The purpose of the euphoric sensation of a female orgasm has long
puzzled scientists—it is not necessary for conception, and is often not
experienced by women during penetrative sex itself.
experts believe they may have cracked it, and say their research
suggests our female ancestors would only release an egg after being
stimulated by a male just before or during sex. So, orgasms were once
crucial for reproduction.
Once stimulated, our prehistoric sisters
would have released certain hormones causing her to ovulate and the egg
was then fertilized by sperm, according to scientists. This is still
the case for numerous species of mammals—including rabbits, ferrets,
camels and cats. But over hundreds of thousands of years their bodies
evolved to ovulate by themselves—once a month.
Wagner, who specializes in ecology and evolutionary biology at Yale,
believes that in the past all female mammals ovulated after having an
orgasm. It was only later on that some species—such as humans, dogs,
cows and rats—evolved to ovulate by themselves during cycles.
whose discovery is published in the journal JEZ-Molecular and
Developmental Evolution, focused on the hormones released by different
female mammals during sex. Most release a surge of the “feelgood”
hormones prolactin and oxytocin and in many cases this triggers
Dr. Mihaela Pavlicev of the Center for Prevention of
Preterm Birth at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital, in the U.S., who was
also involved in the research, said: “We think the hormonal surge
characterizes a trait that we know as female orgasm in humans. This
insight enabled us to trace the evolution of the trait across species.
traits in different species are often difficult to identify, as they
can change substantially in the course of evolution.”
scientists have come up with other controversial explanations as to why
women have orgasms when they perform no function. One of the most
obvious is that they simply encourage them to have more sex, and
reproduce. Another theory is that they create a stronger bond between
the woman and the man, making it more likely they will stay together and
have more children.
Finally, some scientists claim it is down to
the “mate-choice” hypothesis whereby females chose a mate on the basis
of sexual satisfaction. Theoretically, a male who gives them a better
orgasm has stronger sperm and will help her to produce more offspring.