Female orgasm: Dolphin and women's clitorises have this in common

A new study suggests that some species of dolphins have clitorises that evolved for pleasure.

Female orgasm: Dolphin and women's clitorises have this in common
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Female orgasm: Dolphin and women's clitorises have this in common

A new recent study has established similarities between humans and dolphins, which might help in the understanding of the evolution of the clitoris and female pleasure.

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Clitoral Stimulation In Dolphins

The study was published Monday in the journal Current Biology. After studying the clitorises of dolphins, researchers argue that there is a striking similarity to the anatomy and function of the human clitoris.

Patricia Brennan is lead author on the study, and she told Inverse:

The dolphin clitoris has many features to suggest that it functions to provide pleasure to females Our study suggests that female dolphins likely experience pleasure when the clitoris is stimulated during sexual intercourse, homosexual behaviour, and masturbation.

The team of researchers studied the genitalia of 11 female dolphins that had recently died of natural causes. They examined the shape and configuration of their clitorises and discovered that they tend to change in shape as the animals reach adulthood and sexual maturity.

Brennan said she was astounded to find just how similar dolphin genitalia is to the human clitoris.

Since the entire pelvis of dolphins is so different to humans, it was surprising to see how similar the shapes were. Also, the size of the nerves in the clitoris body was very surprising. Some were larger than half a millimetre in diameter.

She continued:

Every time we dissected a vagina, we would see this very large clitoris, and we were curious whether anyone had examined it in detail to see if it worked like a human clitoris.

Ignored Sexual Organ

Dolphins, like humans, mate for reproduction, but also to maintain social bonds. The researchers note female dolphins will often rub each other’s clitorises using their snouts or flippers for sexual stimulation.

More research is needed in understanding the clitoris and the evolution of female pleasure. Brennan said:

This neglect in the study of female sexuality has left us with an incomplete picture of the true nature of sexual behaviors. Studying and understanding sexual behaviors in nature is a fundamental part of understanding the animal experience and may even have important medical applications in the future.
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