Moaning or screaming is often part of the equation. While stimuli like nudity may or may not be innate or a primary reinforcer, we should expect that for stimuli that are very salient to reproduction, there is at least a biological preparedness for associating sexual stimuli with pleasure, thereby increasing their reinforcing qualities. The likelihood of a link between men’s faces and women’s orgasms is more obvious than that between faces and cheating, but is nevertheless significant. In practice, because the characteristics of good genes, good mates, and good social partners often overlap (e. It also stands to reason that bonds between people of the same sex (homosocial) can be strengthened with sexual behavior. ) proposes that selection used the pleasure of sexual behavior to promote same-sex social bonds. ) have speculated that it is precisely because orgasm is variable in women that it may be more reinforcing than it is for men; variable reinforcement has been found to be a greater driver of behavior that is resistant to extinction than consistent reinforcement (e.
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If orgasm functions primarily to form and maintain pair bonds, especially between parents, this leads us to expect somewhat different design features of orgasm than those for the benefit of merely facilitating reproductive sex. ) for a good overview and other papers in this volume).