Transcript: Elisabeth Lloyd on The Case of the Female Orgasm | Oct 01, 2006

(Theme music plays)

In animation, the title "Big Ideas" appears on screen on a dynamic orange background.

Next, Andrew appears in a studio. He’s in his late thirties with short black hair and he is clean-shaven. He wears a black suit and a turquoise shirt.

Andrew says HELLO, I'M
ANDREW MOODIE, AND THIS IS
BIG IDEAS.
AND ON TODAY'S PROGRAM, WE HAVE
AN INCENDIARY IDEA FOR YOU, SOME
MIGHT EVEN SAY...ORGASMIC.
HOWEVER, IF THERE ARE CHILDREN
IN THE ROOM AND YOU DON'T FEEL
LIKE ANSWERING POSSIBLY SOME...
AWKWARD QUESTIONS, THEN JUST
SEND THEM OUT TO PLAY RIGHT NOW.
I'LL WAIT.
DON'T WORRY, NO, GO.
I'LL TALK ABOUT SOMETHING ELSE.
UH, DON'T YOU HATE IT WHEN, UH,
YOU GET ON THE SUBWAY AND YOU
TAKE THE TRAIN GOING THE WRONG WAY?
AND YOU END UP...
ARE THEY GONE?
OKAY, GOOD.
TODAY'S LECTURE...
IS BY ELISABETH LLOYD.
AND HER SUBJECT IS FEMALE
ORGASM.
SHE IS A PROFESSOR OF PHILOSOPHY
AND BIOLOGY AT INDIANA
UNIVERSITY, AND, NOT
SURPRISINGLY, SHE'S A FACULTY
SCHOLAR AT THE KINSEY INSTITUTE.
A FEW YEARS BACK, SHE'D
PUBLISHED
THE CASE OF THE
FEMALE ORGASM: BIAS IN THE
SCIENCE OF EVOLUTION.
SCIENCE HAS FOR SOME TIME BEEN
PUZZLED BY THE EXISTENCE OF THE
FEMALE ORGASM.
THE MALE ORGASM IS AN
EVOLUTIONARY DEVELOPMENT THAT...
AIDS IN THE...RELEASE OF...SPERM.
A VERY IMPORTANT ACTIVITY FOR
REPRODUCTION.
BUT WHERE DOES THE FEMALE ORGASM
FIT INTO THE EVOLUTIONARY
PUZZLE?
RECENT STUDIES HAVE PUT FORWARD
THE IDEA THAT THE FEMALE ORGASM
IS ESSENTIAL IN DELIVERING SPERM
TO THE UTERUS.
OR, THAT IT HELPS TO BOND THE
FEMALE TO A, QUOTE...
"BETTER MATE."
UNQUOTE.
WELL.
DOCTOR LLOYD THINKS THAT'S ALL A
BUNCH OF HOOEY.
BUT I'LL LET HER EXPLAIN.

Elisabeth appears on screen. She stands in front of an audience at a conference. She’s in her fifties. She has long straight blond hair tied up and wears a black dress underneath a red jacket and a colourful scarf.

Elisabeth says I'VE BEEN
GETTING INTO A LITTLE TROUBLE
FOR THIS BOOK I WROTE.

A book cover appears on screen. The main picture captures the eyes or a woman looking up. The title reads "The cast of the female orgasm. Bias in the science of evolution."

Elisabeth continues
UH, IF ANYONE'S AT ALL FAMILIAR
WITH THEORIES ABOUT THE
EVOLUTION OF FEMALE ORGASM,
THEY'VE USUALLY HEARD ABOUT THE
PAIR-BOND ACCOUNT.
OR THE SPERM UP-SUCK ACCOUNT,
VERY ROMANTIC NAME. AND, I'LL
TALK ABOUT BOTH OF THEM TODAY.
AND HERE'S THE ORDER OF
PRESENTATION.
UM, I'LL TALK ABOUT THE PAIR
BOND ACCOUNT FIRST, FOLLOWED BY
SOME SEXOLOGY, THIS IS BASIC,
UH, OR FEMALE ORGASM 101.
AND, FOLLOWED BY SOME DISCUSSION
OF MALE BIAS AND THE BASICS OF
EVOLUTIONARY EXPLANATIONS.
I'LL TALK ABOUT THE BY-PRODUCT
ACCOUNT.
ALSO A PROBLEMATIC NAME, IT
TURNS OUT.
AND THE, UH, RETURNING TO THE
ROMANTIC SPERM UP-SUCK ACCOUNT.

The caption changes to "Elisabeth Lloyd. History and Philosophy of Science, Indiana University."

Elisabeth continues AND, UH,
I'LL TALK ABOUT RESPONSES TO MY
BOOK, BOTH FROM THE SCIENTIFIC
COMMUNITY AND FROM FEMINISTS.
AND THEN I'LL GIVE, UH, MY
ANALYSIS OF THE EARLY AND PUBLIC
FEMINIST RESPONSES.
NOW, 11 OF THE AVAILABLE 21
EVOLUTIONARY EXPLANATIONS FOR
FEMALE ORGASM ARE BASED ON THE
NOTION THAT A MALE-FEMALE PAIR
BOND IS ADAPTIVE.

Then it changes to "The case of the Female Orgasm. York University. May 31, 2006."

Elisabeth continues THAT IS,
THAT IT CONTRIBUTES TO GETTING
THE GENES INTO THE FUTURE
GENERATIONS, AND THAT FEMALE
ORGASMS HELP WITH PAIR-BONDING.
A PAIR-BOND IS AN ATTACHMENT,
USUALLY MONOGAMOUS, BETWEEN A
PARTICULAR MAN AND WOMAN.
THE PAIR-BOND IS SUPPOSED TO BE
ADAPTIVE FOR SEVERAL REASONS,
ESPECIALLY IN THAT IT HELPS WITH
THE RAISING OF THE VERY
DEPENDANT HUMAN INFANTS.
"THE VAST BULK OF
COPULATION IN OUR SPECIES..."
THIS IS A QUOTE, FROM...."..IS OBVIOUSLY CONCERNED NOT
WITH PRODUCING OFFSPRING, BUT
WITH CEMENTING THE PAIR-BOND BY
PROVIDING NEUTRAL REWARDS FOR
THE SEXUAL PARTNERS."
THE QUOTE, IS FROM DESMOND
MORRIS, ONE OF THE LEADING
PAIR-BOND THEORISTS.
EVEN THOUGH HE WAS A SCIENTIST
WORKING IN OTHER AREAS, AND HIS
BOOK, THE NAKED APE, WAS A
POPULAR BOOK, HIS WORK WAS VERY
INFLUENTIAL ON OTHER SCIENTISTS
WHO ADOPTED THIS PAIR-BOND VIEW.
MORE SPECIFICALLY, THE CLAIM IS
THAT THE PAIR-BOND IS ADAPTIVE
BECAUSE IT HELPS WITH THE
RAISING OF INFANTS AND SO ON.
AND, FREQUENT INTERCOURSE
"CEMENTS" THE PAIR-BOND, WE
WON'T GO INTO THE IMAGERY.
AND ONE OF...
FEMALE ORGASM IS THE REWARD FOR
THE FEMALE'S PARTICIPATION IN
FREQUENT INTERCOURSE.
THEREFORE, FEMALE ORGASM IS
ADAPTIVE. SO THE YEAR BEFORE MORRIS
PUBLISHED HIS BOOK IN 1987, A
MAJOR EVENT OCCURRED IN
SEXOLOGY:
THE PUBLICATION OF MASTERS AND
JOHNSON'S BOOK, HUMAN FEMALE
SEXUAL RESPONSE, WHICH
OUTLINED A PATTERN OF SEXUAL
EXCITEMENT AND ORGASM EXHIBITED
BY BOTH MEN AND WOMEN.
MASTERS AND JOHNSON'S MODEL
EMPHASIZED THE INDIRECT
STIMULATION OF THE CLITORIS THAT
OCCURS DURING PENETRATION IN
VAGINAL INTERCOURSE...
AND WHEN I SAY "INTERCOURSE,"
I'M GONNA REFER, FROM NOW ON, TO
VAGINAL INTERCOURSE.
MEANING THAT, UM, WHICH ON THEIR
MODEL LED ALWAYS TO
INTERCOURSE...
TO ORGASM.
FOR THE WOMEN.
BUT THERE'S A PROBLEM WITH THIS.

The audience laughs.

Elisabeth continues OKAY.
SO LET'S REVIEW SOME BASIC
DYNAMICS OF WOMAN'S' ORGASM.
WHEN THE FEMALE ORGASMS OCCUR.
MANY OF WOMEN'S' ORGASMS ARE
ACHIEVED THROUGH MASTURBATION,
AS KINSEY AND HIS COLLEAGUES
FAMOUSLY INDICATED IN 1953.
GOT INTO A BIT OF TROUBLE FOR
IT.
THE MOST STRIKING THING ABOUT
FEMALE MASTURBATION IS HOW
LIKELY IT IS TO PRODUCE ORGASM.
IN 1953, KINSEY AND HIS
COLLEAGUES FOUND THAT ALMOST TWO
THIRDS OF THEIR SAMPLES...
THIS IS IN '53...
OF NEARLY 6,000 WOMEN HAD
MASTURBATED.
AND AMONG THESE, ONLY FOUR PER
CENT DID NOT HAVE ORGASM WITH
MASTURBATION.
SIMILARLY, HITE FOUND THAT 82
PER CENT OF HER SAMPLE OF ABOUT
3,000 WOMEN SAID THAT THEY
MASTURBATED, AND ONLY FOUR PER
CENT, AGAIN, OF THESE DID NOT
HAVE ORGASM THAT WAY, WHILE 95
PER CENT OF THESE WOMEN COULD,
QUOTE, ."..COULD ORGASM EASILY
AND READILY WHENEVER THEY
WANTED."
END QUOTE.
THE STANDARD METHODS OF FEMALE
MASTURBATION ARE OF GREAT
INTEREST.
GEBHARDT, ONE OF KINSEY'S
COLLEAGUES, NOTES THAT THE MOST
COMMON MASTURBATION TECHNIQUE IS
THE MANUAL STIMULATION OF THE
CLITORIS AND THE SMALL LIPS OF
THE VULVA, WHICH ACCOUNTS FOR...
YES, 84 PERCENT OF ALL ACTS
OF MASTURBATION AMONG THE
WOMEN THE KINSEY TEAM SURVEYED.
LESS THAN ONE FIFTH OF WOMEN
MASTURBATE BY INSERTING AN
OBJECT OR FINGERS INTO THE
VAGINA, AND NEARLY ALL OF THOSE
WHO DO SO ACCOMPANY THIS ACTION
WITH SIMULTANEOUS CLITORAL
STIMULATION.
AS KINSEY HIMSELF NOTED, WOMEN
ALMOST NEVER MASTURBATE SOLELY
IN IMITATION OF THE ACT OF
INTERCOURSE, BY INSERTING
SOMETHING INTO THE VAGINA,
WITHOUT ALSO SIMULTANEOUSLY
STIMULATING THE CLITORIS.
HITE FOUND THAT ONLY 1.5 PER
CENT OF WOMEN MASTURBATE BY
VAGINAL INSERTION ALONE.
I'M SORRY ABOUT THE SLIDE,
THE...
THAT'S 3,000 WOMEN, NOT 300.
SOME FEMALE ORGASMS ALSO OCCUR
DURING HETEROSEXUAL INTERCOURSE,
BUT THEY'RE MORE PROBLEMATIC.
IN MY RESEARCH I'VE SUMMARIZED
32 STUDIES SPANNING NEARLY 80
YEARS ON THE RATES OF FEMALE
ORGASM WITH INTERCOURSE.
IN SOME, IT SEEMS THAT ABOUT 20
TO 25 PER CENT OF WOMEN ALWAYS
OR ALMOST ALWAYS HAVE ORGASM
WITH INTERCOURSE.
AND MANY OF THESE WOMEN DO SO BY
ACCOMPANYING INTERCOURSE WITH
DIRECT STIMULATION OF THE
CLITORIS BY HAND.
EITHER THEIRS OR THEIR PARTNERS,
OR BY VIBRATOR.
THIS IS CALLED "ASSISTED
INTERCOURSE." ROUGHLY ONE
THIRD OF WOMEN RARELY OR NEVER
HAVE ORGASM WITH INTERCOURSE,
WHICH, WELL, ABOUT A THIRD OF
WOMEN SOMETIMES TO AND SOMETIMES
DON'T. MOST OF THE
NUMBERS ON THE FREQUENCY OF
WOMEN WHO NEVER HAVE ORGASM AT
ALL, UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCES,
RANGE BETWEEN 5 AND 10 PER CENT.
NOW MANY PEOPLE ARE SURPRISED
THAT THIS NUMBER IS SO HIGH.
WOMEN WHO NEVER HAVE ORGASM IN
THEIR LIVES VERY RARELY TALK
ABOUT IT, IT SEEMS.
BUT A NEW STUDY LAST YEAR ON THE
NERVES OF THE CLITORIS
DOCUMENTED A LIKELY REASON WHY
SOME WOMEN REMAIN IN-ORGASMIC,
DESPITE ALL THE "RIGHT KINDS" OF
STIMULATION. IT FOUND DECREASED,
SIGNIFICANTLY DECREASED,
NERVE FUNCTION FOR WOMEN WITH
SEVERAL FORMS OF SEXUAL
PROBLEMS.
INCLUDING THOSE WHO DID NOT HAVE
ORGASM, INDICATING A
PHYSIOLOGICAL BASIS FOR THE
TRAIT OF NO ORGASM.
AT ANY RATE, I CALL THE OVERALL
GAP BETWEEN THE PARTICIPATION OF
WOMEN IN INTERCOURSE...
UM, THEIR FREQUENCY OF ORGASM IN
INTERCOURSE, THE
ORGASM-INTERCOURSE DISCREPANCY.
IF WE LOOK BACK AT MASTURBATION,
THOUGH, WE GET A VERY DIFFERENT
PICTURE OF FEMALE SEXUAL RESPONSE.
IN THE MASTURBATION STUDIES WE
FIND EASILY AND QUICKLY ORGASMIC
WOMEN.
IN FACT, CONTRARY TO THE
WIDESPREAD BELIEF THAT WOMEN ARE
SLOWER TO REACH ORGASM THAN MEN,
BOTH MEN AND WOMEN TAKE THE
EXACT SAME AMOUNT OF TIME ON
AVERAGE TO REACH ORGASM DURING
MASTURBATION, JUST UNDER FOUR
MINUTES.
THE CONTRAST BETWEEN THESE TWO
PORTRAITS OF FEMALE SEXUALITY
LED MANY SEX RESEARCHERS, MOST
PROMINENTLY KINSEY AND MASTERS
AND JOHNSON, AS WELL AS OTHERS,
TO CONCLUDE THAT INTERCOURSE
DOES OFTEN, DOES NOT PROVIDE THE
RIGHT KIND OF SUSTAINED
STIMULATION OF THE CLITORIS...
CLITORAL AREA, TO INDUCE FEMALE
ORGASM.
SO THESE ARE THE KEY FEATURES OF
FEMALE ORGASM NECESSARY TO
EVALUATE EVOLUTIONARY ACCOUNTS
OF THE TRAIT.
GOING BACK, IT'S CLEAR FROM THE
PAIR-BOND THEORIST WRITINGS THAT
THEY'RE USING MASTERS AND
JOHNSON'S MODEL OF INDIRECT
COITAL STIMULATION CAUSED BY
THRUSTING DURING INTERCOURSE.
AS THE PENIS MOVES BACK AND
FORTH DURING THEIR THRUSTING, IT
PULLS THE LABIA MINORA,
WHICH ARE ATTACHED TO THE SKIN
COVERING THE CLITORIS, THE HOOD
BACK AND FORTH WITH IT, SO
INDIRECTLY MOVING THE SKIN
AROUND OVER THE CLITORAL GLANDS.
THIS IS NOT LIKE MASTURBATION.
IN OTHER WORDS, THE CLITORIS IS
STIMULATED PRIMARILY BY FRICTION
AGAINST IT'S OWN HOOD.
BUT MASTERS AND JOHNSON
DEVELOPED THIS MODEL BY
OBSERVING THE WOMEN IN THEIR
STUDY.
WOMEN WHO WERE SELECTED FOR
THEIR STUDY ONLY IF THEY COULD
CONSISTENTLY AND EASILY HAVE
ORGASMS DURING INTERCOURSE.
BUT WE KNOW FROM THE STATISTICS
THAT I SHOWED YOU BEFORE THAT
MASTERS AND JOHNSON'S WOMEN ARE
NOT TYPICAL OF WOMEN IN GENERAL,
AND IN FACT REPRESENT ONLY THE
SIX TO TEN PER CENT OF THE
FEMALE POPULATION WHO ARE ABLE
TO HAVE NO HANDS ORGASM WITH
INTERCOURSE.
THIS IS A PROBLEM FOR MORRIS,
AND ALL OF THE OTHER PAIR-BOND
THEORISTS, BECAUSE YOU CAN'T USE
A TRAIT POSSESSED BY ONLY SIX TO
TEN PER CENT OF THE POPULATION
TO TELL AN EVOLUTIONARY STORY.
IF A TRAIT IS AN ADAPTATION,
SPECIES-WIDE, WE EXPECT TO SEE
IT IN NEARLY 100 PER CENT OF THE
POPULATION, ALL THINGS BEING
EQUAL.
BUT MORRIS AND THE OTHER
PAIR-BOND THEORISTS NEVER
ADDRESS THIS PROBLEM.
WHAT'S EVEN ODDER IS THAT
SEVERAL OF THESE PAIR-BOND
ACCOUNTS ACTUALLY CITE THE SEX
RESEARCH CONTAINING THE CRUCIAL
INFORMATION THAT UNDERMINES
THEIR ACCOUNTS.
"BUT," YOU MAY BE THINKING,
"SURELY THIS PROBLEM WITH THE
ORGASM DISCREPANCY ISN'T FATAL.
ISN'T IT ENOUGH THAT WOMEN HAVE
ORGASMS SOMETIMES DURING THE
SEXUAL ENCOUNTER, FOR FEMALE
ORGASM TO BE SELECTIVE.
THEN ORGASM WOULD STILL COUNT AS
AN ADAPTATION, THAT SUPPORTED
THE PAIR-BOND."
BUT, I'M AFRAID THIS HYPOTHESIS
DON'T WORK, WON'T WORK, BASED ON
WHAT WE KNOW NOW ANYWAY.
WILLIAM DAVENPORT, IN HIS STUDY
OF SEXUAL PRACTICES FROM 114
CULTURES FROM AROUND THE GLOBE,
INCLUDING HUNTER-GATHERER,
AGRICULTURAL AND SO FORTH,
CONCLUDED THE FOLLOWING:
AND ADMITTEDLY THIS IS NOT
SUFFICIENT, BUT IT IS, WE CAN
ONLY GO ON WHAT WE KNOW NOW.
QUOTE.."..IN MOST OF THE SOCIETIES FOR
WHICH THERE ARE DATA, IT IS
REPORTED THAT MEN TAKE THE
INITIATIVE AND, WITHOUT EXTENDED
FOREPLAY, PROCEED VIGOROUSLY
TOWARD CLIMAX, WITHOUT MUCH
REGARD FOR ACHIEVING SYNCHRONY
WITH THE WOMAN'S ORGASM.
AGAIN AND AGAIN.
THERE ARE REPORTS THAT COITUS IS
PRIMARILY COMPLETED IN TERMS OF
A MAN'S PASSIONS AND PLEASURES,
WITH SCANT ATTENTION PAID TO THE
WOMAN'S RESPONSE."
END QUOTE.
KINSEY AND HIS COLLEAGUES CAME
TO A SIMILAR CONCLUSION ABOUT
AMERICAN SEXUAL PRACTICES IN THE
MID-20th CENTURY.
THUS THERE SEEMS TO BE LITTLE
OPPORTUNITY FOR A FEMALE ORGASM
TO OCCUR AT ANY POINT DURING A
GIVEN SEXUAL ENCOUNTER, MUCH
LESS FOR IT TO BE ACTUALLY
SELECTED. MY
CONCLUSION FROM THIS OUT OF 11
PAIR-BOND ACCOUNTS, THE FEMALE
ORGASM, IS THAT THERE IS A
MALE-CENTERED BIAS OPERATING.
FOR THROUGHOUT THE EXPLANATIONS,
FEMALE RESPONSE TO INTERCOURSE
IS ASSUMED TO BE IDENTICAL TO
MALE RESPONSE TO INTERCOURSE.
KINSEY ESTABLISHED THE MALE'S RESPONSE
TO INTERCOURSE IS ALMOST ALWAYS
ORGASM.
AND IN THESE PAIR-BOND
EXPLANATIONS, FEMALE RESPONSE TO
INTERCOURSE IS ASSUMED TO BE
IDENTICAL.
THAT IS, ORGASM.
UNIVERSAL, UNPROBLEMATIC, ORGASM
FOR THE FEMALES AS THE REWARD
FOR INTERCOURSE, AS THEY
DESCRIBE IT.
MALE-CENTERED BIAS INVOLVES
LOOKING AT THINGS FROM AN
EXCLUSIVELY MALE POINT OF VIEW,
AND CONSEQUENTLY NEGLECTING A
DISTINCT TREATMENT OF THE FEMALE
POINT OF VIEW.
IN THESE SCENARIOS, AN
AUTONOMOUS, OR DISTINCTLY
DIFFERENT, FEMALE SEXUALITY,
WHICH EMERGES SO CLEARLY FROM
THE SEX RESEARCH, IS
MYSTERIOUSLY IGNORED.
THIS IS WHAT I SOMETIMES REFER
TO AS "LOCKER ROOM SCIENCE."
IT SEEMS THAT THESE AUTHORS DID
NOT ACTUALLY USE THE REFERENCES
THEY CITED.
BUT RATHER EMPLOYED COMMON, AND
MISTAKEN, LOCKER ROOM
UNDERSTANDINGS OF FEMALE
SEXUALITY IN THEIR SCIENTIFIC
ACCOUNTS.
THUS I CONCLUDE THAT A HEALTHY
HALF OF ADAPTIVE EXPLANATIONS OF
FEMALE ORGASM ARE BIASED,
SPECIFICALLY FROM THE
MALE-CENTERED NEGLECT OF VERY
WELL-DOCUMENTED DIFFERENCES
AMONG MALES AND FEMALES.
I DON'T WANNA EXPAND THE
CONCLUSIONS OF THIS CASE STUDY
BEYOND THE LIMITS OF WHAT I'VE
ESTABLISHED.
I'M NOT INTERESTED IN MAKING
CLAIMS THAT ALL HUMAN
EVOLUTIONARY SCIENCE IS EFFECTED
BY MALE-CENTERED BIAS, FOR
EXAMPLE.
BUT FOR 25 YEARS, I'VE LISTENED
TO PHILOSOPHERS AND BIOLOGISTS
CLAIMING THAT NO LEGITIMATE AND
RIGOROUS CASE STUDY HAS SHOWN A
LONG TERM, LASTING EFFECT OF
BIAS ON THE OUTCOME OF THE
SCIENCES.
AGAIN AND
AGAIN.
I CLAIM THAT THIS IS SUCH A
CASE.

A picture on screen shows an anteater at a zoo.

Elisabeth continues
NOW LET'S BRIEFLY REVIEW THE
BASICS OF EVOLUTIONARY
EXPLANATIONS.
DO YOU KNOW WHAT THIS IS?
IT'S A GIANT ANTEATER.
THIS IS AN ANIMAL BELONGING
TO...
THIS IS AN ANIMAL BELONGING TO
THE ORDER OF MAMMALS THAT
INCLUDES ARMADILLOS AND SLOTHS.
BUT THEY ALL DESCENDED FROM AN
ANIMAL MUCH LIKE AN ARMADILLO,
MINUS THE ARMOUR.
ANTEATERS HAVE SINCE EVOLVED
SPECIAL TRAITS.
THEIR 25 INCH LONG TONGUES.
AND GIANT SALIVARY GLANDS THAT
PRODUCE STICKY SALIVA, THEN
ENHANCE THEIR SURVIVAL AND
REPRODUCTION.
ANCESTORS WHO TENDED TO HAVE
LONGER, STICKIER TONGUES COULD
SUCCESSFULLY EAT MORE ANTS FROM
A NEST THAN THOSE WITH SHORTER,
LES STICKY TONGUES.
THUS, THEY HAD HIGHER
REPRODUCTIVE SUCCESS.
OVER EVOLUTIONARY TIME, THEN,
THOSE TRAITS BECAME VERY
SPECIALIZED AND EXAGGERATED,
LEAVING US WITH THESE GIANT
ANTEATERS WE HAVE TODAY.
THUS WE START WITH VARIATION IN
THE CRUCIAL TRAITS OF TONGUE
LENGTH AND STICKINESS, AND
BECAUSE THERE WAS A REPRODUCTIVE
ADVANTAGE ASSOCIATED WITH THESE
TRAITS, AS WELL AS VARIATION IN
THE TRAIT, WE HAVE THE
ANTEATER'S SPECIALIZED
ADAPTATIONS THAT CONTRIBUTE TO
THEIR REPRODUCTIVE SUCCESS OR
FITNESS TODAY.
THAT'S HOW A BASIC EXPLANATION
OF NATURAL SELECTION WORKS.
AND THE ADAPTATIONISTS CLAIM
IN ALL OF THOSE ACCOUNTS IS THAT
FEMALE ORGASM IS SUCH A TRAIT.
VARIATION IN THE PAST, AND TODAY
WE HAVE FEMALE ORGASM, BECAUSE
IT IS SUCH A SPECIALIZED
ADAPTIVE TRAIT.
CONTRIBUTING AND CORRELATED WITH
HIGHER FERTILITY.
NOW, WHEN ADAPTIVE EXPLANATIONS
ARE NOT APPROPRIATE FOR A
PARTICULAR TRAIT, OTHER TYPES OF
EVOLUTIONARY ACCOUNTS ARE
AVAILABLE.
SUCH EXPLANATIONS FOCUS ON THE
DEVELOPMENT OR (Unclear) BIOLOGY
OF THE ORGANISM.
FOR EXAMPLE, CONSIDER THE
PROBLEM OF WHEN MALE MAMMALS
HAVE NIPPLES.
I'M SURE YOU HAVE. NIPPLES
CLEARLY PROVIDE A REPRODUCTIVE
ADVANTAGE TO FEMALE MAMMALS, IN
THAT THEY AID REPRODUCTIVE
SUCCESS BY PROVIDING THE MEANS
TO FEED THE OFFSPRING.
BUT CERTAINLY THERE'S NO
CONTRIBUTION TO FITNESS FOR THE
MALES.
THE EVOLUTIONARY EXPLANATION FOR
THE EXISTENCE OF MALE NIPPLES IS
BASED ON THE DEVELOPMENT OF THE
EMBRYO.
MALES AND FEMALES SHARE THE SAME
EMBRYOLOGIC FORM IN THE
BEGINNINGS OF LIFE, THEY START
OFF WITH THE SAME BASIC BODY
PLAN.
AND ONLY IF, IF THE MALE
EMBRYOS RECEIVE A JOLT OF
HORMONES DURING THE EIGHTH WEEK
OF PREGNANCY, DO ANY SEXUALLY
DISTINGUISHING CHARACTERS APPEAR
AND THEY BRANCH OFF INTO THE
DIFFERENT SEXES.
IN FEMALES, NIPPLES ARE
ADAPTATIONS.
THEY ARE ACTIVELY SELECTED FOR
THEM.
BUT THE MALES GET THEM FOR FREE.
THIS SORT OF
EXPLANATION IS CALLED
"DEVELOPMENTAL" OR
"NON-ADAPTIVE."
AND MALE NIPPLES ARE SEEN AS
BY-PRODUCTS. A PARALLEL
EXPLANATION WAS OFFERED BY
DONALD SIMONS BACK IN 1979 FOR
THE FEMALE ORGASM.
FEMALES HAVE ORGASM BECAUSE
ORGASM IS STRONGLY SELECTED IN
MALES.
AND BOTH SEXES SHARE THE SAME
COMMON FORM IN THE WOMB.
THE TISSUES
INVOLVED IN ORGASM FOR MALES AND
FEMALES ARE VERY SIMILAR.
THESE INCLUDE NERVE TISSUES
INVOLVED IN SENSING STIMULATION
AND EXCITEMENT.
ERECTILE TISSUES, THE
SPONGE-LIKE TISSUES THAT CAN
BECOME ENGORGED WITH BLOOD AND
EXPAND DURING SEXUAL EXCITEMENT.
AND THE MUSCLE FIBRES, WHICH ARE
INVOLVED IN ORGASMIC
CONTRACTIONS.
THESE ARE ALSO SHARED BETWEEN
THE SEXES.
IT'S CRUCIAL TO UNDERSTAND THAT
THE PENIS AND THE CLITORIS ARE
THE SAME ORGAN IN MEN AND WOMEN.
THERE'S AN ORGAN IN THE
PRIMORDIAL, UNDIFFERENTIATED
EMBRYO THAT TURNS INTO A PENIS
IF IT RECEIVES A DOSE OF
PARTICULAR HORMONES.
OTHERWISE IT MATURES INTO A
CLITORIS.
NOW THERE'S A VARIETY OF
EVIDENCE SUPPORTING THIS
ACCOUNT.
STRIKINGLY, FEMALES MASTURBATE
THROUGH DIRECT STIMULATION OF
THE CLITORIS, THE MATCHING ORGAN
TO THE PENIS, AND NOT THROUGH
SIMULATING INTERCOURSE.
JUST AS WE WOULD EXPECT UNDER
THE BY-PRODUCT ACCOUNT.
SIMILAR STIMULATION TO MATCHING
ORGANS YIELDS ORGASM FOR BOTH
SEXES.
THIS REASONING ALSO ALLOWS US TO
MAKE SENSE OF THE OTHERWISE VERY
PUZZLING DATA ON THE INFREQUENCY
WITH WHICH WOMEN EXPERIENCE
ORGASM WITH "UNASSISTED
INTERCOURSE."
UNDER THE COMMON ASSUMPTION THAT
THE CAPACITY FOR ORGASM IS
DESIGNED AS AN ADAPTATION TO
ENCOURAGE AND REWARD
INTERCOURSE, THIS INFREQUENCY
MIGHT BE SEEN AS A DESIGN FLAW.
SIMONS' THESIS IS ALSO SUPPORTED
BY THE NON-HUMAN PRIMATE
EVIDENCE.
HERE COMES MONKEY SEX.
FEMALE STUMP
TAILED MACAQUES HAVE BEEN SHOWN
TO HAVE ORGASMS BY HARD WIRING
THEM UP.
WHICH SHOWS THAT THEY HAVE THE
DISTINCTIVE CONTRACTIONS AND
OTHER BODILY MARKERS
CHARACTERISTIC OF ORGASM.
THERE IS A FASCINATING THING
ABOUT THESE ORGASMS, THOUGH:
MOST OF THEM OCCUR WHEN ONE
FEMALE CLIMBS ON TOP OF THE BACK
OF THE OTHER FEMALE AND RUBS HER
CLITORIS AGAINST THE OTHER ONE'S
BACK.
THUS PROVIDING THE DIRECT
RHYTHMIC STIMULATION DESIRED FOR
ORGASM.
A FEW OF THESE SAME FEMALES ALSO
HAVE ORGASMS WHILE COPULATING
WITH MALES, BUT THESE RATES TEND
TO BE QUITE LOW.
THIS IS BAD NEWS FOR
EVOLUTIONARY THEORISTS
ATTEMPTING TO TELL ADAPTIVE
STORIES OF FEMALE ORGASM THAT
TIE IT TO HETEROSEXUAL
COPULATION AND FERTILITY.
BUT IT'S COMPLETELY COMPATIBLE
WITH SIMONS' BY-PRODUCT ACCOUNT.
NOTE THAT SIMONS AND I ARE NOT
DENYING THAT THE CLITORIS, AS AN
ORGAN OF SENSATION, HAS A
CRUCIAL EVOLUTIONARY FUNCTION,
OR SET OF FUNCTIONS.
IN MY VIEW, THE CLITORIS ALMOST
CERTAINLY HAS BEEN SELECTED
BECAUSE IT AIDS THE FEMALE IN
SEXUAL EXCITEMENT, AND INDUCES
AND PREPARES HER TO HAVE
INTERCOURSE.
BUT THIS REASONING DOES NOT
EXTEND TO THE USE OF THESE SAME
TISSUES FOR FEMALE ORGASM.
ORGASM IS A SPECIAL REFLEX THAT
ONLY SOMETIMES RESULTS FROM
CLITORAL EXCITEMENT.
GENERAL SEXUAL EXCITEMENT, AND
THE SPECIAL REFLEX OF ORGASM,
ARE EASILY DISTINGUISHED BY US.
AND JUST AS EASILY...
I SPEAK OF WE WOMEN.
AND JUST AS EASILY DISTINGUISHED
BY NATURAL SELECTION.
I ARGUE IN MY BOOK THAT SIMONS'
HYPOTHESIS HAS BETTER EVIDENTIAL
SUPPORT THAN ANY AVAILABLE
HYPOTHESIS TODAY REGARDING
FEMALE ORGASM AS AN ADAPTATION.
IT MAKES SENSE OF FACTS THAT ARE
EMBARRASSMENTS UNDER ALL
SELECTIVE THEORIES.
NEVERTHELESS, SIMONS' THEORY HAS
ENCOUNTERED A GREAT DEAL OF
RESISTANCE.
PART OF THIS IS SURELY THE
BY-PRODUCT NAME.
SUSIE BRIGHT COMMENTED THAT IT
MADE FEMALE ORGASM SOUND LIKE A
CAN OF SPAM. SO, I'M
THINKING OF RENAMING IT "THE
FANTASTIC BONUS ACCOUNT."

The audience laughs.

Elisabeth continues WELL, THIS
IS MUCH MORE ACCURATE, AFTER
ALL.
BUT, A MUCH BIGGER PROBLEM HAS
BEEN THE GENERAL TENDENCY ON THE
PART OF EVOLUTIONISTS TO FAVOUR
EVOLUTIONARY EXPLANATIONS THAT
ATTRIBUTE FUNCTION TO EVERY TRAIT.
OTHERWISE KNOWN AS "ADAPTATIONISM."
IN GENERAL, ADAPTATIONISM IS
SIMPLY THE LEGITIMATE RESEARCH
PROGRAM IN EVOLUTIONARY SCIENCE
ORIENTED TOWARD DISCOVERING AND
INVESTIGATING THE FUNCTIONS AND
LIMITATIONS OF TRAITS.
THE PROBLEM HAS BEEN, IN
APPLICATION, THAT NOT ALL TRAITS
ARE, INDEED, ADAPTATIONS.
IN FACT, SOME EVOLUTIONISTS
WON'T TAKE NO FOR AN ANSWER
WHEN ASKING WHETHER A TRAIT HAS
AN EVOLUTIONARY FUNCTION.
SPEAKING OF WHICH...
THERE IS ANOTHER ACCOUNT THAT
YOU MIGHT HAVE HEARD OF WHICH
CLAIMS THAT THERE IS A SPECIAL
REPRODUCTIVE FUNCTION FOR FEMALE
ORGASM.
UNDER THIS THEORY, FEMALE ORGASM
IS ACCOMPANIED BY A SUCKING
ACTION OF THE UTERUS THAT HELPS
MOVE THE SPERM ALONG THE
REPRODUCTIVE TRACT, AND THUS
IMPLIES A HIGHER RATE OF
FERTILIZATION AMONG WOMEN WHO
HAVE ORGASMS. AND
ESPECIALLY WITH HIGHER QUALITY
MALES AND THIS IS THE...
GOOD MALES...GOOD MALES
GIVE GOOD ORGASMS TO WOMEN WHO
CHOOSE THEM.
THIS IS A...
THE SPERM UP-SUCK ACCOUNT IS A
VERY OLD PIECE OF FOLK WISDOM,
THAT THE UTERUS CAN SUCK IN
SPERM.
BUT TWO CURRENT RESEARCHERS HAVE
CLAIMED TO GIVE EVIDENCE FOR
THAT PARTICULAR PHENOMENON.
THIS UNHAPPILY TITLED "SPERM
UP-SUCK THEORY" REACHED AN
AUDIENCE OF MILLIONS THROUGH A
BRITISH TV DOCUMENTARY.
HOW MANY PEOPLE HAVE SEEN THE...
FILM?
YEAH.
WELL...
UM, THIS IS SHOWN IN THE US AND
CANADA, AND IT OSTENSIBLY SHOWED
THE MOVEMENT OF SPERM THROUGH
THE REPRODUCTIVE TRACT DUE TO
ORGASM.
IT'S BEEN WIDELY ACCEPTED, THE
THEORY HAS, BOTH AMONG LAY
PEOPLE AND SCIENTISTS.
UM, BUT WHAT YOU SAY YOU'RE
SHOWING ON TV ISN'T NECESSARILY
THE SAME AS WHAT YOU'RE
ACTUALLY SHOWING.
WHICH WAS THE CASE WITH THAT TV
SHOW.
YOU SAY "SEE?
THERE'S SUCTION HAPPENING."
CAN YOU SHOW SUCTION ON TV?
NO.
YOU CAN'T.
UM...
IT TURNS OUT.
UM, THE ACADEMIC WORK, AND YOU
CAN...
WE CAN TALK ABOUT IT IF YOU
WANT.
I KNOW, IT TOOK SOME TRACKING
DOWN.
ANYWAY, THE ACADEMIC WORK
UNDERLYING THE CLAIMS MADE IN
THAT DOCUMENTARY, THOUGH, HARK
BACK TO A SET OF PAPERS
PUBLISHED BY ROBIN BAKER AND
MARK BELLIS IN 1993.
THE BASIC IDEA IS THAT MARK
BELLIS, BAKER AND BELLIS DID A
SET OF EXPERIMENTS IN WHICH THEY
MEASURED APPROXIMATELY HOW MANY
SPERM WERE CONTAINED IN THE
FLUID THAT FLOWS BACK OUT OF THE
FEMALE FOLLOWING INTERCOURSE.
AND THEY COMPARED IT TO
CALCULATIONS OF HOW MANY SPERM
WERE EJACULATED IN ORDER TO COME
UP WITH AN ESTIMATE OF HOW MANY
SPERM WERE RETAINED IN THE WOMAN
DURING INTERCOURSE WITH AND
WITHOUT FEMALE ORGASM.
THE IDEA WAS TO SHOW WAS THAT
UTERINE SUCTION ACTUALLY
OCCURRED, REDUCING THE AMOUNT OF
FLOW BACK IN WOMAN WHO HAD AN
ORGASM.
BUT THERE'S SUCH SERIOUS
PROBLEMS WITH THE FUNDAMENTAL
DATA SET PRODUCED BY BAKER AND
BELLIS THAT IT FAILS TO MEET THE
MOST BASIC SCIENTIFIC STANDARDS
OF EVIDENCE.
93 OF THE DATA POINTS CAME FROM
ONE COUPLE. THAT'S
NEARLY THREE QUARTERS OF THE
DATA.
FOUR OF THE OTHER TEN COUPLES
CONTRIBUTED ONE DATA POINT EACH.
THAT'S THREE PER CENT OF THE
DATA.
WHILE ANOTHER THREE COUPLES
CONTRIBUTED A TOTAL OF SEVEN
POINTS.
ACCORDING TO THE THREE TOP
STATISTICIANS TO WHOM I SHOWED
THESE DATA, DIDN'T NEED TO, BUT
DID.
NONE OF WHOM HAD A STAKE IN THIS
PARTICULAR DEBATE, EXTRAPOLATING
TO THE POPULATION AT LARGE BASED
PRIMARILY ON THE RESULTS OF THE
SINGLE SUBJECT...
BADLY VIOLATES STANDARD
STATISTICAL PRACTICE.
BAKER AND BELLIS TRIED TO GET
AWAY FROM THIS PROBLEM, THE
PROBLEM OF SKEW IN A VARIETY OF
WAYS.
BUT IN DOING SO, ONLY MULTIPLIED
THEIR PROBLEMS BY APPEALING TO
MORE AND MORE PROBLEMATIC
ASSUMPTIONS.
IN THE END, THE BAKER AND BELLIS
DATA ARE STATISTICALLY
WORTHLESS, AND NO SCIENTIFIC
CONCLUSIONS CAN BE DRAWN FROM
THEM.
SO, WHY WAS THIS ACCOUNT ADOPTED
BY SO MANY OF THE TOP
RESEARCHERS IN HUMAN EVOLUTION
AND TAUGHT IN UNDERGRADUATE AND
GRADUATE HUMAN EVOLUTION COURSES
FOR THE PAST 12 YEARS FAR AND
WIDE BY EVOLUTIONARY
PSYCHOLOGISTS, EVOLUTIONISTS AND
SOCIO-BIOLOGISTS?
IT CANNOT BE BECAUSE THE PAPER
WAS GOOD SCIENCE. IT CLEARLY
WASN'T.
AS EVEN MY HARSHEST CRITICS NOW
AGREE.
IT SEEMS TO BE BECAUSE THEY JUST
LIKED WHAT THE PAPER HAD TO SAY,
MAINLY THAT FEMALE ORGASM SERVES
AN EVOLUTIONARY FUNCTION.
THAT IT EXISTS FOR THE
REPRODUCTIVE PURPOSE OF MOVING
SPERM THROUGH THE REPRODUCTIVE
TRACT. BUT LIKING
THE OUTCOME OF A PAPER IS NOT A
GOOD REASON TO ACCEPT IT AND
TREAT IT AS FACT WHEN THERE'S NO
GOOD EVIDENCE TO SUPPORT ITS
CONCLUSIONS.
THE FACT THAT THIS PAPER WAS SO
WIDELY AND UNCRITICALLY
ACCEPTED, AND FOR SO LONG,
DEMONSTRATES, I ARGUE, AN
ADAPTIVE BIAS.
THAT IS, THE RESEARCHERS FAVOUR
THE FUNCTIONAL VIEW OF FEMALE
ORGASM.
THEY ENDED UP, THROUGH BIAS,
VIEWING THE EVIDENTIAL SITUATION
COMPLETELY BACKWARDS.
THEY SAW THE FUNCTIONAL UP-SUCK
ACCOUNT AS VERY WELL CONFIRMED,
AND REJECTED THE ACTUALLY VERY
WELL CONFIRMED BY-PRODUCT
ACCOUNT ALTOGETHER.
THE FACT THAT THERE'S NO CURRENT
EVIDENCE SUPPORTING FEMALE
ORGASMS BEING AN ADAPTATION DOES
NOT MEAN THAT IT'S NOT ONE, OF
COURSE.
IT'S QUITE POSSIBLE THAT IT IS
AN ADAPTATION, BUT
THAT NO ONE FIGURED OUT HOW YET.
I DETAIL A NUMBER OF IMPORTANT
LINES OF RESEARCH TO PURSUE THIS
POSSIBILITY IN MY BOOK.
BUT THE FACT REMAINS THAT AT
THIS POINT, NO EVOLUTIONARY
EXPLANATION UNDER WHICH FEMALE
ORGASM IS AN ADAPTATION HAS
SATISFACTORY EVIDENCE SUPPORTING
IT.
THE SCIENTIFIC REVIEWS OF MY
BOOK HAVE...
RANGED WIDELY.
AND PREDICTABLY, IT'S THE
ADAPTATIONISTS WHO HAVE BEEN THE
CRITICS.
NASTY CRITICS.
SCIENTIFIC DISCOURSE, FAMOUS FOR
BEING COLD AND EMOTIONLESS...
SUDDENLY
ERUPTED INTO FLAMES UPON THE
ARRIVAL OF MY BOOK.
LEADING SOCIO-BIOLOGIST DAVID
BARASH WROTE IN A LEADING
SCIENTIFIC JOURNAL IN THE FIELD
QUOTE...."..LLOYD'S ZEALOUSNESS IS
COMPOUNDED BY A REGRETTABLE LACK
OF BIOLOGICAL SOPHISTICATION,
PLUS PLAIN OLD FASHIONED LOUSY
WRITING."
AND ASKED ."..HOW DID HER BOOK
EVER GET PUBLISHED BY ONE OF THE
FLAGSHIP PUBLISHERS OF ACADEMIC
AND SERIOUS TRADE BOOKS," A
REFERENCE TO HOWARD UNIVERSITY
PRESS.
WELL EVEN NATURE, REVIEWER
OLIVIA JUDSON GOT SNARKY AFTER
SHE MISTOOK MY CHARACTERIZATION
OF MY OPPONENT'S VIEW AS A
QUOTE, ."..ABSURD AND
UNJUSTIFIED COMMITMENT TO
NATURAL SELECTION AS AN
EXPLANATORY FORCE IN EVOLUTION,"
END QUOTE. SHE THEN
LISTED A SERIES OF MY RESEARCH
QUESTIONS AS IF THEY WERE HER
OWN, AND THEN IMPLIED THAT I
WOULD OPPOSE THEM.
BUT IT'S FEMINISTS WHO'VE BEEN
THE MOST ANGRY.
SOME FEMINISTS SAW THAT THE
ANALYSIS IN THE BOOK WAS NOT
ONLY FEMINIST, BUT ALSO OPENED
UP A PROGRESSIVE VISION OF
FEMALE SEXUALITY.
ALISON MOTLUK, FOR THE GLOBE
AND MAIL WROTE, QUOTE,."..SHE'S THE SHEILA FRASER OF
SCIENCE, AND SHE'S HOLDING A
PUBLIC INQUIRY."
END QUOTE.
AND SHE FINDS THE BOOK QUOTE,."..PENETRATING AND TANTALIZING,
EVEN INTENSELY SATISFYING."
VALERIE -- EVERYBODY
COULD, COULDN'T RESIST.
I, I PRIDE MYSELF ON THE FACT
THAT THERE ISN'T A SINGLE DOUBLE
ENTENDRE IN THE BOOK.
IF YOU FIND ONE, LET ME KNOW.
BUT VALERIE GIBSON OF THE
TORONTO SUN CELEBRATED
THE DEBUNKING OF LONG HELD
FUNCTIONAL THEORIES, CONCLUDING
BREATHLESSLY, QUOTE, ."..IN
OTHER WORDS, DOCTOR LLOYD CONCLUDES
THE FEMALE ORGASM IS FOR FUN.
OH YES, YES, YES!"
WHILE YOSHIE FURUHASHI
OF SEVEN OAKS IN
VANCOUVER NOTED THAT THE BOOK,
QUOTE, ."..MAKES A POWERFUL CASE
FOR THE AUTONOMY OF FEMALE
SEXUALITY." END QUOTE.
AND SEX EDUCATOR SUSIE BRIGHT
TIED THE LACK OF REPRODUCTIVE
FUNCTION OF ORGASM BACK INTO THE
CENTURY-LONG FEMINIST EFFORT TO
DECOUPLE FEMALE IDENTITY FROM
FEMALE SEXUALITY.
SHE PERCEIVES THAT THERE'S NO
CORRELATION BETWEEN THE DETAILED
ASPECTS OF ORGASM AND
REPRODUCTIVE SUCCESS, WHICH SHE
PUTS INTO STARK RELIEF.
QUOTE, ."..I'VE NEVER SEEN AN
EVOLUTIONARY ACCOUNT THAT SHOWS
THE LACK OF CONNECTION BETWEEN
FEMALE ORGASM AND MOTHERING."
END QUOTE.
BUT THESE PERCEPTIVE WOMEN...
HAVE BEEN IN THE MINORITY.
BUT I HAVE TO MENTION THE
OUTSTANDING SESSION I WITNESSED
YESTERDAY AT THE CANADIAN
PHILOSOPHICAL ASSOCIATION AND
THE CANADIAN SOCIETY FOR WOMEN
IN PHILOSOPHY. WHERE FIVE
FEMINIST COMMENTATORS GAVE VERY
INSIGHTFUL AND ORIGINAL
CRITIQUES OF THE BOOK.
I'M INDEBTED TO THEM FOR THAT.
BUT OTHER FEMINIST COLUMNISTS,
HEALTH PROFESSIONALS, POLITICAL
COMMENTATORS AND BLOGGERS HAVE
BEEN AFTER ME AS IF I'D
PERSONALLY BANNED FEMALE
ORGASMS. CHERRY
POTTER WROTE IN THE GUARDIAN
THAT SHOULD THE BY-PRODUCT VIEW
BE ACCEPTED AND CERTAIN
ASSUMPTIONS TAKEN, QUOTE,."..THIS WOULD BE A TRAGEDY FOR
WOMEN, AND RISK RETURNING TO THE
SEXUAL DARK AGES, WHEN SO MANY
THOUGHT SEX WAS SOMETHING MEN
ENJOYED AND WOMEN ENDURED."
END QUOTE.
AND AN OTHERWISE VERY GOOD
HEALTH NEWS LEDGE, LETTER
PUBLISHED THE FOLLOWING:
QUOTE, ."..I KEPT WONDERING IF
THIS THEORY COULD BE USED TO
EXCUSE FEMALE GENITAL
MUTILATION."
END QUOTE.
OTHER FEMINIST JOURNALISTS HAVE
CHARACTERIZED THE FANTASTIC
BONUS ACCOUNT AS QUOTE,."..PROPAGANDA" DESIGNED TO
PROMOTE THE VIEW THAT QUOTE,."..WOMEN DON'T NEED TO ORGASM,
AND THAT WOMEN'S ORGASMS ARE NOT
AS IMPORTANT AS MALES."
ANOTHER WROTE THAT QUOTE,."..FEMINISTS UNDERSTANDABLY
DON'T LIKE THE IDEA OF THEIR
SEXUALITY BEING REDUCED TO A
MERE ADAM'S RIB BY-PRODUCT."
END QUOTE.
ANOTHER SAID THAT THE ACCOUNT
QUOTE, ."..IS LIKE SAYING --."
THIS IS MY FAVOURITE.."..SAYING THAT FEMALE ORGASMS
ARE FRIVOLOUS, LIKE ALL FEMALE
THINGS."
END QUOTE.
ONE BLOGGER CALLED ME AN UNCLE
TOM FOR WOMEN.
ANOTHER WROTE THAT QUOTE,."..THINKING WOMEN,
LIBERAL OR CONSERVATIVE, WILL
NOT BE THRILLED BY THIS BOOK.
FUNDAMENTALIST CHRISTIANS, ON
THE OTHER HAND, WILL BE
ECSTATIC."
END QUOTE.
AND MANY STOOP TO PERSONAL
ATTACK ON MY SEXUALITY AND
PERSON.
INCLUDING POLITICAL ANALYST
ARIANNA HUFFINGTON, WITH HER
SHAMEFUL AND SHAMING QUOTE,."..BUT MAINLY THE PROBLEM IS
NOT WITH THE FEMALE ORGASM, BUT
WITH DOCTOR LLOYD," END QUOTE.
SYNDICATED LIBERAL POLITICAL
COLUMNIST, MARK MORFORD WROTE
SARCASTICALLY QUOTE, ."..NOTE
HOW MUCH FUN DOCTOR LLOYD MUST BE
AT PARTIES, OR ON A DATE."
END QUOTE.
WELL, ONE SIDE NOTE ON THE MANY,
MANY PERSONAL ATTACKS ON MY
SEXUAL DESIRABILITY AND
APPEARANCE, BUT I'M NOT GONNA
REPEAT THEM FOR YOU HERE.
UM, I COULDN'T FIGURE THEM OUT
FOR A COUPLE OF MONTHS.
UM, WHY ON EARTH WOULD PEOPLE,
AND MOST OF THEM ARE WOMEN, UM,
DISPARAGE A SET OF IDEAS BY
CRITICIZING THE ATTRACTIVENESS
OF THE AUTHOR?
UM, SHOULDN'T THE ATTACK BE
THAT, THAT I WAS STUPID OR
UNQUALIFIED?
UM...
THEN I REALIZED, UH, THAT'S THE
WAY TO CUT DOWN MALE STATUS.
BUT WOMEN'S STATUS, EVEN IF
SHE'S A PROFESSOR AND THE TARGET
IS A PURELY INTELLECTUAL
PRODUCT, IT'S STILL COMPLETELY
DETERMINED BY HER SEXUAL
ATTRACTIVENESS.
IT WAS AN "UH HUH" EXPERIENCE
FOR ME, AND SO I, I GUESS THE US
PRESIDENT BUSH ISN'T THE ONLY
ONE WHO LIVES IN A BUBBLE.
HOW CAN WE SORT OUT THIS RASH OF
COMMENTS?
IT'S CLEAR THAT THE RECEPTION
AND UNDERSTANDING OF THE BOOK
SUFFERED QUITE BADLY FROM THE
SOUND BYTE PHENOMENON.
THEY READ IN MEDIA ACCOUNTS
"LLOYD SAYS FEMALE ORGASM IS A
BY-PRODUCT."
AND HERE AGAIN, I'M WISHING I
ADOPTED THE FANTASTIC BONUS NAME
BEFORE THE NEW YORK TIMES
INTERVIEW LAST MAY.
BUT THEY HEARD "LLOYD SAYS
FEMALE ORGASM IS TRIVIAL,
DOESN'T MATTER."
THIS INVOLVES A RATHER BIG
MISTAKE.
LET'S START WITH THE FACT THAT
IT'S CLEAR THAT EVOLUTION
DOESN'T DICTATE WHAT'S
CULTURALLY IMPORTANT.
THE CAPACITIES TO READ, WRITE,
PLAY THE VIOLIN, SING OPERA AND
OPERATE A COMPUTER ARE EACH
OUR CULTURE, BUT THEY'RE NOT
EVOLUTIONARY ADAPTATIONS.
THEY'RE ALL BY-PRODUCTS.
NOW, IMAGINE IF SOMEBODY WERE TO
SAY IN PUBLIC...
"THERE'S NO EVOLUTIONARY
FUNCTION TO BEING A VIOLINIST."
WOULD YOU THEN FEAR THE
DISAPPEARANCE OF VIOLINISTS?
WOULD THE SPEAKER BE ATTACKED
FOR ADVOCATING THE DEMISE OF
VIOLINISTS?
OF DEMEANING ALL VIOLINISTS?
AND ALL MUSICIANS?
NO, NO AND NO.
WE THROUGHOUT CULTURE AND
SOCIETY DECIDE WHAT'S IMPORTANT.
AND THAT'S THE WAY IT SHOULD BE.
YET IT IS INTIMATED OVER AND
OVER AGAIN THAT FEMALE ORGASM IS
ELEVATED AND LEGITIMATED BY
HAVING AN EVOLUTIONARY FUNCTION.
PART OF THE REASONING, BY
FEMINISTS AND GENERAL
ADAPTATIONISTS ALIKE, THE FEMALE
ORGASM MUST BE EVOLUTIONARILY
USEFUL, ARISES FROM THE
CONFUSION OF THE REAL FANTASTIC
BONUS ACCOUNT WITH THE SELECTION
OF THE CLITORIS WHICH, WHICH
I'VE MENTIONED, THAT, THAT'S A
VERY FREQUENT CONFUSION.
BUT THAT'S ONLY PART OF IT.
IN THE BLOGS AND COLUMNS, THERE
IS A CLEAR LONGING FOR
EVOLUTIONARILY, EVOLUTIONARY
USEFULNESS, AS IF ADAPTATION
ENDOWS ORGASMIC AUTHENTICITY.
AS I POINT OUT IN THE BOOK,
FEMINISTS WHO CLAIM THAT THE
BY-PRODUCT ACCOUNT BELITTLES OR
DIMINISHES FEMALE ORGASM SIMPLY
IN VIRTUE OF ITS EVOLUTIONARY
ORIGIN ARE SUCCUMBING TO THE
ARCHEST OF ARCH ADAPTATIONISM.
THEY APPEAR
TO BE SAYING THAT ORGASM NEEDS
TO BE AN ADAPTATION IN ORDER TO
BE CULTURALLY IMPORTANT.
BUT WE'VE ALREADY NOTED THAT WE
WON'T ACCEPT THAT REASONING IN
EVERYDAY LIFE.
SO WHY SHOULD WE MAKE AN
EXCEPTION FOR THE CASE OF FEMALE
ORGASM? BESIDES, THE
EVOLUTIONARY RESEARCH PROGRAM OF
ADAPTATIONISM HAS NOTHING TO
RECOMMEND IT TO FEMINISTS.
BUT I THINK THESE WOMEN ARE
MAKING GOOD SENSE, AND THAT MY
VIEWS MIGHT REASONABLY BE SEEN
BY THEM AS A SOCIAL POLITICAL
THREAT.
BUT THIS IS ONLY BECAUSE THE
BLOGGERS AND JOURNALISTS I QUOTE
ARE MISSING KEY PARTS OF THE
STORY ABOUT BIOLOGY EVOLUTION
AND ORGASM.
AN INSIGHT AND PERHAPS
RESOLUTION LIE IN UNDERSTANDING
HOW THESE THREE ELEMENTS OF
BIOLOGY, EVOLUTION AND ORGASM
TIE TOGETHER, AND HOW MY WORK
FITS INTO THIS MATRIX.
LET'S REVIEW SOME HISTORY.
IN 1960, IN THE 1960s AND '70s,
A REVOLUTIONARY CHANGE IN
ATTITUDE SURROUNDING FEMALE
ORGASM CENTERED AROUND THE IDEAS
THAT WOMEN CAN HAVE ORGASMS JUST
LIKE MEN, BUT DON'T NEED TO GET
THEM BY INTERCOURSE.
MASTERS AND JOHNSON TOLD US IN
1965, BY STUDYING OUR BASIC
BIOLOGY AND PHYSIOLOGY, THAT
WOMEN HAVE ONLY ONE BASIC SOURCE
OF ORGASMIC STIMULATION, THE
CLITORIS, AND THAT FREUD'S
OPPRESSIVE STANDARD, THE VAGINAL
ORGASM, REQUIRED TO PROVE THAT
A WOMAN WAS MATURE AND HEALTHY,
WAS A MYTH.
IT'S TRUE THAT SOME SEXOLOGISTS
NOW CLAIM OTHER LOCATIONS, THE
G-SPOT IS THE MOST FAMOUS, AS
THE ORIGINS OF FEMALE ORGASM.
NOW, I'VE LOOKED INTO THIS, I
CONSIDER ALL OF THESE CLAIMS TO
BE OVERSTATED.
THEY DO, AND THEY DO NOT
UNDERMINE THE BASIC CLAIM OF
MASTERS AND JOHNSON THAT THE
CLITORIS IS THE, IS...
A PRIMARY SENSORY INPUT FOR
ORGASM.
THE FACT THAT ONLY A MINORITY OF
WOMEN SEEM TO HAVE A SENSITIVE
G-SPOT, AND THAT MANY G-SPOT
ORGASMS ALSO INVOLVE CLITORAL
STIMULATION, COMPLICATES THE
MATTER QUITE SERIOUSLY.
THERE APPEAR TO BE FIVE
LOCATIONS OF SENSORY INPUT
NERVES LEADING TO THE SPINAL
REFLEX OF ORGASM.
THIS LEADS TO MANY, MANY
ARGUMENTS AMONG SEXOLOGISTS.
MORE STUDY IS CLEARLY NEEDED.
BUT IT SHOULD ALWAYS BE
REMEMBERED IN THE CONTEXT OF
THESE DEBATES THAT THE FIGURES
ARE, OF WOMEN WHO HAVE
INTERCOURSE, 20 TO 25 PER CENT
OF THEM RELIABLY HAVE ORGASM
FROM INTERCOURSE, WHICH INCLUDES
DIRECT STIMULATION OF THE
CLITORIS DURING INTERCOURSE WITH
HANDS OR VIBRATOR.
NOW, FREUDIANISM SAID...
FEMALE EROTIC PLEASURE IS
INITIALLY CENTERED ON THE
CLITORIS IN INFANCY AND CHILDHOOD.
BUT WITH THE PROCESS OF
MATURATION INTO WOMANHOOD, THE
CORE OF FEMALE EROTICISM MUST
MIGRATE TO THE VAGINA AS THE
HEALTHY WOMAN'S "PRIMARY" EROTIC
CENTRE.
WOMEN WHO FAILED TO ENACT THIS
MIGRATION, THAT IS, WOMEN WHO
REMAINED DEPENDANT ON THE
CLITORIS FOR ORGASM...
OR WHO FAILED TO HAVE ORGASM
FROM INTERCOURSE WITHOUT
ADDITIONAL CLITORIS STIMULATION,
WERE INFANTILE, IMMATURE,
NEUROTIC, FRIGID OR
DYSFUNCTIONAL.
THIS FREUDIAN VIEW WAS WIDELY
INFLUENTIAL FROM THE EARLY 20th
CENTURY INTO THE 1970s AND
BEYOND.
IT LIVES ON IN THE FACT THAT
WOMEN WHO DON'T HAVE ORGASM WITH
INTERCOURSE ARE STILL CALLED
DYSFUNCTIONAL BY SOME SEX
THERAPISTS IN BOOKS.
IT IS IMPOSSIBLE TO OVERSTATE
THE SIGNIFICANCE OF BOTH MASTERS
AND JOHNSON'S BIOLOGICAL WORK
DISPELLING THE MYTH OF THE
VAGINAL ORGASM, AND THE
FOLLOW-UP ACTIVISM BY FEMINISTS
WHO SPREAD THE PRO-CLITORIS
MESSAGE FAR AND WIDE.
MILLIONS OF WOMEN HAD SUFFERED
FOR DECADES UNDER THE STIGMA OF
THE LABELS FRIGID,
DYSFUNCTIONAL, ETCETERA, DUE
ONLY TO THE FACT THAT THEY WERE
NOT AMONG THE SIX TO TEN PER
CENT OF WOMEN WHO HAVE RELIABLE
ORGASM WITH UNASSISTED VAGINAL
INTERCOURSE.
ALL THAT WAS REQUIRED FOR THE
DAMAGING LABELS WAS THAT THE
WOMEN REQUIRED DIRECT CLITORAL
STIMULATION TO ACHIEVE ORGASM.
IT'S VERY SIGNIFICANT THAT THIS
LABELLING WAS NOT RESTRICTED TO
SOME "MEDICALIZED" OR HEAD
SHRUNKEN SUBSET OF THE
POPULATION.
IT WAS THE COIN OF THE REALM.
THUS, BIOLOGY, SEXOLOGY AND
PHYSIOLOGY PROVIDED THE MEANS TO
DISMANTLE THE DEVASTATING
FREUDIAN WORLDVIEW ON FEMALE
ORGASM.
BIOLOGY REVEALED REAL WOMENS'
ORGASMIC CAPACITIES AND
ABILITIES, SHOWED THAT THE
CLITORIS WAS QUEEN, AND PROVIDED
THE FOUNDATION FOR WOMEN'S' NEWLY
CLAIMED RIGHT TO SEEK ORGASM.
BIOLOGY WAS THE ALLY OF FEMALE
ORGASM.
BUT EVOLUTION WASN'T.
FREUD BELIEVED THAT ALL WOMEN
OUGHT TO HAVE ORGASM FROM
VAGINAL INTERCOURSE, BUT IT IS
VERY LITTLE KNOWN OR EMPHASIZED
THAT THIS BELIEF WAS EXPLICITLY
DERIVED FROM HIS CONVICTION THAT
FEMALE ORGASM MUST BE AN
EVOLUTIONARY ADAPTATION TO
PROMOTE REPRODUCTION.
FREUD WAS A GOOD ENOUGH
DEVELOPMENTAL BIOLOGIST TO KNOW
THAT THE CLITORIS STARTS OFF
WITH NEARLY ALL THE STIMULATORY
GOODIES.
THE NERVE ENDINGS AND THE
ERECTILE TISSUES.
BUT HIS ADAPTATIONISM COMPELLED
HIM TO ASSERT THAT THE ADULT
WOMAN WOULD COMPLIMENT THE MAN
IN REPRODUCTIVE SEX.
IN OTHER WORDS, BECAUSE HE WAS
CONVINCED THAT SELECTION WAS
OPERATING ON FEMALE ORGASM, IT
MUST OCCUR, HE REASONED, RELATED
TO REPRODUCTIVE SEX.
THAT IS, INTERCOURSE. MOREOVER, HE
EMPHASISED THE PERFECT
"COMPLIMENTARITY" OF THE MALE
AND FEMALE NEEDS.
FOR HIM, THE FEMALE'S VAGINAL
ORGASM EMBODIED THE COUPLE'S
PERFECT ADAPTED FIT. HENCE THE
NEED FOR THE MIGRATION THEORY.
WITHOUT IT, THE FEMALE WOULD
NEVER RELIABLY HAVE ORGASMS WITH
VAGINAL INTERCOURSE.
AND WOULD VIOLATE FREUD'S
ADAPTATIONIST VISION.
THE BIG BREAK AWAY FROM THIS
EVOLUTIONARY AND FUNCTIONAL VIEW
KICKED OFF THE LIBERATION OF
FEMALE ORGASM FROM IT'S TRAGIC
CONSTRAINTS.
AND NOW, SOME FEMINISTS FEAR
THAT MY VIEWS WILL BE USED TO
JUSTIFY THE NEGLECT OF ORGASM.
IT LOOKS TO THEM AS IF,
ACCORDING TO LLOYD, BIOLOGY IS
NOW THE ENEMY OF FEMALE ORGASM.
THAT I'VE TAKEN AWAY THE VERY
GROUNDS OF ITS LEGITIMACY.
AFTER ALL, THEY SEE MY
BIOLOGY AS IMPLYING THAT ORGASM
IS UNIMPORTANT OR FRIVOLOUS.
THUS IT MAKES A SORT OF SENSE
THAT THESE FEMINISTS WOULD BE
ATTACKING ME AND MY VIEWS.
BUT THIS IS BASED ON A CONFUSION
OF BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES IN
GENERAL WITH EVOLUTIONARY
THEORIES OF FEMALE ORGASM.
IN FACT, BIOLOGY TODAY SUPPORTS
THE POWER OF FEMALE ORGASM AS
WELL AS THE DESIRABILITY OF
MALE CLITORAL LITERACY.
MORE STRONGLY THAN EVER.
NEW RESEARCH IN ANATOMY AND
PHYSIOLOGY CONTINUES TO UNCOVER
THE FAR REACHING, AND HIDDEN,
PATHWAYS OF CLITORAL EXCITEMENT.
AND THESE NEW BIOLOGICAL STUDIES
FORTIFY THE TRIED AND TRUE
FOUNDATIONS AT THE HEART OF
WOMEN'S' CLAIMS FOR SEXUAL
AUTONOMY AND SATISFACTION.
BUT EVOLUTIONARY ADAPTATIONISTS
HAVE CONTINUED TO BE THE ENEMIES
OF FEMALE SATISFACTION AND
AUTONOMY.
THIS IS A MAJOR PART OF THE
DISCUSSION IN MY BOOK.
I'VE MENTIONED TODAY HOW AN
EMPHASIS ON EVOLUTIONARY
FUNCTION IN THE PAIR-BOND
THEORIES LED SCIENTISTS TO
NEGLECT AND CONTRADICT THE REAL
EVIDENCE ON FEMALE ORGASM TO
ENGAGE IN MALE-BIASED SCIENCE
AND TO PERPETUATE REPULSIVE
STANDARDS OF FEMALE SEXUAL
RESPONSE.
MY ANALYSIS OF THESE FACTS
ECHOES THE POINT MADE IN THE,
POINTS MADE IN THE 1970s BY
SEXOLOGISTS AND FEMINISTS
AGAINST THE ADAPTIVE FREUDIAN
VIEWS OF FEMALE ORGASM.
THERE IS NO WAY IN WHICH MY
DISCUSSION THREATENS THE
BIOLOGICAL GROUNDS OF ORGASM'S
LEGITIMACY, OR UNDERMINES
WOMEN'S' RIGHTEOUS CLAIMS ON
ORGASMS.
BIOLOGY IS STILL THE ALLY OF
FEMALE ORGASM.
AND MY BIOLOGY IS, TOO.
BUT ADAPTATIONIST EVOLUTIONARY
THEORY, WITH ITS COVETED
ENDOWMENT OF USE, USEFULNESS,
ISN'T AND IT NEVER HAS BEEN.
THANK YOU.
(Applause)

A slate on screen introduces a series of questions. First question reads "Why were the feminists so upset?"

Elisabeth says WELL, I
KINDA KNEW THAT I WAS GONNA GET
IN TROUBLE FROM THE
ADAPTATIONISTS.
AND SOME OF MY FRIENDS, AND MY
RESEARCH ASSISTANTS ESPECIALLY,
KNEW THAT I WAS GONNA GET IN
TROUBLE WITH FEMINISTS, BUT I
DIDN'T BELIEVE IT BECAUSE I WAS
A FEMINIST.
AND I...I WAS JUST,
I COULDN'T HAVE BEEN MORE WRONG.
I JUST COULDN'T POSSIBLY HAVE
BEEN MORE WRONG.
AND I THOUGHT, IT'S A FEMINIST
BOOK.
BUT, YOU KNOW, PART OF THE
PROBLEM WAS THAT THE MEDIA
ACCOUNTS, OR A LOT OF THE MEDIA
ACCOUNTS DIDN'T MENTION THAT IT
WAS A FEMINIST BOOK, AND THEY
DIDN'T SAY "OH, SHE GIVES A
FEMINIST ANALYSIS AND TEARS INTO
THE EVOLUTIONISTS, YOU KNOW, FOR
BEING...
UH, FOR BEING ANDROCENTRIC."
THEY DIDN'T MENTION THAT.
SO THE ONLY MESSAGE THAT THEY
GOT WAS "SHE SAYS THE ORGASM HAS
NO FUNCTION, AND SHE CRITICIZES
OTHER EVOLUTIONISTS, AND, YOU
KNOW, HIS NAME IS EARL COCK, HA
HA."
AND, UM...
YOU KNOW, I MEAN, THAT WAS SORT
OF THE EXTENT OF IT.
THEY DIDN'T, YOU KNOW.
UM, THEY DIDN'T MENTION THAT THE
BOOK WAS A FEMINIST BOOK, SO
THEY DIDN'T EVEN GET THAT
SLIGHTLY CODED MESSAGE THAT,
THAT I MIGHT HAVE ACTUALLY BEEN
ADVOCATING FOR THEM AT ALL.
SO THERE WASN'T EVEN A, A HINT
THAT, THAT THEY MAYBE...
MAYBE SHOULD CHECK ON MY WEBSITE
TO SEE IF I MIGHT HAVE SOMETHING
MORE TO SAY, OR...
BUT I DIDN'T GET MY F.A.Q. ON,
MY FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS UP
UNTIL OCTOBER, SO IT WOULDN'T
HAVE DONE ANY GOOD, ANYWAY.

The next question reads "What’s wrong with pleasure for pleasure’s sake?"

Elisabeth says THAT'S A
VERY GOOD QUESTION.
WHY DO WE THINK, WHY DO PEOPLE,
WHAT IS WITH THESE GUYS, THAT
THEY NEED TO... THAT THEY
ALWAYS NEED TO MAKE IT HAVE A
FUNCTION?
UM, I'VE FOUND THAT AS MORE AND
MORE PEOPLE UNDERSTAND THE
HYPOTHESIS, THAT IS THE CLAIM
THAT, THAT THE FEMALE ORGASM IS
A BY-PRODUCT, OR...
A FANTASTIC BONUS, THAT, UM...
THAT, THAT IT DOESN'T INVOLVE
DISMISSING ITS IMPORTANCE.
THAT IT'S SIMPLY HISTORICAL
CLAIM ABOUT HOW IT CAME TO BE IN
THE HUMAN POPULATION THAT
DOESN'T INVOLVE A SOCIAL
EVALUATION, UM...
AND THAT IT HAS A POTENTIAL FOR
A VERY PROGRESSIVE FEMINIST VIEW
OF, OF FEMALE SEXUALITY AS
AUTONOMOUS.
UM, THAT THERE'S, THERE'S A LOT
OF ROOM FOR INTERPRETATION
THERE.
AND, AND FOR AN AUTONOMOUS
PICTURE OF FEMALE SEXUALITY,
AND...
INTERPRETIVE VIEW.
THAT, UM, WE'RE VERY EAGER TO
ENGAGE THAT AND TAKE THAT ON
BOARD.
UM, BUT, UM...
BUT THERE'S, UM, STILL...
ON THE PART OF MANY
ADAPTATIONISTS, AND IN THIS
CASE, PEOPLE THAT I'M ACT,
INTERACTING WITH, ARE, ARE,
HAPPEN TO BE ALMOST
EXCLUSIVELY MALE ADAPTATIONISTS,
WHO ARE JUST DRIVING IT, "IT HAS
TO HAVE A FUNCTION, IT HAS TO
HAVE A FUNCTION, IT HAS TO HAVE
A FUNCTION."
WHEREAS ONCE I GET INTO
ENGAGEMENT IN, AND WITH...
EVEN WITH FEMINISTS WHO HAD
ORIGINALLY THOUGHT "OH, THIS IS
A TERRIBLE VIEW, IT'S VERY
DAMAGING TO WOMEN..."
UM, ARE MORE COMFORTABLE WITH
THAT PROGRESSIVE VISION OF
OPENNESS AND FLEXIBILITY OF
WRITING YOUR
OWN VISION OF WHAT FEMALE ORGASM
MEANS IN SOCIETY AND FOR WOMEN
AND MEN.
IT'S THE ADAPTATIONISTS VISION
OF "IT HAS TO HAVE A FUNCTION."
THAT, UH, I FIND THAT THE MEN
I'M INTERACTING WITH ARE QUITE
DRIVEN BY.
SO...
THERE'S A VARIETY OF DISCOMFORT,
UH, OUT THERE WITH IT.
UM.
BUT, YOU KNOW, YOU DO HAVE TO
ASK, YOU KNOW, WHO'S GOT A
STAKE...
IN IT.
AND WHY?

The next question reads "What went wrong in this case?"

Elisabeth says ONE OF THE
CHIEF THINGS THAT WENT WRONG
WITH THIS CASE WAS, WAS THIS
REMARKABLE LACK OF, OF
SELF-POLICING.
UM, I MEAN, THIS IS A, THERE'S
AN ABYSMAL FAILURE OF
SELF-POLICING OVER A PERIOD OF
40 YEARS.
IT'S SORT OF BREATHTAKING.
UM...
AND, UM...
IT, IT DID SEEM THAT, THAT
EVERYBODY WAS LIKE-MINDED.
UM, THERE DOESN'T SEEM TO BE
THAT MANY DISSENTING VOICES, AND
THE ONE DISSENTING VOICE, OR THE
TWO DISSENTING VOICES WERE DON
SIMONS' AND...
STEVE GOULD, AND...
AND SIMONS SORT OF DROPPED OUT
OF THE PICTURE.
UM...
IN TERMS OF ARGUING WITH THESE
GUYS.
WHEN YOU HAVE A GROUP OF PEOPLE
WHO ARE COMMITTED TO FINDING A
FUNCTIONAL ANSWER TO THINGS,
WHAT HAPPENED WAS THAT THEY
FOUND A FUNCTIONAL ANSWER, AND
THEY TOOK IT UP AND THEY JUST
BELIEVED IT.
EVEN THOUGH IT WAS...
NOT...
A VERY GOOD...ANSWER.
AND THEY TAUGHT IT AS IF IT WAS
FACT.
UM, NOW, YOU KNOW, THEY DID,
ADMITTEDLY, YOU KNOW, SINCE...
SINCE THEY SAW THE CRITIQUES IN
THE BOOK, UM...
DROP IT.
UM, AND SAID "OH WELL, YOU KNOW,
I WAS ALWAYS A LITTLE SUSPICIOUS
ABOUT THE STATISTICS, ANYWAY..."
"NEVER REALLY HAPPY WITH IT."
BUT, UM...THE...
YOU KNOW, AND...
I SUPPOSE THAT THERE ISN'T
REALLY A RECOMMENDATION I HAVE,
EXCEPT THAT THEY SHOULD HAVE
BEEN FOLLOWING THE RULES ALL
ALONG.
BECAUSE, THEN THE RULES SAY, I
MEAN, LIKE, THE "RULES," THE
RECOMMENDATION HAS ALWAYS BEEN,
YOU KNOW, UM...
PEER VIEW.
UM...
WATCH EACH OTHER'S WORK.
UM, AND WHEN PEOPLE DO SOMETHING
REALLY IMPLAUSIBLE AND BY AND,
YOU KNOW, CHECK, CHECK THEIR
WORK TWICE AND MAKE 'EM ANSWER
QUESTIONS.
AND THAT'S EXACTLY WHAT THEY
DIDN'T DO IN THIS CASE.

Next, Andrew appears back in the studio.

He says ISN'T IT ODD
THAT WHILE WOMEN'S NIPPLES ARE
ESSENTIAL TO SUSTAINING THE LIFE
OF A CHILD, MALE NIPPLES, WHICH
ARE USELESS, LIKE, LIKE...
A TEAT ON A BULL...
ARE PERFECTLY ACCEPTABLE TO BE
SEEN IN PUBLIC, WHILE WOMEN'S'
NIPPLES ARE NOT. HOWEVER, TO
AVOID THE PITFALLS OF
ANDROCENTRICITY, OR THE, THE
TENDENCY TO SEE THE WORLD ONLY
THROUGH A MALE PERSPECTIVE, I
ASKED SOME OF MY FEMALE FRIENDS
WHAT THEY THOUGHT ABOUT
DOCTOR LLOYD'S HYPOTHESIS.
AND MOST AGREED THAT THEY DO NOT
NEED AN EVOLUTIONARY RATIONALE
TO ENJOY THEIR...
THEIR...INTIMATE PLEASURES.
STILL, OTHERS FELT ROBBED THAT
SOMETHING SO IMPORTANT TO THEM
DOESN'T HAVE AN EVOLUTIONARY
JUSTIFICATION.
THE COUNTER-ARGUMENT, ACCORDING
TO WHICH FEMALE ORGASM RESULTS
IN A MORE EFFICIENT...
UP-SUCK OF THE SPERM, MAKES
SENSE ON PAPER.
BUT THINK ABOUT THIS FOR A
SECOND, OKAY?
THE AUTHORS OF THAT ARGUMENT
ARE SUGGESTING THAT THE FATE OF
THE HUMAN RACE IS DEPENDANT ON
MEN KNOWING HOW TO BRING A WOMAN
TO ORGASM.
IF THAT WERE SO...
WE WOULD HAVE BEEN DOOMED A
LONG, LONG TIME AGO.
SO PERHAPS ELISABETH LLOYD IS
RIGHT AFTER ALL WHEN SHE INSISTS
THAT WITHOUT A DEMONSTRABLE
LINK TO FERTILITY, ORGASM CANNOT
BE SEEN AS AN ADAPTATION.
AFTER EVERYTHING'S SAID AND
DONE, I'M GRATEFUL FOR THE
ARGUMENT ADVANCED BY MY WIFE
THAT ORGASM, AT LEAST, MAKES YOU
WANNA DO IT AGAIN.
IT'S GOOD ENOUGH FOR ME.
IF YOU WANNA KNOW MORE ABOUT
WHAT'S HAPPENING ON BIG IDEAS
FROM WEEK TO WEEK, AND WHAT'S
HAPPENING ON THE UPCOMING
LECTURES ON OUR PROGRAM, SEND US
AN E-MAIL TO bigideas@tvo.org.
HERE ARE A FEW EXAMPLES OF WHAT
WE WILL BE AIRING IN THE WEEKS
TO COME.
I'M ANDREW MOODIE, AND I HOPE TO
SEE YOU AGAIN.
I'LL BE HERE EVERY SATURDAY AND
SUNDAY AT 4 PM.

A new video plays. The caption reads "Coming up, Timothy Garton Ash." He’s at a press conference. He’s in his late forties with short brown hair and a full beard. He wears a black suit, pink shirt and contrasting red tie.

Timothy says WHY
AREN'T CANADIANS EUROPEANS?
AND I HAVE TO SAY THAT THE MORE
I THOUGHT ABOUT THIS, THE MORE I
REALLY COULDN'T COME UP WITH ANY
GOOD ANSWER.
EXCEPT
FOR THE...
CHILDISHLY SUPERFICIAL
OBSERVATION THAT CANADA ISN'T IN
EUROPE.
AND CANADA HAS ANOTHER UNIQUE
ADVANTAGE.
UM, ONE OF THE PROBLEMS WE HAVE
IN EUROPE, AND HAVE BEEN HAVING
ON AND OFF FOR ABOUT, UM...
700 YEARS, IS THAT, UM, THE
BRITISH AND FRENCH HAVE GREAT
DIFFICULTY AGREEING ON ALMOST
ANYTHING.
I'M NOT SURE IF THIS SOUNDS
VAGUELY FAMILIAR.
BUT CERTAINLY THE ONE THING THE
BRITISH AND FRENCH COULD AGREE
ON IS THAT CANADA SHOULD JOIN
THE EUROPEAN UNION.
I'VE READ A DESCRIPTION OF
CANADA AS BEING A MULTI-CULTURAL
SOCIETY IN A BILINGUAL
FRAMEWORK.
WELCOME TO BRUSSELS.

Next, the caption changes to "Coming up, Stuart Isacoff." He’s in his fifties. Mostly bald with short few hair on the temples and has a moustache. He wears glasses, a dark grey suit, light blue shirt and a contrasting tie.

Stuart says TELL YOU
WHAT...
PIETRO ARON, THE 16th CENTURY
MUSICIAN, SAID ABOUT THE OCTAVE.
HE SAID ."..IT IS SO PURE, SO
FULL, SO PERFECTLY FOR ALL
INTERVALS, THAT NOT ONLY ALL
VOICES, BUT ALSO ALL OTHER
CONSONANCES FLOWED TOGETHER IN
THIS ONE AS THEIR LEADER.
THEY SUBJECT THEMSELVES TO IT AS
TO THEIR PRINCE.
THEY REVEAL AND RECEIVE IT AS
CONCORD AND HIS QUEEN.
IT RELEASES ALL POSSIBLE
CONSONANCES LIKE THE FERTILE
MOTHER."
THAT'S THE OCTAVE.
GALILEO, ON THE OTHER HAND,
FOUND IT BORING.

(music plays)

The end credits roll.

bigideas@tvo.org
(416) 484-2746

Producers, Mike Miner, Wodek Szemberg, Matt Faulknor and Lara Hindle.

Audio, Maurice Dalzot.

Editors, Marisa Gatto and Empyreal Palmer.

A Production of TVOntario.

Copyright 2006, The Ontario Educational Communications Authority.

Watch: Elisabeth Lloyd on The Case of the Female Orgasm