The female orgasm: testing the mate-choice hypotheses

Chambers, Heidi (2012). The female orgasm: testing the mate-choice hypotheses Honours Thesis, School of Psychology, The University of Queensland.

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Author Chambers, Heidi
Thesis Title The female orgasm: testing the mate-choice hypotheses
School, Centre or Institute School of Psychology
Institution The University of Queensland
Publication date 2012-10-10
Thesis type Honours Thesis
Supervisor Brendan Zietsch
Total pages 78
Language eng
Subjects 1701 Psychology
Abstract/Summary The adaptive function of the female orgasm, if one exists at all, is currently under intense scientific debate. Mate-choice explanations theorise its function is to assist females in their selection of mates (i.e., greater orgasm rate indicates a better mate) who possess traits which could confer certain direct benefits (e.g., provision of resources, care and protection) or indirect benefits (e.g., genetic advantages that will improve survival/mating success) to the female and her offspring. Recently, Puts et al., (2012) found females with partners who were more masculine reported a greater rate of orgasm during sexual intercourse, consistent with a mate-choice mechanism. However, similar results would be expected if more orgasmic women showed greater preference for mates with this quality. The current study firstly tested this alternative causal hypothesis using an online survey administered to 208 female participants (M = 28.28; SD = 9.09). No correlation was found between women’s orgasm rates and preferences for more masculine men, strengthening the results provided by Puts et al., (2012). Secondly, the association between female’s orgasm rates and male traits, reflective of the influence of direct and indirect benefits on mate-selection, was investigated. Although most traits influenced orgasm rate, a strong ‘current partner effect’ (similar to a halo effect) was detected whereby participants rated their current partner more positively than a past partner. This effect was eliminated by removal of current partners and only dominance, humour, time spent on foreplay and focusing on the female’s pleasure remained influential to orgasm rates. Findings strengthen current research in support of an adaptionist perspective of the female orgasm, specifically its role in sire-choice. Furthermore, novel findings indicate humour to influence female orgasm frequency, opening up an avenue for research to determine the mechanism behind this association. Finally, results substantiate primate research which has observed a positive association between female orgasm frequency and male dominance.
Keyword Female orgasm
Mate-choice hypothesis

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Created: Thu, 21 Feb 2013, 15:13:59 EST by Mrs Ann Lee on behalf of School of Psychology