Wednesday, October 26, 2005

Educated women less likely to have orgasms

I could have told you that in 1991. The one thing that bothers me about this study is that it conclusively proves that the college girls on "Girls Gone Wild" are faking it. And women wonder what men like about strippers: they're easy on the eye and even easier to please.

Umm...I could go on but this isn't amateur hour at the comedy cellar.

Education, weight seen to affect women's sex life
Wednesday, October 26, 2005 Page A10

Women who are educated, married or heavy are more likely to have low sex drives, according to a landmark Canadian study that explored links between sexual problems and social and personal factors.

The research, which is published in the current edition of The Canadian Journal of Human Sexuality, found that 55 per cent of respondents had one or more of three concerns about sexual function: low desire, pain during sex and infrequent orgasm during intercourse.

Contrary to the researchers' expectations, university-educated women are more apt to have low sex drives -- 48 per cent compared to 31 per cent among high-school graduates. They are also less likely to have orgasms during intercourse.

"It may well be that highly educated women are different from less-educated women in many respects. Maybe they have higher standards . . . higher expectations and legitimately lower evaluations. They may be living much busier, much more stressful lives," said William Fisher, a professor of psychology and obstetrics and gynecology at the University of Western Ontario who is a co-author of the paper.

Married women were more than twice as likely as singles to report low sex drives -- a finding the researchers expected -- although the number of children a woman had was not associated with dysfunction. Respondents who were heavier had lower sex drives and were less likely to have orgasms during intercourse.

The paper is the first to correlate concerns about sexual function with lifestyle factors -- including method of contraception -- among an extensive sample of Canadian women of reproductive age, Prof. Fisher said. Women who relied on the birth-control pill or whose partners used condoms had higher levels of pain and infrequent orgasm during intercourse. And the study found that those who used no protection were more likely to report all three issues.

However, the researchers did not have enough data to determine whether the social and personal indicators actually caused women's sexual problems.

"Is it contraceptive use or is it something that varies along with contraceptive use?" Prof. Fisher said. "For example, people tend to use condoms . . . early in relationships so it may well be that it's not condom use, it's being in a new relationship where you're still working out the details with a partner."

The study also found that women whose male partners experienced problems sustaining erections or premature ejaculation were more likely to have concerns about their own sexual function. For example, 61 per cent of women whose partners had erectile dysfunction said their sex drive was lower than they would like. Just 46 per cent of respondents whose partners did not have problems reported low sexual desire.

(Prof. Fisher has since been involved in a study that found treating men's erectile dysfunction significantly improved their female partners' sexual problems.) The study is based on data from mail-in surveys completed by 1,582 women as part of the 2002 Canadian Contraception Study, a nationally representative study of women aged 15 to 44 that is funded by Janssen-Ortho, a pharmaceutical company that, among other things, makes birth-control pills. Respondents' answers to three questions about sexual desire, pain during intercourse and orgasm during intercourse during the previous year were correlated with marital and family status, method of contraception, age, weight and level of education.

Those who were more likely to report experiencing sexual desire that was "often much lower" than they would like included heavy women, older women, highly educated women, married women, women whose partners had erectile dysfunction and women who did not use any method of contraception. (Respondents were considered heavy if they weighed more than 150 pounds, or 68 kilograms. However, the survey did not ask participants for their heights, which is considered a limitation because researchers could not calculate body mass indexes.)

Women who were more likely to report "usually" not having an orgasm during intercourse were heavy, educated, on the birth-control pill and those who used the withdrawal method of birth control, had partners with erectile dysfunction and did not use contraception.

And participants who said they "often experience pain" during intercourse were more prone to be either on the birth-control pill or their partners used condoms or used the withdrawal method.


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