The mystery surrounding the female orgasm has just been partially solved. A rabbit study may have found it’s origin.
The female orgasm has intrigued scientists for years. Does it have a purpose that goes beyond sexual pleasure? Is it a simple evolutionary accident? A scientific team is now able to answer these questions after studying rabbit breeding.
The female orgasm origins
According to the article in the magazine “Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences”, female orgasms can result from a reflex that causes some mammalian animals to let go of their eggs during sex.
The researchers in the article counted the number of eggs that 21 rabbits released after mating with a male named Frank. 12 of these rabbits had previously been treated with Fluoxetine, an antidepressant known for its negative effects on sexual function.
“We know that there is an ovulation reflex in rabbits, but the question was whether it is the same in humans and that it just lost its function”, explained Dr. Mihaela Pavlicev of the University of Cincinnati and co-author of the study.
Analysis of the results showed that animals treated with antidepressants – which had little or no orgasm – released 30% fewer eggs than untreated rabbits. These results confirm that rabbits need an orgasm to experience ovulation.
If ejaculation in men is not dependent on female pleasure today, it seems however that this was the case with our distant ancestors. The ecstasy that women know today would, therefore, be a testimony to this reflex that disappeared during evolution, according to the researchers.
This scientific team had already worked with animals in a previous study to unravel the mystery of orgasms. They had studied 41 different species of mammals, including cats, camels, and koalas. The study then discovered that 15 of the animals had ovulation during sexual intercourse.
For the researchers, it is important to study the origin of women’s pleasure. They explain in their article: The existence of female orgasm is intriguing for two reasons: on the one hand, female orgasm is not necessary for a woman’s reproductive success and, on the other hand, this neuro-endocrine reflex is too complex to be an accident of evolution. This has led to the proposal of many evolving theories, most of which have little empirical support.
This finding helps to interpret hard-to-explain aspects of female sexuality, such as the low percentage of female orgasms during intimate relationships.
However, Dr. Mihaela Pavlicev warns that new studies are still needed to determine why a female orgasm is still present in humans when it is no longer a necessary condition for ovulation.