As if being a woman (on a societal level) didn't suck enough, we also got pretty fundamentally shafted on a biological level.
We have to menstruate. Then, we have to go through menopause. And in between, we may be lucky enough to shove a few humans out of our cooters.
But, there is one thing women still get to have that kind of actually rocks. What could I possibly be talking about?
Orgasms, of course.
They're the one absolutely awesome thing women have that men have, too. But from a biological standpoint, the purpose of this sensation has remained a mystery.
They aren't necessary for conception, and women don't even have them very often during actual sex. SO WHY DO WE GET TO HAVE THEM?
Well, scientists have finally managed to come up with an answer.
Scientists at Yale University found that what we know as the "female orgasm" today actually might just be a spin-off from our evolutionary past, when the hormonal surges that come along with it were actually necessary for reproduction.
Co-author of the study, Mihaela Pavličev, wanted to stress the whole "spin-off" part of this.
Orgasms then didn't look like orgasms do now. What ties the sensations together is the hormonal surge, but she explains "that [the hormonal surge] is the core that was maybe modified further in humans."
In the journal JEZ-Molecular and Developmental Evolution, Pavličev and her co-author Günter Wagner describe how they looked into a host of placental mammals in order to reach this conclusion.
Turns out, these hormonal surges occur during sex and play a crucial role in signaling for eggs to be released from the female's ovaries in mammals such as cats and rabbits.
On the other hand, other female mammals like humans and primates ovulate spontaneously.
This is where things got interesting.
After the authors traced back the two different kinds of ovulation, they found "male-induced ovulation" (the one that cats and rabbits have) came before spontaneous ovulation (what humans have today).
In fact, they think spontaneous ovulation only came about in the common ancestor of primates and rodents about 75 million years ago. Sounds like a long time, but we're talking about the history of the WORLD here.
So, why is this all important? Scientists believe it suggests the human female orgasm could be rooted in a mechanism for the release of eggs during sex.
Obviously, this mechanism became useless when spontaneous evolution came about. But lucky for us, the sensation stuck around.
However, Pavličev explained the female orgasm might not actually be completely useless:
There is a lot of discussion about whether it could have any functions like in bonding behaviour and things like that – so we cannot exclude that it actually has co-opted some other function after it lost its function in reproduction.
No matter what the reason, let's just be happy it exists. AMIRITE?