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The Orgasm Gap in America: Statistics, Sources, Sequela, and Solutions

The Orgasm Gap in America: Statistics, Sources, Sequela, and Solutions

Introduction/Rationale: This Educational Experience
will examine the orgasm gap that exists between cisgender
young adult women and men in the United
States. Data will be presented illustrating that when
such men and women engage in sexual encounters,
men are having substantially more orgasms than
women are. As one of many examples that will be presented
across types of sexual encounters (e.g., casual
sex, relationship sex), 55% of men versus 4% of women
say they always orgasm during first-time hookup sex
(Mintz, 2017). After detailing such striking statistics,
the cultural and personal causes of the orgasm gap will
be detailed. Societal causes to be covered include the
cultural privileging of male sexuality, cultural ignorance
of the clitoris, lacking sex education, unrealistic porn
images of sex, current societal scripts for sex, and conflicting
pressures for and against casual sex for women.
Personal causes, most of which also reflect internalization
of societal causes, include negative body-image,
low levels of sexual agency, and inadequate skills in
sexual communication. Consequences of the orgasm
gap, which go beyond pleasure itself, will also be detailed—
including the relationship between orgasm
inequality, sexual coercion and sexual pain. Finally,
solutions for closing the orgasm gap at both the societal
and personal level will be detailed, with a focus on
how sex educators, sex researchers, and sex therapists
can contribute to this mission.
Population/Settings: The presentation will focus on
the young adult population (18–35 years old) in the
United States.
Outcome/Discussion/Recommendations: This presentation
will provide knowledge that is critical to
empowering youth to have more sexual pleasure.
Citations of supporting literature:
Mintz, L. (2017). Becoming Cliterate: Why orgasm equality
matters—and how to get it. San Francisco: HarperOne.
Wade, L. (2017). American Hookup: The New Culture of
Sex on Campus, New York: Norton and Company.
Keywords: orgasm, orgasm gap, sexual pleasure
Conflict of Interest and Disclosure Statement: Dr. Mintz
is the author of a book, Becoming Cliterate, that will be discussed.
However, even if book sales result from the presentation,
there will be extremely limited or no financial gain,
given the royalty structure for the book.