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Genes blamed for fickle female orgasm

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Is this the ultimate excuse for poor performance in bed? "Sorry, darling," the man says, just before falling asleep. "It's your genes.

According to a study published this week, up to 45% of the differences between women in their ability to reach orgasm can be explained by their genes. Despite decades of surveys and conjecture about the role of culture, upbringing and biology in female sexual function, from Freud in 1905 to the Hite report in 1976, this is the first study of the role of a woman's genes.

Its findings suggest there is an underlying biological basis to a woman's ability to achieve orgasm. Whether that basis is anatomical, physiological or psychological remains uncertain, says Tim Spector of the twin research unit at St Thomas' Hospital in London, UK, who carried out the study.

"But it is saying that it is not purely cultural, or due to peer pressure, or to differences in upbringing or religion," he says. "There are wide differences between women and a lot of these differences are due to genes."

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