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  104. Lie, H. C., Rhodes, G., & Simmons, L. W. (2008). Genetic diversity revealed in human faces. Evolution, 62, 2473–2486.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  105. Light, K. C., Grewen, K. M., & Amico, J. A. (2005). More frequent partner hugs and higher oxytocin levels are linked to lower blood pressure and heart rate in premenopausal women. Biological Psychology, 69, 5–21.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  106. Lloyd, E. A. (2005). The case of the female orgasm: Bias in the science of evolution. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.Google Scholar
  107. Lloyd, J., Crouch, N. S., Minto, C. L., Liao, L. M., & Creighton, S. M. (2005). Female genital appearance: “Normality” unfolds. BJOG: An International Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, 112, 643–646.Google Scholar
  108. Lynch, V. J. (2008). Clitoral and penile size variability are not significantly different: Lack of evidence for the byproduct theory of the female orgasm. Evolution and Development, 10, 396–397.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  109. Maestripieri, D., Leoni, M., Raza, S. S., Hirsch, E. J., & Whitham, J. C. (2005). Female copulation calls in Guinea baboons: Evidence for postcopulatory female choice? International Journal of Primatology, 26, 737–758.Google Scholar
  110. Maestripieri, D., & Roney, J. R. (2005). Primate copulation calls and postcopulatory female choice. Behavioral Ecology, 16, 106–113.Google Scholar
  111. Mah, K., & Binik, Y. M. (2001). The nature of human orgasm: A critical review of major trends. Clinical Psychology Review, 21, 823–856.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  112. Mah, K., & Binik, Y. M. (2002). Do all orgasms feel alike? Evaluating a two-dimensional model of the orgasm experience across gender and sexual context. Journal of Sex Research, 39, 104–113.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  113. Marshall, D. S. (1971). Sexual behavior on Mangaia. In D. S. Marshall & R. C. Suggs (Eds.), Human sexual behavior (pp. 103–162). New York: Basic Books.Google Scholar
  114. Masataka, N., & Thierry, B. (1993). Vocal communication of Tonkean macaques in confined environments. Primates, 34, 169–180.Google Scholar
  115. Masters, W. H., & Johnson, V. E. (1966). Human sexual response. Boston: Little, Brown.Google Scholar
  116. Matteo, S., & Rissman, E. F. (1984). Increased sexual activity during the midcycle portion of the human menstrual cycle. Hormones and Behavior, 18, 249–255.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  117. Meston, C. M., Levin, R. J., Sipski, M. L., Hull, E. M., & Heiman, J. R. (2004). Women’s orgasm. Annual Review of Sex Research, 15, 173–257.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  118. Miller, G. F. (2000). The mating mind: How sexual choice shaped the evolution of human nature. New York: Doubleday.Google Scholar
  119. Møller, A. P. (1992). Frequency of female copulation with multiple mates and sexual selection. American Naturalist, 139, 1089–1101.Google Scholar
  120. Moller, A. P., & Pomiankowski, A. (1993). Fluctuating asymmetry and sexual selection. Genetica, 98, 267–279.Google Scholar
  121. Møller, A. P., & Swaddle, J. P. (1997). Asymmetry, developmental stability, and evolution. Oxford: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  122. Moller, A. P., & Thornhill, R. (1997). A meta-analysis of the heritability of developmental stability. Journal of Evolutionary Biology, 10, 1–16.Google Scholar
  123. Morris, D. (1967). The naked ape. New York: Dell Publishing Co.Google Scholar
  124. Muehlenhard, C. L., & Shippee, S. K. (2009). Men’s and women’s reports of pretending orgasm. Journal of Sex Research, 47, 552–567.Google Scholar
  125. Murphy, M. R., Seckl, J. R., Burton, S., Checkley, S. A., & Lightman, S. L. (1987). Changes in oxytocin and vasopressin secretion during sexual activity in men. Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism, 65, 738–741.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  126. Nadler, R. D. (1976). Sexual behavior of captive lowland gorillas. Archives of Sexual Behavior, 5, 487–502.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  127. O’Connell, S. M., & Cowlishaw, G. (1994). Infanticide avoidance, sperm competition and mate choice: The function of copulation calls in female baboons. Animal Behaviour, 48, 687–694.Google Scholar
  128. Oda, R., & Masataka, N. (1992). Functional significance of female Japanese macaque copulatory calls. Folia Primatologica, 58, 146–149.Google Scholar
  129. Oda, R., & Masataka, N. (1995). Function of copulatory vocalizations in mate choice by females of Japanese macaques (Macaca fuscata). Folia Primatologica, 64, 132–139.Google Scholar
  130. Parsons, P. A. (1990). Fluctuating asymmetry: An epigenetic measure of stress. Biological Reviews of the Cambridge Philosophical Society, 65, 131–145.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  131. Parsons, P. A. (1992). Fluctuating asymmetry: A biological monitor of environmental and genomic stress. Heredity, 68, 361–364.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  132. Plutchik, R. (1980). A general psychoevolutionary theory of emotion. In R. Plutchik & H. Kellerman (Eds.), Emotion: Theory, research, and experience: Vol. 1, Theories of emotion (pp. 3–24). New York: Academic Press.Google Scholar
  133. Pollet, T. V., & Nettle, D. (2009). Partner wealth predicts self-reported orgasm frequency in a sample of Chinese women. Evolution and Human Behavior, 30, 146–151.Google Scholar
  134. Pollet, T. V., & Nettle, D. (2010). Correction to Pollet and Nettle (2009): Partner wealth predicts self-reported orgasm frequency in a sample of Chinese women. Evolution and Human Behavior, 31, 149.Google Scholar
  135. Potts, W. K., & Wakeland, E. K. (1993). Evolution of MHC genetic diversity: A tale of incest, pestilence and sexual preference. Trends in Genetics, 9, 408–412.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  136. Puppo, V. (2011). Embryology and anatomy of the vulva: the female orgasm and women’s sexual health. European Journal of Obstetrics, Gynecology, and Reproductive Biology, 154, 3–8.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  137. Puts, D. A. (2006a). And hast thou slain the Jabberwock? Response to Wallen. Archives of Sexual Behavior, 35, 637–639.Google Scholar
  138. Puts, D. A. (2006b). Review of “The Case of Female Orgasm: Bias in the Science of Evolution,” by Elizabeth Lloyd. Archives of Sexual Behavior, 35, 103–108.Google Scholar
  139. Puts, D. A. (2007). Of bugs and boojums: Female orgasm as a facultative adaptation. Archives of Sexual Behavior, 36, 337–339.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  140. Puts, D. A. (2010). Beauty and the beast: Mechanisms of sexual selection in humans. Evolution and Human Behavior, 31, 157–175.Google Scholar
  141. Puts, D. A., & Dawood, K. (2006). The evolution of female orgasm: Adaptation or byproduct? Twin Research and Human Genetics, 9, 467–472.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  142. Puts, D. A., Welling, L. L. M., Burriss, R. P., & Dawood, K. (2012). Men’s masculinity and attractiveness predict their female partners’ reported orgasm frequency and timing. Evolution and Human Behavior, 33, 1–9.Google Scholar
  143. Regalski, J. M., & Gaulin, S. (1993). Whom are Mexican infants said to resemble? Monitoring and fostering paternal confidence in the Yucatan. Ethology and Sociobiology, 14, 97–113.Google Scholar
  144. Rice, W. R., & Chippindale, A. K. (2001). Intersexual ontogenetic conflict. Journal of Evolutionary Biology, 14, 685–693.Google Scholar
  145. Richters, J., Grulich, A. E., de Visser, R. O., Smith, A. M., & Rissel, C. E. (2003). Sex in Australia: Sexual difficulties in a representative sample of adults. Australian and New Zealand Journal of Public Health, 27, 164–170.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  146. Richters, J., Visser, R., Rissel, C., & Smith, A. (2006). Sexual practices at last heterosexual encounter and occurrence of orgasm in a national survey. Journal of Sex Research, 43, 217–226.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  147. Roberts, S. C., & Little, A. C. (2008). Good genes, complementary genes and human mate preferences. Genetica, 134, 31–43.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  148. Roberts, S. C., Little, A. C., Gosling, L. M., Jones, B. C., Perrett, D. I., Carter, V., et al. (2005). MHC-assortative facial preferences in humans. Biology Letters, 1, 400–403.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  149. Rowland, D., McMahon, C. G., Abdo, C., Chen, J., Jannini, E., Waldinger, M. D., et al. (2010). Disorders of orgasm and ejaculation in men. Journal of Sexual Medicine, 7, 1668–1686.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  150. Saayman, G. S. (1970). The menstrual cycle and sexual behaviour in a troop of free-ranging chacma baboons (Papio ursinus). Folia Primatologica, 12, 81–110.Google Scholar
  151. Samuels, A., Silk, J. B., & Rodman, P. S. (1984). Changes in the dominance rank and reproductive behaviour of male bonnet macaques (Macaca radiata). Animal Behaviour, 32, 994–1003.Google Scholar
  152. Sanchez, R., Parkin, J. C., Chen, J. Y., & Gray, P. B. (2009). Oxytocin, vasopressin, and human social behavior. In P. T. Ellison & P. B. Gray (Eds.), Endocrinology of social relationships (pp. 319–339). Cambridge, Massachusetts: Harvard University Press.Google Scholar
  153. Savage-Rumbaugh, E. S., & Wilkerson, B. J. (1978). Socio-sexual behavior in Pan paniscus and Pan troglodytes: A comparative study. Journal of Human Evolution, 7, 327–344.Google Scholar
  154. Schaller, G. B. (1963). The mountain gorilla: Ecology and behavior. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.Google Scholar
  155. Schmitt, D. P. (2005). Sociosexuality from Argentina to Zimbabwe: A 48-nation study of sex, culture, and strategies of human mating. Behavioral and Brain Sciences, 28, 247–275.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  156. Setekleiv, J. (1964). Uterine motility of the estrogenized rabbit. V. Response to brain stimulation. Acta Physiologica Scandinavica, 62, 313–322.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  157. Shackelford, T. K., Weekes-Shackelford, V. A., LeBlanc, G. J., Bleske, A. L., Euler, H. A., & Hoier, S. (2000). Female coital orgasm and male attractiveness. Human Nature, 11, 299–306.Google Scholar
  158. Singer, I. (1973). The goal of human sexuality. New York: W. W. Norton.Google Scholar
  159. Singh, D., Meyer, W., Zambarano, R. J., & Hurlbert, D. F. (1998). Frequency and timing of coital orgasm in women desirous of becoming pregnant. Archives of Sexual Behavior, 27, 15–29.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  160. Slob, A. K., Groeneveld, W. H., & van der Werff ten Bosch, J. J. (1986). Physiological changes during copulation in male and female stumptail macaques (Macaca arctoides). Physiology & Behavior, 38, 891–895.Google Scholar
  161. Slob, A. K., Wiegand, S. J., Goy, R. W., & Robinson, J. A. (1978). Heterosexual interactions in laboratory-housed stumptail macaques (Macaca arctoides): Observations during the menstrual cycle and after ovariectomy. Hormones and Behavior, 10, 193–211.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  162. Smith, R. L. (1984). Human sperm competition. In R. L. Smith (Ed.), Sperm competition and the evolution of animal mating systems (pp. 601–660). London: Academic Press.Google Scholar
  163. Smith, T. T. (1998). The modulation of sperm function by the oviductal epithelium. Biology of Reproduction, 58, 1102–1104.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  164. Smuts, B. (1996). Male aggression against women: An evolutionary perspective. In D. M. Buss & N. M. Malamuth (Eds.), Sex, power, conflict: Evolutionary and feminist perspectives (pp. 231–268). New York: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  165. Smuts, B. B., Cheney, D. L., Seyfarth, R. M., Wrangham, R. W., & Struhsaker, T. T. (1987). Primate societies. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.Google Scholar
  166. Spyropoulos, E., Borousas, D., Mavrikos, S., Dellis, A., Bourounis, M., & Athanasiadis, S. (2002). Size of external genital organs and somatometric parameters among physically normal men younger than 40 years old. Urology, 60, 485–489.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  167. Storey, A. E., Walsh, C. J., Quinton, R. L., & Wynne-Edwards, K. E. (2000). Hormonal correlates of paternal responsiveness in new and expectant fathers. Evolution and Human Behavior, 21, 79–95.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  168. Suarez, S. S. (1998). The oviductal sperm reservoir in mammals: Mechanisms of formation. Biology of Reproduction, 58, 1105–1107.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  169. Suttie, J. M., Fennessy, P. F., Lapwood, K. R., & Corson, I. D. (1995). Role of steroids in antler growth of red deer stags. Journal of Experimental Zoology, 271, 120–130.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  170. Symons, D. (1979). The evolution of human sexuality. New York: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  171. Tavris, C., & Sadd, S. (1977). The Redbook report on female sexuality. New York: Delacorte Press.Google Scholar
  172. Taylor, A. B. (2006). Size and shape dimorphism in great ape mandibles and implications for fossil species recognition. American Journal of Physical Anthropology, 129, 82–98.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  173. Thornhill, R., Gangestad, S. W., & Comer, R. (1995). Human female orgasm and mate fluctuating asymmetry. Animal Behavior, 50, 1601–1615.Google Scholar
  174. Todd, K., & Lightman, S. L. (1986). Oxytocin release during coitus in male and female rabbits: effect of opiate receptor blockade with naloxone. Psychoneuroendocrinology, 11, 367–371.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  175. Todt, D., Hammerschmidt, K., Ansorge, V., & Fischer, J. (1995). The vocal behavior of Barbary macaques (Macaca sylvanus): Call features and their performance in infants and adults. In E. Zimmermann, J. D. Newman, & U. Jurgens (Eds.), Current topics in primate vocal communication (pp. 141–160). New York: Plenum Press.Google Scholar
  176. Tokuda, K. (1961). A study on the sexual behavior in the Japanese monkey troop. Primates, 3, 1–40.Google Scholar
  177. Tokuda, K., Simons, R. C., & Jensen, G. D. (1968). Sexual behavior in a captive group of pigtailed monkeys (Macaca nemestrina). Primates, 9, 283–294.Google Scholar
  178. Trivers, R. L. (1972). Parental investment and sexual selection. In B. Cambell (Ed.), Sexual selection and the descent of man, 1871–1971 (pp. 136–179). London: Heinemann.Google Scholar
  179. Troisi, A., & Carosi, M. (1998). Female orgasm rate increases with male dominance in Japanese macaques. Animal Behaviour, 56, 1261–1266.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  180. Turner, R. A., Altemus, M., Enos, T., Cooper, B., & McGuinness, T. (1999). Preliminary research on plasma oxytocin in normal cycling women: Investigating emotion and interpersonal distress. Psychiatry, 62, 97–113.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  181. Tutin, C. E. G., & McGrew, W. C. (1973). Chimpanzee copulatory behaviour. Folia Primatologica, 19, 237–256.Google Scholar
  182. Udry, J. R., & Morris, N. M. (1968). Distribution of coitus in the menstrual cycle. Nature, 220, 593–596.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  183. van Anders, S. M., & Dunn, E. J. (2009). Are gonadal steroids linked with orgasm perceptions and sexual assertiveness in women and men? Hormones and Behavior, 56, 206–213.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  184. van Valen, L. (1962). A study of fluctuating asymmetry. Evolution, 16, 125–142.Google Scholar
  185. von Sydow, K. (2002). Sexual enjoyment and orgasm postpartum: sex differences and perceptual accuracy concerning partners’ sexual experience. Journal of Psychosomatic Obstetrics and Gynaecology, 23, 147–155.Google Scholar
  186. Wallen, K. (2006). Commentary on Puts’ (2006) review of The case of the female orgasm: Bias in the science of evolution [Letter to the Editor]. Archives of Sexual Behavior, 35, 633–636.Google Scholar
  187. Wallen, K. (2007). Be careful that your snark is not a boojum [Letter to the Editor]. Archives of Sexual Behavior, 36, 335–336.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  188. Wallen, K., & Lloyd, E. A. (2008). Clitoral variability compared with penile variability supports nonadaptation of female orgasm. Evolution and Development, 10, 1–2.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  189. Wallen, K., & Lloyd, E. A. (2011). Female sexual arousal: Genital anatomy and orgasm in intercourse. Hormones and Behavior, 59, 780–792.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  190. Watts, D. P. (1991). Mountain gorilla reproduction and sexual behavior. American Journal of Primatology, 24, 211–225.Google Scholar
  191. Weiss, P., & Brody, S. (2009). Women’s partnered orgasm consistency is associated with greater duration of penile-vaginal intercourse but not of foreplay. Journal of Sexual Medicine, 6, 135–141.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  192. Welling, L. L. M., Burriss, R. P., & Puts, D. A. (2011). Mate retention behavior modulates men’s preferences for self-resemblance in infant faces. Evolution and Human Behavior, 32, 118–126.Google Scholar
  193. Wiederman, M. W. (1997). Pretending orgasm during sexual intercourse: Correlates in a sample of young adult women. Journal of Sex and Marital Therapy, 23, 131–139.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  194. Wildt, L., Kissler, S., Licht, P., & Becker, W. (1998). Sperm transport in the human female genital tract and its modulation by oxytocin as assessed by hysterosalpingoscintigraphy, hysterotonography, electrohysterography and Doppler sonography. Human Reproduction Update, 4, 655–666.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  195. Williams, G. C. (1966). Adaptation and natural selection. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press.Google Scholar
  196. Winslow, J. T., Hastings, N., Carter, C. S., Harbaugh, C. R., & Insel, T. R. (1993). A role for central vasopressin in pair bonding in monogamous prairie voles. Nature, 365, 545–548.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  197. Wolfe, L. (1978). Age and sexual behavior of Japanese macaques (Macaca fuscata). Archives of Sexual Behavior, 7, 55–68.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  198. Wolfe, L. (1979). Behavioral patterns of estrous females of the Arashiyama West troop of Japanese macaques (Macaca fuscata). Primates, 20, 525–534.Google Scholar
  199. Wolfe, L. D. (1984). Japanese macaque female sexual behavior: A comparison of Arashiyama East and West. In M. F. Small (Ed.), Female primates: Studies by women primatologists (pp. 141–157). New York: Alan R. Liss.Google Scholar
  200. Worthman, C. M. (1978). Psychoendocrine study of human behavior: Some interactions of steroid hormones with affect and behavior in the !Kung San. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.Google Scholar
  201. Zahavi, A., & Zahavi, A. (1997). The handicap principle. New York: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  202. Zervomanolakis, I., Ott, H. W., Hadziomerovic, D., Mattle, V., Seeber, B. E., Virgolini, I., et al. (2007). Physiology of upward transport in the human female genital tract. Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences, 1101, 1–20.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  203. Zervomanolakis, I., Ott, H. W., Muller, J., Seeber, B. E., Friess, S. C., Mattle, V., et al. (2009). Uterine mechanisms of ipsilateral directed spermatozoa transport: Evidence for a contribution of the utero-ovarian countercurrent system. European Journal of Obstetrics, Gynecology, and Reproductive Biology, 144(Suppl. 1), S45–S49.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  204. Zietsch, B. P., & Santtila, P. (2011). Genetic analysis of orgasmic function in twins and siblings does not support the by-product theory of female orgasm. Animal Behaviour, 82, 1097–1101.Google Scholar
  205. Zumpe, D., & Michael, R. P. (1968). The clutching reaction and orgasm in the female rhesus monkey (Macaca mulatta). Journal of Endocrinology, 40, 117–123.PubMedGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • David A. Puts
    • 1
    Email author
  • Khytam Dawood
    • 2
  • Lisa L. M. Welling
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of AnthropologyPennsylvania State UniversityUniversity ParkUSA
  2. 2.Department of PsychologyPennsylvania State UniversityUniversity ParkUSA

Personalised recommendations