Daily Archives: 8 June 2005

It’s in Her Genes

The UK Royal Society’s Biology Letters published
a twins study that found a genetic link to women’s ability to
achieve an orgasm.


Orgasmic dysfunction in females is commonly reported in
the general population with little consensus on its
aetiology. We performed a classical twin study to explore
whether there were observable genetic influences on female
orgasmic dysfunction. Adult females from the TwinsUK
register were sent a confidential survey including
questions on sexual problems. Complete responses to the
questions on orgasmic dysfunction were obtained from 4037
women consisting of 683 monozygotic and 714 dizygotic pairs
of female twins aged between 19 and 83 years. One in three
women (32%) reported never or infrequently achieving orgasm
during intercourse, with a corresponding figure of 21%
during masturbation. A significant genetic influence was
seen with an estimated heritability for difficulty reaching
orgasm during intercourse of 34% (95% confidence interval
27–40%) and 45% (95% confidence interval
38–52%) for orgasm during masturbation. These results
show that the wide variation in orgasmic dysfunction in
females has a genetic basis and cannot be attributed solely
to cultural influences. These results should stimulate
further research into the biological and perhaps
evolutionary processes governing female sexual