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Female coital orgasm and male attractiveness

Abstract

Female coital orgasm may be an adaptation for preferentially retaining the sperm of males with “good genes.” One indicator of good genes may be physical attractiveness. Accordingly, R. Thornhill, S. W. Gangestad, and R. Comer (1995) found that women mated to more attractive men reported an orgasm during a greater proportion of copulations than did women mated to less attractive men. The current research replicates this finding, with several design variations. We collected self-report data from 388 women residing in the United States or in Germany. Results support the hypothesis that women mated to more attractive men are more likely to report an orgasm at the most recent copulation than are women mated to less attractive men, after statistically controlling for several key variables. Discussion addresses (a) the inability of the present research to specify the causal link between female orgasm and male attractiveness and (b) the proactive nature of female sexuality documented in recent research guided by an evolutionary perspective.

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Correspondence to Todd K. Shackelford.

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Todd K. Shackelford received his B.A. in Psychology from the University of New Mexico in 1993, his M.A. in Psychology from the University of Michigan in 1995, and his Ph.D. in Psychology from the University of Texas at Austin in 1997. He is currently Assistant Professor of Psychology at Florida Atlantic University. Trained as an evolutionary psychologist, his current research interests include human sperm competition and spousal battery and homicide.

Viviana A. Weekes-Shackelford received her B.A. in Psychology from Florida Atlantic University in 1999, and currently is a graduate student in psychology at Florida Atlantic University. Her current research interests include evolutionary psychological approaches to female sexuality and homicide-suicide.

Gregory J. LeBlanc received his B.A. in Psychology from Florida Atlantic University in 1998 and currently is a graduate student in psychology at Florida Atlantic University. His current research interests include evolutionary psychological approaches to romantic relationships and the psychology of human sperm competition.

April L. Bleske received her B.A. in Psychology from the University of Wisconsin at Madison in 1996 and is currently a graduate student in psychology at the University of Texas at Austin. Her current research interests include evolutionary psychological approaches to same-sex and opposite-sex friendship.

Harald A. Euler received his B.A. in Psychology from the University of Bonn in 1965. As a Fulbright Scholar, he received his Ph.D. from Washington State University in 1972. Since 1974, he has been a Professor of Psychology at the University of Kassel. His current research interests include the evolutionary psychology of family relations, human sperm competition, and the therapy of stuttering.

Sabine Hoier received her M.A. in Biology and Sociology from the University of Kassel in 1996, where she is currently a Scientific Assistant. Her research interests include human sperm competition, family relations, interest in children, and women from nontraditional families.

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Shackelford, T.K., Weekes-Shackelford, V.A., LeBlanc, G.J. et al. Female coital orgasm and male attractiveness. Hum Nat 11, 299–306 (2000). https://doi.org/10.1007/s12110-000-1015-1

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  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/s12110-000-1015-1

Key words

  • Evolutionary psychology
  • Female coital orgasm
  • Male attractiveness