Patterns of Sexual Responsiveness during the Menstrual Cycle

  • Heidi Markowitz
  • William Brender
Part of the Perspectives in Sexuality book series (Persp. Sex.)


One interesting facet of human sexual research is the study of female sexual responsiveness during the menstrual cycle. This topic has engaged the efforts of a growing number of investigators whose findings have, by no means, been consistent. Summarizing the research of the last few years, some workers have found the peak of erotic desire to occur just after menstruation (James, 1971; McCance et al., 1937), others have reported it to be just before menstruation (Davis, 1929; Kinsey et al., 1965), some have found the peak of heightened sexuality around the time of ovulation (Udry and Morris, 1968, 1970), others have found two peaks (Hamilton, 1929; Hart, 1960), or three peaks (Moos et al., 1969) during the course of the menstrual cycle while finally, a few studies report no periodicity in female sexual interest (Diamond et al., 1972; Wineman, 1967). Clearly, there is a certain amount of contradiction as to when the periods of greatest erotic desire occur. Many of the discrepancies in findings may be due to differences in both study design and the statistical procedures used.


Menstrual Cycle Sexual Desire Repeated Measure Design Basal Body Temperature Sexual Thought 
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Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1977

Authors and Affiliations

  • Heidi Markowitz
    • 1
  • William Brender
    • 1
  1. 1.Canada

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