xer-files
Tuesday, July 19, 2005
  Summer, science and sex
Orgasms: a real ‘turn-off’ for women

NewScientist.com news service - Michael Le Page, Copenhagen

For women, it seems, sex is a big turn-off, reveals a brain scanning study. It shows that many areas of the brain switch off during the female orgasm - including those involved with emotion.
“At the moment of orgasm, women do not have any emotional feelings,” says Gert Holstege of the University of Groningen in the Netherlands. [..]

The results of the study are striking. As the women were stimulated, activity rose in one sensory part of the brain, called the primary somatosensory cortex, but fell in the amygdala and hippocampus, areas involved in alertness and anxiety. During orgasm, activity fell in many more areas of the brain, including the prefrontal cortex, compared with the resting state, Holstege told a meeting of the European Society for Human Reproduction and Development in Copenhagen on Monday.

In one sense the findings appear to confirm what is already known, that women cannot enjoy sex unless they are relaxed and free from worries and distractions. "Fear and anxiety levels have to go down for orgasm. Everyone knows this but we can see it happening in the brain," he explains.


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Gert Holstege, University of Groningen
European Society for Human Reproduction and Embryology
 
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