Archives of Sexual Behavior

, Volume 5, Issue 1, pp 87–98 | Cite as

Written descriptions of orgasm: A study of sex differences

  • Ellen Belle Vance
  • Nathaniel N. Wagner

Abstract

It has generally been assumed that a male's experience of orgasm is different from a female's experience of orgasm. In this study, a questionnaire consisting of 48 descriptions of orgasm (24 male and 24 female) was submitted to 70 judges. These professionals (obstetrician-gynecologists, psychologists, and medical students) were to sex-identify the descriptions to discover whether sex differences could be detected. The judges could not correctly identify the sex of the person describing an orgasm. Furthermore, none of the three professional groups represented in the sample of judges did better than any of the other groups. Male judges did no better than female judges and vice versa.These findings suggest that the experience of orgasm for males and females is essentially the same.

Key words

orgasm male female 

Preview

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

References

  1. Barnett, M. C. (1968). “I can't” versus “he won't”: Further considerations of the psychic consequences of the anatomic and physiological differences between the sexes.J. Am. Psychoanal. Assoc. 16: 588–600.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  2. Gebhard, P. H. (1966). Factors in marital orgasm.J. Soc. Issues 22: 88–95.Google Scholar
  3. Gillespie, W. H. (1969). Concepts of vaginal orgasm.Int. J. Psychoanal. 50: 495–497.Google Scholar
  4. Glenn, J., and Kaplan, E. H. (1968). Types of orgasm in women: A critical review and re-definition.J. Am. Psychoanal. Assoc. 16: 549–564.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  5. Heiman, M. (1968). Female sexuality.J. Am. Psychoanal. Assoc. 16: 565–568.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  6. Kane, F. J., Lipton, M. A., and Ewing, J. A. (1969). Hormonal influences in female sexual response.Arch. Gen. Psychiat. 20: 202–209.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  7. Kinsey, A. C., Pomeroy, W. B., Martin, C. E., and Gebhard, P. H. (1953).Sexual Behavior in the Human Female Saunders, Philadelphia.Google Scholar
  8. Masters, W. H., and Johnson, V. E. (1966).Human Sexual Response Little, Brown, Boston.Google Scholar
  9. Moore, B. E. (1968). Psychoanalytic reflections on the implications of recent physiological studies of female orgasm.J. Am. Psychoanal. Assoc. 16: 569–587.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  10. Robertiello, R. C. (1970). The “clitoral versus vaginal orgasm” controversy and some of its ramifications.J. Sex Res. 6: 307–311.Google Scholar
  11. Shope, D. F., and Broderick, C. B. (1967). Level of sexual experience and predicted adjustment in marriage.J. Marriage Family 29: 424–427.Google Scholar
  12. Singer, J., and Singer, I. (1972). Types of female orgasm.J. Sex. Res. 8: 255–267.Google Scholar
  13. Wallin, P., and Clark, A. L. (1963). A study of orgasm as a condition of women's enjoyment of coitus in the middle years of marriage.Hum. Biol. 2: 131–139.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Plenum Publishing Corporation 1976

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ellen Belle Vance
    • 1
  • Nathaniel N. Wagner
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of PsychologyUniversity of WashingtonSeattleUSA

Personalised recommendations