Female sexual behavior : A detailed study
- Reported, November 12, 2012
In order to determine the detailed study of female sexual behavior was
conducted on a sample of 5940 white females. This study was conducted by Alfred
Kinsey. He used in-depth, face-to-face interviews by highly trained
Kinsey found only a very small portion of females with exclusively homosexual
histories. He reported that between 6 and 14% of females (ages 20-35) had more
than incidental homosexual experience in their histories. (p. 488, Female). 7%
of single females (ages 20-35) and 4% of previously married females (ages 20-35)
were given a rating of 3 (about equal heterosexual and homosexual
22.8% of females reported reaching climax less than 2 minutes after introversion
less than five minutes in coitus in first marriage.19% claimed to have lasted 10
or more minutes.100% used male-above position in marital coitus.45% used female
above.31% used side-by-side positions
15% rear vaginal entry.9% sitting and 4% standing.
The Kinsey interviews showed that there is no part of the human body which is
not sufficiently sensitive to effect erotic arousal for at least some
individuals in the population. He estimated that breasts and especially the
nipples of the breasts were erotically sensitive in perhaps half of the females
(with breast stimulation alone sufficient for orgasm in a very small percentage
of females), There were some 2 % of females who even by their late 40s had never
recognized any sexual arousal under any sort of condition.
Among the sample, 26% of females had had extramarital sex by their forties.
Between 1 in 6 and 1 in 10 females from age 26 to 50 were engaged in
extramarital sex.Number of extramarital sexual partners, not counting
prostitutes, during first marriage.79% reported none,15.7% reported 1-3
partners,2.4% reported 4-6 partners,2.7% reported 7 or more.
31% insisted they had never been aroused by thinking about males or sexual
relations with them.
69% of females reported erotic fantasies about males,64% of the female sample
used fantasy as part of masturbation,Some 2% of females in the sample had
reached orgasm by fantasizing erotic situations (without any tactile
2 to 6% of females, aged 20-35, were more or less exclusively homosexual in
experience/response,1 to 3% of unmarried females aged 20-35 were exclusively
homosexual in experience/response.62% of females reported that they had
masturbated.45% of females who reported having masturbated indicated that they
could reach orgasm within 3 minutes.
Masturbation techniques reported by females:
84% used clitoral and labial manipulation,20% used vaginal insertion,11% used
10% used thigh pressure,5% muscular tension,2% had fantasy alone to reach
11% used other techniques,Masturbation was the most important sexual outlet for
single females and the second most important sexual outlet for married females,
providing: 7-10% of orgasms for those 16-40.Sample reported sleeping nude, and
half of the married females in the sample had regularly slept nude.Percentage of
females who said they had performed fellatio:before marriage, 19.1%,in marriage
Sources of first orgasm for females:
40% masturbation,27% coitus,24% premarital petting,5% nocturnal dreams,3%
1% other sources.Over the life course that 70% of females experienced sex
dreams.By age 45, 37% of females in the sample had experienced a sex dream with
orgasm.In the female, solitary sexual activities (such as masturbation,
nocturnal dreams to orgasm) gradually rise to their maximum point. They level
off and then decline after 55 or 60 years of age.
On June 12 2012 it was reported by researcher Sari van Anders, a behavioral
neuroendocrinologist at the University of Michigan.
Testosterone is often cast as the manly hormone, the chemical bestower of
virility and the reason for men's high sex drives. But new research turns this
conventional wisdom on its head. In healthy men, it turns out, testosterone
isn't linked to sexual desire at all. And in women, high testosterone is
actually associated with less interest in sex with a partner.
Complicating the picture further, while high-testosterone women may be less
interested in slipping between the sheets with a lover, high testosterone is
linked to greater interest in masturbation in healthy women, according to
research detailed online in May in the journal Archives of Sexual Behavior.
The findings are unique because most studies of sexual desire and hormones use
either animal subjects or focus on people with abnormally low or high
testosterone who come into clinics for treatment, said study researcher Sari van
Anders. Healthy individuals are rarely studied, van Anders told Live Science.
"People have argued that sex research focuses too much on dysfunction and
pharmaceutical treatment as opposed to questions like pleasure or relationships
or stress," van Anders said. "There is a whole scope of factors that go
When people do study factors such as stress and body image regarding people's
sex lives, they rarely look at hormonal influences at the same time. That's what
van Anders did differently. She recruited volunteers from university classes and
community fliers to fill out questionnaires on their relationships, their stress
and moods, and their own feelings about their bodies and sexuality. These
questions were designed to get at factors that influence people's sex lives: How
happy are you, generally? How stressed? Are you self-conscious about your body
The 196 volunteers (105 men and 91 women) also answered questions about how
frequently they had partnered sex and masturbated, and how frequently they had
the desire to masturbate or to have sex with a partner.
People tend to think of desire as a single phenomenon, but the desire to have
sex may come from a different place than the desire to masturbate, van Anders
"When you're feeling sexual desire for a partner there might be other factors
that play into that, for example, how you felt about that partner that day, how
attracted you feel to that partner, how attractive you feel to that partner,
your relationship and things like that," van Anders said.
Solitary desire, on the other hand, may be more internal and less influenced by
social factors like relationship satisfaction, she said.
Each study participant gave a saliva sample for hormonal analysis. Van Anders
measured testosterone as well as cortisol, a hormone released in times of stress
(a surefire libido-killer).
She then compared low-versus-high testosterone participants and their
self-reported levels of desire. In men, she found, levels of testosterone had
nothing to do with how much guys thought about sex, solitary or partnered.
Multiple studies have found that men generally desire sex more frequently than
women. And men also produce more testosterone than women. These two facts have
led to the belief that testosterone is the reason for the desire, van Anders
said. But that idea is based on animal studies and studies of men who produce
extreme, abnormally low levels of testosterone. In men in the healthy range, an
extra spurt of the "macho hormone" doesn't seem to influence interest in getting
busy. [Top 10 Aphrodisiacs]
"In this regular, healthy range of testosterone, it's high enough that the
variations aren't what's driving any changes," van Anders said.
Things get a bit more complicated on the female side. Women with higher
testosterone reported less desire for partnered sex. It may seem strange, but
the finding fits with previous evidence, van Anders said. For example, women in
long-term relationships have been shown to have lower testosterone. It could be
that their partner desire relates to a need to be close and connected as opposed
to simply a need for pleasure, van Anders said.
Alternatively, higher testosterone might reflect higher stress in women.
Testosterone is secreted by the adrenal glands, which go into overdrive during
Solitary sexual desire, on the other hand, was higher in the higher-testosterone
women, such that the 27 women in the study who reported no desire to masturbate
at all had lower testosterone than the women who said they sometimes felt desire
to masturbate. The finding bolsters the idea that desire for a partner is more
influenced by social factors, van Anders said, while solitary desire is more
Next, van Anders looked into the burning question of why men, on average, want
sex more often than the average woman. Sure enough, she found that testosterone
was not the culprit. Levels of this hormone did not explain the differences in
desire between men and women.
The only factor that did link to gender differences was masturbation. Men
masturbated more than women and reported more sexual desire (with a partner and
solitary). Women masturbated less, and reported less desire.
There's no way to tell from this research whether the desire or the masturbation
comes first. But there are intriguing hints that perhaps the difference in
masturbation habits could explain the desire gap, van Anders said. Sex
therapists often tell low-desire patients to try starting sex or masturbation
even if they feel uninterested. Often, the desire follows.
Though female masturbation has become less taboo, it is still somewhat
stigmatized compared to male masturbation, van Anders said. It's possible that
women simply don't practice revving up their desires as much as men do.
"The idea is that if women don't feel comfortable with their genitals and
masturbating, and if they don't think it's okay and refrain from doing it and
don't express their desires, after a while, the desire might change as well,"
van Anders said.
The next step, van Anders said, is to get a better handle on the concept of
desire, focusing on social factors and not just pharmaceutical fixes for low
libidos. People often think that the desire comes first and drives people to
seek out sexual pleasure, she said. In reality, desire is a lot like hunger, she
said. You might eat because you're starving, or because you're bored, or because
it's 6:30 p.m. and that's when you have dinner.
Paul Joannides, PsyD, a psychoanalyst in Waldport, Ore said:
Most women, like men, have masturbated at least once in their lives, research
suggests. Frequency varies, and there's no "normal" for that. There's no
''normal" cutoff age, either, with the practice continuing into the 80s and
Women may feel guilty about it, especially if they are in a committed
relationship, but there’s no need for guilt, sex therapists say. Sometimes a
partner could just be tired, out of town, or otherwise unavailable.
There is no one "method" of masturbation in women that's normal. "A range of
ways is 'normal,''
Fingers and vibrators are two common methods of women's masturbation. More than
half of 2,056 women, aged 18 to 60, used a vibrator either during masturbation
or intercourse, says Debby Herbenick, PhD, MPH, associate director of the Center
for Sexual Health Promotion at Indiana University, Bloomington, who led the
Other women who masturbate report they use the back of a vibrating toothbrush
head, the handle of a hairbrush, or water jets in the bathtub, Joannides says.
Although some experts worry about side effects from vibrator use, such as
genital numbness or pain, less than 30% of the women in Herbenick's vibrator
survey said they had experienced them.
But another expert, Frank Sommers, MD, a Toronto psychiatrist, worries that
excessive vibrator use during masturbation could desensitize women to orgasms
with a partner. “I tell my patients, ‘Look on a vibrator as whipped cream -- you
wouldn’t want to eat it every day.’’’
He believes too much vibrator use ‘’habituates your autonomic nervous system to
such stimulation that a human could not duplicate it.”
However a woman chooses to masturbate, it can improve her spirits. "It can
improve a depressed mood," says Kathleen Segraves, PhD, a sex therapist and
associate professor of psychiatry at Case Western Reserve University and a
therapist at Metrohealth Medical Center in Cleveland, Ohio. "Not clinical
depression, but the 'blue funk' days."
"With solo sex, there is no distraction, and you can focus on your own
experience without making sure someone else is having a good time," she says.
It doesn't mean you don't love your partner, maybe just that you need to think
only about yourself sometimes, experts say. "The woman doesn't have to be
outside her head, wondering, 'Am I taking too long?'" Segraves says.
Women who masturbate on a regular basis learn what feels good for them, Segraves
says. "It helps build sexual confidence," she says. "It helps you guide the
partner when you have a partner.”
You can say, for instance: "Please put your hand here," and not be embarrassed,
Women who use a vibrator during masturbation tend to have better sexual
functioning with a partner, Herbenick says.
Sex therapists typically recommend masturbation for women who have a difficult
time reaching orgasm. It can help them learn about their body and feel less
"We know that women compared to men have a harder time learning to orgasm,"
Herbenick says. Masturbating can help, and masturbating with a vibrator may help
even more, she says. "Using a vibrator, for reasons we don't understand, helps
women orgasm." The survey is published in the Journal of Sexual Medicine.
Those who used a vibrator, she found, even if it had been a year since the last
use, "had better sexual functioning in terms of vaginal lubrication, desire,
arousal, and ease of orgasm, and they tended to have less pain or discomfort
But "it may be that those who don't find sex painful tend to use a vibrator,”
she says.Women are more apt than men to over-analyze a bad day and think: "How
could I have done this better?" They are more likely than men, some researchers
have found, to replay an argument or bad interaction with people in their head.
It all adds up to excess stress.
Researchers call this rumination, and it has been linked in numerous studies to
"If you can start pleasuring yourself, that will often interfere with
ruminations," Segraves says. "Not all the time," she says. But it may help.
Women who masturbate often report that it helps relieve menstrual cramps and to
improve the symptoms of premenstrual syndrome (PMS or PMDD), such as
irritability and crankiness.
Masturbating to orgasm may help migraine, too. Although orgasm has sometimes
been found to trigger a migraine headache, it may also relieve it, according to
some research. Scientists speculate that some factor associated with orgasm (by
yourself or with a partner) may suppress pain or actually suppress the migraine