Much psychological research has found that having a high level of income is considered an attractive trait to most women, but little, if any, research has investigated how income might effect sexual satisfaction.
According to a study conducted by Thomas V. Pollet and Daniel Nettle, as a the level of income of a woman’s partner increases, so does the amount of orgasms she reports experiencing.
The study was published in Evolution and Human Behavior in 2009.
The results of this study come from an statistical analysis of data from the Chinese Health and Family Life Survey. This survey was conducted from 1999 to 2000 and included a nationally representative sample of 5,000 individuals between the ages of 20 and 64. Due to the sensitive nature of the questions on the survey, survey-takers were allowed to answer privately and anonymously.
After conducting their analysis of the data, Pollet and Nettle found that “increasing partner income had a highly significant positive effect on women’s self-reported frequency of orgasm.”
By using the Chinese Health and Family Life survey, which assessed a wide range of attributes, Pollet and Nettle were also able to control for other factors that could contribute to the association they found.
“The effect of partner income is not an artifact of female age, educational attainment, happiness, health, relationship duration, regional differences, and differences between partners in educational attainment and wealth,” as Pollet and Nettle explain.
Although they were able to control a large amount of variables, they note that it is still possible that the association they found could be the result of reporting bias.
“Reporting bias can act in two ways, either by women with frequent orgasms overestimating their partner’s income or by women with high-quality mates overreporting their orgasm frequency.”
If the results were not the product of reporting bias or the by-product of a variable that could not be accounted for, then these findings may support the functional view of the female orgasm.
Researchers are split between whether the female orgasm is a functional evolutionary adaptation or a functionless by-product of the ejaculatory response in men.
As Pollet and Nettle explain, those on the functional side of the split believe that “women’s capacity for orgasm is an adaptation that serves to discriminate between males on the basis of their quality, leading to either enhanced conception probability or selective emotional bonding with high-quality [mates].”
If this is the case, then any desirable trait, such as physical attractiveness, wealth, or education, should be associated with an increased amount of orgasms in women.
Pollet, T.V. & Nettle, D. (2009). Partner wealth predicts self-reported orgasm frequency in a sample of chinese women. Evolution and Human Behavior, Vol 30: 146-151.