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Factors in Marital Orgasm

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Part of the Perspectives in Sexuality book series (PISE)


The search for successful strategies for the treatment of female orgasmic dysfunction has led to an investigation of the factors that correlate with orgasm in women. In this chapter Gehhard goes hack to some data collected by Kinsey and his co-workers on the frequency of marital orgasm. Gebhard focuses on three variables: the woman’s self-report of marital happiness, the duration of foreplay, and the duration of coitus. The findings show that women who are very unhappy in their marriages are unlikely to reach orgasm during coitus. It is doubtful that those briefer forms of sex therapy that largely focus on the sexual aspect of a couple’s relationship would affect the coital orgasm rate of such women. As was suggested by Lobitz in Part II, Chapter 5, assessment of such cases is extremely important and referral for marriage therapy might be suggested. Some cases will need marital therapy, while in those cases where the sexual problem is the major cause of marital unhappiness, sex therapy is indicated.

The findings on duration of foreplay and coitus suggest that increasing the amount of time spent in these activities results in an increased probability that the woman will reach orgasm. However, there is a great deal of variability among women on these dimensions; some women are orgasmic with little or no foreplay and short coitus, while others are inorgasmic despite twenty or more minutes of foreplay and lengthy coitus. This seems to indicate that failure to reach orgasm is often a complex problem that is not likely to respond to simplistic “marriage manual” approaches of more foreplay prolonged coitus, and so on.


  • Marriage Manual
  • Female Orgasm
  • Marital Therapy
  • Duration Case
  • Marital Happiness

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  • DOI: 10.1007/978-1-4613-3973-1_11
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  • Kinsey, A. C., Pomeroy, W. B., Martin, C. E., and Gebhard, P. H. Sexual behavior in the human female. Philadelphia: W. B. Saunders, 1953.

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© 1978 Plenum Press, New York

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Gebhard, P.H. (1978). Factors in Marital Orgasm. In: LoPiccolo, J., LoPiccolo, L. (eds) Handbook of Sex Therapy. Perspectives in Sexuality. Springer, Boston, MA.

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  • Publisher Name: Springer, Boston, MA

  • Print ISBN: 978-1-4613-3975-5

  • Online ISBN: 978-1-4613-3973-1

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