A fascinating article in the New York Times asks the eternal question, “ What do Women Want?”

Written by author Daniel Bergner, the article does not give a definite answer to the question as much as it points out how much is left to be understood about the complex world of the female mind and body.

The article is centered around the work of  36-year-old psychology professor Meradith Chivers. Her goal, to solve the puzzle of  female arousal and desire.

“I feel like a pioneer at the edge of a giant forest,” Chivers says to the Times “There’s a path leading in, but it isn’t much.”

Many of her findings contradict what  many would consider social norms and perceptions of women’s sexuality.

One popular notion it does support is;  what  women and men find arousing is very different.

I will warn the easily offended that some the  following content is somewhat explicit.

From the New  York  Times:

“The men, on average, responded genitally in what Chivers terms “category specific” ways. Males who identified themselves as straight swelled while gazing at heterosexual or lesbian sex and while watching the masturbating and exercising women. They were mostly unmoved when the screen displayed only men. Gay males were aroused in the opposite categorical pattern. Any expectation that the animal sex would speak to something primitive within the men seemed to be mistaken; neither straights nor gays were stirred by the bonobos. And for the male participants, the subjective ratings on the keypad matched the readings of the plethysmograph. The men’s minds and genitals were in agreement.

All was different with the women. No matter what their self-proclaimed sexual orientation, they showed, on the whole, strong and swift genital arousal when the screen offered men with men, women with women and women with men. They responded objectively much more to the exercising woman than to the strolling man, and their blood flow rose quickly — and markedly, though to a lesser degree than during all the human scenes except the footage of the ambling, strapping man — as they watched the apes. And with the women, especially the straight women, mind and genitals seemed scarcely to belong to the same person.”

While it is probably not necessary for everyone to have a intricate understanding of  what arouses the male and female sex organs. I think that what this article points out that many of the things that society thinks about women are untrue and that women inner workings of women are far more complex than their male counterparts.

Marketing to women is a relatively new field of expertise, and marketing and products created specifically for women is a category that is still far from adequate, although great leaps have been made. In the face of this new-found scientific evidence this fact seems even more ironic.

The lesson here is that if you think that creating something pink or showing pictures of a sexy man in his underwear is all you have to do to market to women, boy… do you have a lot to learn!

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