Barry Komisaruk studies the function of nerve pathways for sexual stimulation in women who have suffered spinal cord injury. He and fellow researchers at Rutgers published the first evidence of brain regions involved in orgasm in women. Also, he has co-published a comprehensive review of neurological, pharmacological, hormonal, and health aspects of orgasm in "The Science of Orgasm."
Question: Are men and women hard-wired to have the same sexual responses?
Barry Komisaruk: There was an interesting research study by Vance and Wagner that was done in 1975; it was a long time ago, but it was a very interesting study where they asked men and women to describe their orgasms in writing and then they removed all specific references to the genitals, so you couldn't tell whether it was a man or a women -- these were college students describing their orgasms -- and then they gave the descriptions. Each one was about a short paragraph of the description of the orgasm. They gave the descriptions to sex therapists and various experts in sexuality, M.D.s, asking, "Can you tell which one is written by a male and which is written by a female?" The upshot of the experiment was that they couldn't identify accurately whether the description of the orgasm was made by a man or a woman.
So on that basis, my conclusion and their conclusion is that the feelings of orgasm, when you remove the specific reference to the genitals or which difference between the the genitals and the sexes, that the feelings of the orgasm are indistinguishable from each other, between men and women.
Recorded on October 29, 2009