Female copulatory vocalization

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Female copulatory vocalization (“FCV”) is the tendency of some female primates, including human women, to vocalize in specific ways during sexual intercourse and related sexual activity to express sexual pleasure and to excite their sexual partners as well as potential sexual partners. While males vocalize sexually as well, females typically do so much more frequently.[1] Among women, FCV may take verbal and non-verbal forms including breathing heavily, moaning, crying out, screaming, “talking dirty”, crying, and laughing.[2] Researchers have noted that in at least some species, (for instance, Chacma Baboons), the particular vocalizations used are unique to sexual activity.[3]

FCV in non-human primates[edit]

Several ideas have been advanced to explain the reason for FCV. Primate research suggests that FCV in baboons reveals that the nature of the vocalizations vary depending on how close the females were to ovulation.[4] This suggests that the females vocalize to announce sexual availability and fertility to males other than the one with whom she was copulating—an indicator of promiscuity (polygamy) rather than monogamy, and an invitation to engage in sperm competition. The calls also carried information about the status of the male with whom she was copulating, thus presumably allowing other males to assess their likelihood of mating with the female.[5]

FCV among women[edit]

Theories are more diverse in regard to women’s sexual vocalizing. On the one hand, researchers have noted some apparently communicative patterns in women’s FCV that suggest some parallels with the FCV of other primates, (including invitation to sperm competition given that women's sexual vocalization, as do those of other primates, serves as "copulation call" noticeable to other men and exciting to them if overheard[6]). One study, for instance, has noted that a woman’s sexual vocalizations tend to become more intense as she approaches orgasm; at orgasm her vocalization tends to become very rapid, with a regular rhythm that includes equal note lengths and intervals between notes, which men’s vocalization typically lacks.[7] By exciting her partner with her vocalizations and bringing about his orgasm at that point, she helps ensure that the seminal pool is available for her cervix to dip into as her vagina relaxes after her orgasm.[1]

On the other hand, recent studies have indicated that most FCV in women does not accompany their own orgasm, but rather their partner’s ejaculation. The study showed that the man typically finds the woman’s vocalization sexy and highly exciting, and that the woman herself is aware of this. Most women in the study, furthermore, indicated that they vocalized during intercourse to make their man ejaculate more quickly, or to boost his enjoyment and self-esteem, or both.[8]

The reasons that women gave for wanting to force a quick ejaculation include the alleviation of the woman’s pain, fatigue, or even boredom, or simply to stay within some imposed time restriction for sexual activity. Reasons for wanting to boost the man’s self-esteem included reinforcing the pair bond that intercourse helps to strengthen, and thus reducing emotional and sexual infidelity and abandonment.[8] The researchers note that all of these goals are apparently congruent with FCV in non-human primates.

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ a b J. Hamilton and P. C. Arrowood, “Copulatory Vocalizations of Chacma Baboons (Papio Ursinus), gibbons (Hylobates Hoolock) and Humans,” Science, 200:1405, 1406-07 (1978).
  2. ^ J. Hamilton and P. C. Arrowood, “Copulatory Vocalizations of Chacma Baboons (Papio Ursinus), gibbons (Hylobates Hoolock) and Humans,” Science, 200:1405, 1405 (1978).
  3. ^ J. Hamilton and P. C. Arrowood, “Copulatory Vocalizations of Chacma Baboons (Papio Ursinus), gibbons (Hylobates Hoolock) and Humans,” Science, 200:1405, 1406 (1978).
  4. ^ S. Semple, “Individuality and Male Discrimination of Female Copulation Calls in the Yellow Baboon,” ‘’Animal Behavior’’ 61: 1023, 1027 (2001).
  5. ^ Christopher Ryan and Cacilda Jetha, ‘’Sex at Dawn: How We Mate, Why We Stray, and What It Means for Modern Relationships’’ (Harper Perennial, 2011), p. 257.
  6. ^ Christopher Ryan and Cacilda Jetha, ‘’Sex at Dawn: How We Mate, Why We Stray, and What It Means for Modern Relationships’’ (Harper Perennial, 2011), pp. 255-57.
  7. ^ J. Hamilton and P. C. Arrowood, “Copulatory Vocalizations of Chacma Baboons (Papio Ursinus), gibbons (Hylobates Hoolock) and Humans,” ‘’Science’’, 200:1405, 1405-06 (1978).
  8. ^ a b Gayle Brewer and Colin A. Hendrie, “Evidence to Suggest that Copulatory Vocalizations in Women Are Not a Reflexive Consequence of Orgasm,” ‘’Archives of Sexual Behavior’’ 40:559-64 (June 2011)

References[edit]

  • W. J. Hamilton and P. C. Arrowood, “Copulatory Vocalizations of Chacma Baboons (Papio Ursinus), gibbons (Hylobates Hoolock) and Humans.” Science, 200:1405-09 (1978).
  • Christopher Ryan and Cacilda Jetha. Sex at Dawn: How We Mate, Why We Stray, and What It Means for Modern Relationships. (Harper Perennial, 2011).
  • S. Semple, “Individuality and Male Discrimination of Female Copulation Calls in the Yellow Baboon.” Animal Behavior 61:1023-1028 (2001).
  • M. F. Small, “Female Primate Sexual Behavior and Conception: Are There Really Sperm to Spare?,” Current Anthropology 29(1): 81-100 (1988).