New Cara Delevingne Project Dives Into The 'Gender Climax Gap'

Actress and model Cara Delevingne has become a sexual health advocate with a new project addressing the gender climax gap (via ScreenGeek). Delevingne has volunteered to participate in a study based at a hospital in Germany, for which she says she has donated her orgasms for scientific research. She states that her motivation for participating in the study has been to bring awareness to the inequality of female orgasms and how women's sexual desires are repressed. The chemicals, hormones, and other body responses produced by orgasms are being studied by researchers and medical professionals with the assistance of Delevingne and other participants with the intent to close the gender climax gap. According to Indy100, the body chemistry of participants will be observed through blood samples taken before and after orgasms occur. 

The concept that there are disparities in the quality and quantity of orgasms experienced by people of different genders is the basis for the gender climax gap, which is also referred to as orgasm inequality, reports Forbes. Multiple studies have been conducted to study orgasm inequality, commonly publishing conclusions that find women have fewer orgasms during sexual intercourse with male partners. Conversely, women in same-sex relationships have been found to have significantly more orgasms than their counterparts in heterosexual relationships. Researchers have gathered information from women who report experiencing higher rates of orgasms during solo masturbation than during heterosexual intercourse. Specifically, 39% of women report consistent orgasms during masturbation while only 6% report regular orgasms with male partners.

The gender climax gap in science

MedicalNewsToday reveals that scientific studies of sexuality and orgasms have been dominated by a focus on men, resulting in the orgasms and sexual responses of women remaining unapproached and not as understood in comparison. This lack of female-focused research occurs because the scientific world remains male-dominated so the full range of benefits of female orgasm is currently undetermined. This dynamic contributes to the gender climax gap.

What is known about female sexual desires is that women are able to experience orgasms at any time, regardless of monthly fluctuations related to menstrual cycles. A woman's orgasm is known to be very enjoyable and sexual pleasure can be relished during solo masturbation, sexual intercourse with one partner, and sexual activity with multiple partners.

Women are also able to experience orgasms from the stimulation of an array of body parts, per Healthline. Types of female orgasms include vaginal, clitoral, cervical, G-spot, anal, and nipple, among many others. Erogenous orgasms are unique to each woman but are often caused by tender touching of areas like the back, neck, and ears. Female orgasms can be initiated from the activation of areas all over the body, producing orgasmic reactions of euphoric feeling that can last for an average of 13 to 51 seconds. When women orgasm, reactions include expeditious contractions of the vagina, uterus, and cervix, accompanied by swift contractions of muscles in other body parts such as the stomach, shoulders, and feet. During orgasm, a woman's blood pressure, heart rate, and breathing increase.

How societal dynamics create the gender climax gap

When a female orgasm occurs, there are multiple pleasure-inducing hormones released that can cause a woman to involuntarily contract or tense up, become flushed, vocalize moans, and even sneeze or encounter brief hallucinations (via CBC). The physiological reaction during a female orgasm involves a mixture of responses from the body, emotions, and the neurological release of chemical hormones. The dominant hormones produced during female orgasm are dopamine and oxytocin, both of which are considered neurotransmitters that produce physical responses that make a person feel pleasurable sensations. While other hormones and chemicals are released from the brain during and after female orgasm, oxytocin and dopamine are the most prominent and the hormones responsible for making a woman feel closer to her partner through increased feelings of connection.

Though female orgasms have been proven to be extremely pleasurable and effective in stimulating multiple parts of a woman's body, while enhancing the connection with her sexual partner, the societal dynamics that created the gender climax gap have simultaneously discouraged women from expecting orgasmic pleasure during sexual intercourse, per Rutgers Today. Particularly during heterosexual intercourse, women often experience fewer orgasms than their male partners, which subsequently leads women to expect fewer sensations of sexual pleasure overall. 

"The orgasm gap has implications for women's pleasure, empowerment, sexual satisfaction, and general well-being," says Grace Wetzel, a Ph.D. candidate at Rutgers. The advocacy of Cara Delevingne and the work of researchers around the world are working to close the gender climax gap.