The Mystery Behind Female Orgasms Has Finally Been Solved
Female orgasms have always fascinated scientists. Now, besides the obvious reasons, female orgasms have also posed a question about why they exist in the first place. If you think about it, unlike the male orgasm, the female counterpart plays no role in the reproduction process. But this is unlike other mammals, where female orgasms do have a role to play.
Scientists, however, were able to put two and two together and realize that there might be some sort of connection between the two. As it turns out, female orgasms are an afterthought of evolution, left behind by our ape ancestors. In many of our mammal cousins, males kickstart ovulation in females by sexually stimulating them.
In humans, however, this link has been lost, ever since the clitoris shifted from within the vaginal canal and to the exterior. This seems to have been the link between female orgasms and reproduction.
The way scientists realized the connection between orgasms and the reproductive cycle in mammals was to look at what hormones are released during one such pleasurable event. They realized that there is no correlation between female orgasms and the number of children being born and instead focused on these hormones. They also observed that those same hormones play an important role in ovulation in other mammal species.
“Prior studies have tended to focus on evidence from human biology and the modification of a trait rather than its evolutionary origin,” said Yale Biology Institute researcher Gunter Wagner.
These researchers also point out that the evolutionary ancestor of the climax wasn’t necessarily the same as it is today.
“It is important to stress that it didn’t look like the human female orgasm looks like now,” said Mihaela Pavlicev, who helped lead the study. “We think that [the hormonal surge] is the core that was maybe modified further in humans.”
“We think the hormonal surge characterises a trait that we know as female orgasm in humans,” Pavlicev said. “This insight enabled us to trace the evolution of the trait across species.”