Homology, female orgasm and the forgotten argument of Donald Symons

  title={Homology, female orgasm and the forgotten argument of Donald Symons},
  author={Dean J. Lee},
  journal={Biology \& Philosophy},
  • Dean J. Lee
  • Published 20 September 2013
  • Psychology
  • Biology & Philosophy
The ‘byproduct account’ of female orgasm, a subject of renewed debate since Lloyd (The case of the female orgasm, Harvard University Press, Cambridge, 2005), is universally attributed to Symons (The evolution of human sexuality, Oxford University Press, Oxford, 1979). While this is correct to the extent that he linked it to the adaptive value of male orgasm, I argue that the attribution of the theory as we understand it to Symons is based on a serious and hitherto unrecognised misinterpretation… 

Female Orgasm and the Phallic Constraint Hypothesis: The Consequence of the Byproduct Account

  • Psychology
  • 2017
Whereas Gould & Lewontin (1979) accuse adaptationists of ignoring developmental constraints, it has been claimed that this problem is not intrinsic to adaptationism, and that adaptationism has

Objectivity and orgasm: the perils of imprecise definitions

Lloyd (The case of the female orgasm: bias in the science of evolution, Harvard University Press, Harvard, 2005) analyzes every proposed evolutionary explanation of female orgasm and argues that all

Objectivity and Orgasm



The Woman That Never Evolved

Sarah Hrdy demolishes myths about sexually passive, "coy", compliant and exclusively nurturing females and expands the concept of female nature to include the range of selection pressures on females, and reminds the reader of the complexity and dynamism of the evolutionary story.

The Case of the Female Orgasm (review)

  • M. Zuk
  • Psychology
    Perspectives in biology and medicine
  • 2006
The orgasm has taken its place in the battle about adaptationism, with scholars debating whether female orgasm evolved through natural selection in much the same way as morphological traits, because they enhanced the ability of women to conceive without orgasm.

Sexual Behavior in the Human Male

"Sexual Behavior in the Human Female" was originally published in 1953, five years after the male volume. The material presented in this book was derived from personal interviews with nearly 6,000

Orgasm in female primates

Indices of female nonhuman primate orgasm thus far proposed include rhythmic vaginal and anal contractions, hyperventilation, involuntary muscle tension, arm and leg spasms, grimacing, and uterine contractions.

Cross-species comparisons and the human heritage