At last! Female orgasm neuroimaged

kiss.jpgFinally, someone has done a neuroimaging study of the female orgasm.

Although the paper from this study has not been published yet, if the conference reports are anything to go by, it may be the first functional neuroimaging study of orgasm in healthy human females.

My only caveat is the rather random way this story is being reported (e.g. ‘Brain scans detect fake orgasms’) and the seemingly odd quotes from the researcher involved (from a BBC News story):

Professor Holstege said: “Women can imitate orgasm quite well. But with genuine orgasm”, he said: “What we see is an extreme deactivation of large portions of the brain hippocampus and especially the emotional parts involved with fear… And if you are fearful, it is very hard to have sex. It’s very hard to let go.” He said this was useful for men to know. “When you want to make love to a woman, you must give her the feeling of being protected.”

If reported correctly, Prof Holstege seems to have gone from a discovery about a reduction in brain activity (possibly based on a weak clich√© that the amygdala circuit is the ‘fear’ part of the brain) to advice on ‘how to make love to a woman’.

Come again ?

Link to story from newscientist.com
Link to story from BBC News.

2 Comments

  1. Posted June 16, 2006 at 3:55 pm | Permalink

    The female orgasm is every woman’s right to enjoy as nature intended. Whether with partner or alone; with or without artificial aid.
    Unfortunately it’s seems that only the minority of women are able to enjoy this most natural of feminine pleasures. Not only that but the subject has become a debating point between the creationists and the evolutionists.
    I’ve tried to put together a lot of basic information and resource to help at my new website.
    There’s even an excellent scientific e-book on the subject, written from the practical rather than theoretical point of view, by Dr Irene Cooper, a professional sex therapist in the UK.
    Female Orgasm
    Linda Johnson

  2. Rational Thinker
    Posted January 26, 2009 at 3:31 am | Permalink

    The male orgasm is every man’s right to enjoy as nature intended. Whether with partner or alone; with or without artificial aid.
    Unfortunately it seems that only the minority of men in the United States are able to enjoy fully this most natural of masculine pleasures. This is because each year 60% of American baby boys—one millions of them—have their penises mutilated when they are forcibly subjected to a bizarre and cruel amputation of 51%-75% of their penile tissue. This medically unnecessary surgery is called circumcision, and it is incredibly damaging. Worse, 2%-10% of circumcised males experience immediate or latent complications of the procedure, which leads to lifelong psychological distress—especially when they find out that their problems were caused by an elective, completely unnecessary genital reconstruction.
    Through science and medicine, the foreskin is known to contain specialized structures, muscle, a complex vascular system, and tens of thousands of highly concentrated, specialized, erogenous nerve cells and fine touch receptors. These specialized structures include the preputial sphincter (protection and stimulation), the frenulum, and the ridged band. In particular, the frenulum is a very erogenous region (known as the “sex nerve” in France) that is either ablated during circumcision or is extremely underdeveloped on the circumcised penis. The ridged band’s fine touch receptors complement the coarse sensory receptors of the glans (head of the penis) and it is always removed during circumcision.
    Besides providing a specialized combination of nerves, the foreskin acts as an erogenous sheath in which the shaft and glans glide and with which the frenulum and ridged band are stimulated. If you’re unsure how this works, please look at the photos, animations, and movies on this education website: geocities.com/painfulquestioning/naturalresources
    The foreskin provides not just more sensitivity, but enhanced sensitivity. These structures and nerves are essential to the complete experience and functioning of the sex act, so that their amputation results in a clear sensory and *mechanical* deficiency.
    Moreover, there is no debate that circumcision destroys sexual ‘perception’. The only question is whether the REMAINING tissue (glans and what’s left of the inner foreskin) is desensitized due to the conditions engendered by the amputation of the foreskin. While there is conflicting evidence as to the degree of further desensitizing, it is certainly the case that the glans and remaining inner foreskin are transformed into fully external structures—something that is unnatural for these mucosal tissues. They suffer from drying-out, subtle lifelong abrasion (simple contact with clothes), and keratinization (a response that reduces the irritation of drying-out and abrasion, but also results in a reduction of nerve stimulation). Indeed, when an intact man finds that his penis is too sensitive for his liking, he is often instructed to retract his foreskin temporarily throughout the day until he has become sufficiently desensitized.
    70%-75% of the Earth’s men are intact. Circumcision is rare outside of the U.S., South Korea (U.S.-influenced), Israel, the Muslim world (68% of circumcised men), and the older generations of Canada and Australia (both of which were influenced by the U.S.). Outside of these countries/cultures, ‘routine’ circumcision is considered bizarre—even cruel.
    Circumcision is a slight against human rights, dignity, respect, and personal liberty. Men enjoy their foreskins; don’t mutilate your boys.


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