The Case of the Female Orgasm: Bias in the Science of Evolution
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The Case of the Female Orgasm: Bias in the Science of Evolution

3.84 of 5 stars 3.84  ·  rating details  ·  57 ratings  ·  7 reviews
Why women evolved to have orgasms--when most of their primate relatives don't--is a persistent mystery among evolutionary biologists. In pursuing this mystery, Elisabeth Lloyd arrives at another: How could anything as inadequate as the evolutionary explanations of the female orgasm have passed muster as science? A judicious and revealing look at all twenty evolutionary acc...more
Hardcover, 320 pages
Published April 22nd 2005 by Harvard University Press (first published 2005)
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Adrian Colesberry
The first half of the book is a real page turner. When she starts getting into the discussion of bias and evidence towards the end, even I slowed down and this is completely my bag. But the point was well carried.

The female orgasm seems to have no specific evolutionarily designed [sic:] purpose. Evidence points to its being a byproduct of the rigorous selection for male orgasmic potential. Far from being bad news for feminists, this should delight them since women can finally walk away from the...more
There is nothing quite like the glee of seeing a faulty argument destroyed with thorough and effective reasoning, which is what Lloyd does here with various proffered evolutionary theories attempting to explain female orgasm as an adaptation. It's almost universally assumed that the female orgasm must exist because it drives women to have more sex, ergo more babies, which = reproductive success. But when you actually look at sexological, cross-cultural, and animal behavioral data, this assumptio...more
This was recommended by PZ Myers in a post some time ago. As someone with adaptionist leanings in evolutionary theory, I'm glad I read this. Lloyd walks carefully through all the evidence and theorizing around the evolution of the female orgasm, coming down in favor of the byproduct account (in a nutshell: female orgasm arises due to strong selection pressure for male orgasm and physiological and developmental homologies between the sexes). She explains why this theory better fits with the avail...more
Daniel Namie
Dr Lloyd is a genius and a pioneer in the evolution of the female orgasm. The female orgasm is a byporoduct of the male orgasm and a its function is pair-bonding. The logic is sound, sexual satisify each other and there is no reason to stray outside the relationship for sexual gratification.
Easy read...but annoying subject matter - ie biases in science and how little is know about female orgasm. very few studies conducted with very few subjects. bastards.
An examination of every available theory out there on the evolution of the female orgasm, and why all but one are terribly flawed. This is not a 'popular science' type of book, though it is written in a fairly easy to read, if not rather dry and repetitive, style. Still and all, Lloyd makes an entirely sensible and devastating case for why all adaptationist theories of female orgasm are comepletely conjectural and based almost entirely on unsupported assumptions, wishful thinking and imaginary d...more
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