Learn About Sexuality

Rejection of statistical sex research

Many thousands of women have asked about how they can orgasm through intercourse. Even more men have asked how they can give a woman an orgasm during intercourse. Many more never ask because of embarrassment. Yet no one ever offers the research finding that the majority of women say that they do not orgasm regularly through intercourse (or other stimulation with a lover).

Research has been done but it has been ignored. We live in a society that tells women that there is ‘something’ wrong with them if they don’t have an orgasm during intercourse. It is really quite incredible that humans can be so political that they prevent others obtaining an understanding of a subject so crucial to our emotional well-being. But even when you tell women (and men) about the research, they cannot relate to it. They are so convinced that there must be ‘a solution’.

Research findings from polling women in the population (Kinsey and Hite) were so controversial that the approach was abandoned. As soon as the general public heard about female orgasm everyone assumed that it must (of course) occur during intercourse. No one questioned why female orgasm had been such a secret for so long.

One of the reasons for the rejection of the statistical approach was the predominance of women who said they used clitoral stimulation for orgasm. Most women are not comfortable talking about explicit orgasm techniques. They prefer to assume that their orgasms arise during the less explicit (from a female perspective) stimulation of intercourse. But given female masturbation is so rare why do so many (relatively) of these women volunteer? The answer is in the research findings themselves. When they masturbate, women orgasm on average 95% of the time and within four minutes. So any research into female orgasm will always attract a disproportionate number of women who masturbate because such women are most confident about explaining (in explicit terms) how they are able to orgasm.

Experts today quote from Alfred Kinsey’s work by asserting that 10% of women never orgasm by any means. Experts also quote from Shere Hite’s work by reassuring us that only 30% of women orgasm through intercourse. No one explains why they quote these statistics while ignoring the rest of their findings. There are no updates on these figures given no one has attempted research on the same scale since. Nor is anyone willing to fund the same kind of research. No other reliable statistics exist. Most of the research we hear about makes no attempt to indicate the relevance to the ‘average’ person. There is no justification of the qualifications of the researchers involved, of the political aims of the funders of the research, of the way in which the sample is selected or the miniscule size of the sample. The results from these unrepresentative samples of volunteers are presented as if they apply to every one of the millions of women in the general population.

Kinsey’s research is ignored because it is believed women in recent decades have more success with orgasm. But where does this success come from? It is implied that new information has helped women and their lovers adjust their lovemaking so that female orgasm is guaranteed every time. The new information about female orgasm relates to the clitoris yet no one talks of the clitoris. If intercourse were the answer then women in the 1950s (and before) would also have been expert and there wouldn’t be a ‘problem’ in the first place.

Statistical research is useful because it gives us an idea of what activities or experiences are ‘usual’. If we don’t have the ‘average’ experience, it doesn’t make us abnormal. But people will suggest that because certain information is irrelevant to them that it is of no use to anyone else either. This is just one of the challenges in appreciating how diverse we all are. Some people suggest that generalisations are useless because they are not always true. For example, we can say that men are taller than women on average. This is a generalisation but it is also a fact. As long as we understand that there are exceptions then generalisations can be useful.

Everyone is protecting their own ego and reputation, frightened of being ridiculed by others. And, of course, there’s no money in it one way or the other. No one wants to pay for sex education or for sex research that produces findings, which conflict with popular beliefs. Any area of scientific research where people genuinely want to know the truth, must welcome anyone who challenges and suggests an alternative point of view.

The fact that sex information is so wrong today indicates the fear that dominates the topic. Fear of ridicule, fear of failure, fear of knowledge and fear of the truth. Such is the human animal – a concoction of emotions.

Every scientist needs to cultivate his ability to distinguish between facts that are known to be true only for particular individuals, and facts which are known in such variety, for so many different kinds of individuals, that they may be added up to an understanding of a whole population. (Alfred Kinsey 1948)

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