Well, finally I pull myself together and re-start writing in my blog. I am quite confident that this time the output will be a bit higher…
I hope you enjoy reading how the world is according to my spotless, sometimes erratic mind.
After several weeks of non-writing I begin with a very simple and innocent issue, before I try to comment on more difficult things.
And since I like to have readers of both genders here is something that never would cause any conflicts between men and women: the logic of female orgasm…
The article was published in The New York Times, but is only available if you are a subscriber. So here are some excerpts. Quite interesting, I think, and a nice topic for couples for tonight:
Evolutionary scientists have never had difficulty explaining the male orgasm, closely tied as it is to reproduction.
But the Darwinian logic behind the female orgasm has remained elusive. Women can have sexual intercourse and even become pregnant -- doing their part for the perpetuation of the species -- without experiencing orgasm. So what is its evolutionary purpose?
Over the last four decades, scientists have come up with a variety of theories, arguing, for example, that orgasm encourages women to have sex and, therefore, reproduce or that it leads women to favor stronger and healthier men, maximizing their offspring's chances of survival.
But in a new book, Dr. Elisabeth A. Lloyd, a philosopher of science and professor of biology at Indiana University, takes on 20 leading theories and finds them wanting. The female orgasm, she argues in the book, ''The Case of the Female Orgasm: Bias in the Science of Evolution,'' has no evolutionary function at all.
Rather, Dr. Lloyd says the most convincing theory is one put forward in 1979 by Dr. Donald Symons, an anthropologist.
That theory holds that female orgasms are simply artifacts -- a byproduct of the parallel development of male and female embryos in the first eight or nine weeks of life.
In that early period, the nerve and tissue pathways are laid down for various reflexes, including the orgasm, Dr. Lloyd said. As development progresses, male hormones saturate the embryo, and sexuality is defined.
In boys, the penis develops, along with the potential to have orgasms and ejaculate, while ''females get the nerve pathways for orgasm by initially having the same body plan.''
Nipples in men are similarly vestigial, Dr. Lloyd pointed out.
While nipples in woman serve a purpose, male nipples appear to be simply left over from the initial stage of embryonic development.
The female orgasm, she said, ''is for fun.''
Dr. Lloyd said scientists had insisted on finding an evolutionary function for female orgasm in humans either because they were invested in believing that women's sexuality must exactly parallel that of men or because they were convinced that all traits had to be ''adaptations,'' that is, serve an evolutionary function.
Theories of female orgasm are significant, she added, because ''men's expectations about women's normal sexuality, about how women should perform, are built around these notions.''
''And men are the ones who reflect back immediately to the woman whether or not she is adequate sexually,'' Dr. Lloyd continued.
Western culture is suffused with images of women's sexuality, of women in the throes of orgasm during intercourse and seeming to reach heights of pleasure that are rare, if not impossible, for most women in everyday life.
''Accounts of our evolutionary past tell us how the various parts of our body should function,'' Dr. Lloyd said.
If women, she said, are told that it is ''natural'' to have orgasms every time they have intercourse and that orgasms will help make them pregnant, then they feel inadequate or inferior or abnormal when they do not achieve it.
''Getting the evolutionary story straight has potentially very large social and personal consequences for all women,'' Dr. Lloyd said. ''And indirectly for men, as well.''