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Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Wealthy men give women more orgasms

A reader directed me to this article on The Sunday Times (UK) website: Wealthy men give women more orgasms.
Scientists have found that the pleasure women get from making love is directly linked to the size of their partner’s bank balance.

They found that the wealthier a man is, the more frequently his partner has orgasms.

“Women’s orgasm frequency increases with the income of their partner,” said Dr Thomas Pollet, the Newcastle University psychologist behind the research.

He believes the phenomenon is an “evolutionary adaptation” that is hard-wired into women, driving them to select men on the basis of their perceived quality.

The study is certain to prove controversial, suggesting that women are inherently programmed to be gold-diggers.

However, it fits into a wider body of research known as evolutionary psychology which suggests that both men and women are genetically predisposed to ruthlessly exploit each other to achieve the best chances of survival for their genes.
This explains why some women like being "trophy" wives.

I wonder if very rich women ever have orgasms?

The entire field of evolutionary psychology is becoming a farce. It's about as scientific as creationism. There must be some intelligent psychologists out there. Why aren't they speaking out?


  1. One of the authors is also responsible for this:

    Nettle, D. and Pollet, T.V. (2008) Natural selection on male wealth in humans. The American Naturalist, 2008, 17, 658-666.

    Although genomic studies suggest that natural selection in humans is ongoing, the strength of selection acting on particular characteristics in human populations has rarely been measured. Positive selection on male wealth appears to be a recurrent feature of human agrarian and pastoralist societies, and there is some evidence of it in industrial populations, too. Here we investigate the strength of selection on male wealth, first in contemporary Britain using data from the National Child Development Study and then across seven other varied human societies. The British data show positive selection on male income driven by increased childlessness among low-income men but a negative association between personal income and reproductive success for women. Across cultures, selection gradients for male wealth are weakest in industrial countries and strongest in subsistence societies with extensive polygyny. Even the weakest selection gradients observed for male wealth in humans are as strong as or stronger than selection gradients reported from field studies of other species. Thus, selection on male wealth in contemporary humans appears to be ubiquitous and substantial in strength.

  2. So that's why Melinda Gates always has a big smile plastered on her face.

  3. @SteveF

    LOL, that is incredible!

    I wonder when they will find the male wealth gene.

  4. Ungh... I still don't understand why many of my fellow graduate students find this kind of research 'fascinating'. It seems that people who aren't schooled in evolutionary theory don't see this kind of stuff for the garbage it is.

    An anecdote: I attended an evolutionary psychology talk two weeks ago, which focused on kin selection in humans. The talk, however, was given to a group of evolutionary biologists, who had frequent issues and questions about the data, interpretations, statistics, controls, etc. The psychologists kept replying that they were 'aware' of the caveats involved in doing such research - but they remained totally firm in their convictions that they were seeing real, biologically significant results.

    Why aren't more scientists speaking up about how shoddy this work is? You can't acknowledge the fact that you've done nothing to control for culture, upbringing, socialization, etc. but then say that your data strongly suggest that trait X has a strong genetic component! What gives?

  5. So... if you want a happy wife, don't waste your time with evolutionary biology.

  6. I'm sorry, but this is completely ridiculous. A man who has $5 in his wallet and $10 is his bank account who isn't actually a moron like 90% of the guys out there and both cares about his partner and actually knows his way around their body and what they enjoy is INFINITELY more likely to give a woman orgasms. And the women are much less likely to have to induce the orgasms themselves through manual stimulation, too!

  7. I don't think the problem is with evolutionary psychology per se. The discipline is still in its fledgling days, and its practitioners clearly haven't read Gould and Lewontin's article on spandrels. I wonder what you would think of the following article:
    Annu. Rev. Psychol. 2001. 52:607–28

  8. Bullshit. Unless they actually had censors on (or in) the women during intercourse I doubt anyone would know for sure. That women of wealthy male partners REPORT having more orgasms may be true but all women know that it is perfectly easy to fake an orgasm. Women of wealthy male partners may simply feel the need to say they orgasm more than women of partners with less wealth.

  9. Based on my own, limited experience, many of the experimental psychologists I know have the same (low) opinion about evolutionary psychology.

    Partners of wealthy women REPORT more orgasms. There are numerous methodological problems associated with self-report surveys, about which other psychologists are well aware.

    Here, women could simply be faking it more often for wealthy men. Or, women with wealthy partners have higher socioeconomic status and aren't worrying about, for example, feeding their children. Less stress = better sex.

    There are plenty of possibilities that don't rely on evolutionary explanations.

  10. Anonymous, you took the words right out of my mouth.

  11. Why aren't more scientists speaking up about how shoddy this [type of] work is?

    'Cause once you start doing it, whole fields will need to be wiped out (e.g., almost certainly most all clinical research). But, believe it or not, whole lotta shoddy research is better than no research at all (cf. cell biology).

  12. There must be some intelligent psychologists out there.

    These ones appear intelligent in the same sense that intelligent design is "intelligent"

  13. I don't care too much about evolutionary psychology even if it people like Denyse O'leary use it to discredit evolution theory. I must confess though that I would really like to see her comments on the article.

  14. Evolutionary Psychology is damaging the credibility of evolutionary biology at large. Richard Lewontin has said, correctly, that when all this media buzz dies down (about genes "for" this and that), the public will be rather cynical about the other, legitimate things scientists say.

  15. I do not know anything of evolutionary biology or psychology, but all this looks more like a B-movie from the 1950s. However, since I have always been penniless, now I have a good answer to everyone who asks me why I am still unmarried...