Evolutionary Roots of Female Orgasm

Event time: 
Tuesday, October 4, 2016 - 5:00pm
Whitney Humanities Center, Auditorium See map
53 Wall Street
New Haven 06510
Event description: 

Lecture by:
Prof. Mihaela Pavlicev
Department of Theoretical Biology
University of Vienna


Prof. Gunter P. Wagner
Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, and
Systems Biology Institute
Yale University

With Commentary by:

Prof. Elisabeth Lloyd
Department of History and Philosophy of Science and Medicine
Indiana University

The origin and meaning of female orgasm has occupied biologists and philosophers since the beginning of the study of life. The main problem is that female orgasm has no manifest roles in human reproduction but is never the less a complex physiological trait. We propose that female orgasm is derived from a neuro-endocrine reflex that was necessary for ovulation but in primates lost its reproductive role. We will also discuss the implications of our model for the understanding of so-called “orgasmic dysfunction.”