Beliefs About Gender Predict Faking Orgasm in Heterosexual Women

Arch Sex Behav. 2019 Nov;48(8):2419-2433. doi: 10.1007/s10508-019-01510-2. Epub 2019 Jul 15.


The majority of women have faked an orgasm at least once in their lives. In the current study, we assessed how women's worldviews about gender relate to their faking orgasm behavior. A survey of 462 heterosexual women from the UK (Mage=38.38 years) found that those who espoused anti-feminist values-that is, those high in hostile sexism-had faked significantly more orgasms over their lifetime. In contrast, those who espoused ostensibly positive but restrictive ideas of gender relations-that is, those high in benevolent sexism-had faked significantly fewer orgasms over their lifetime. Furthermore, the more that women believed female orgasm was necessary for men's sexual gratification, the more likely they were to have faked an orgasm at least once in their lives compared to women who had never faked an orgasm. These effects were small to moderate and emerged after controlling for demographics, sexual history, ease of orgasm, and previously established psychological correlates of faking orgasm, including suspected partner infidelity and intrasexual competition.

Keywords: Benevolent sexism; Faking orgasm; Gender; Hostile sexism; Ideology.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Female
  • Gender Identity
  • Heterosexuality / physiology*
  • Humans
  • Middle Aged
  • Orgasm / physiology*
  • Sexual Behavior / psychology*
  • Young Adult