Re: Lynch's Memetic Theories about Masturbation (Long)

Timothy Perper/Martha Cornog (
Wed, 18 Jun 1997 19:27:09 -0500

Message-Id: <>
Date: Wed, 18 Jun 1997 19:27:09 -0500
From: (Timothy Perper/Martha Cornog)
Subject: Re: Lynch's Memetic Theories about Masturbation (Long)

Here we reply to a comment from Hans-Cees Speel on 6/18/97.

>> Lynch seems here to adopt a "hydraulic" model of sexuality. This view
>> holds that if sexual urges are suppressed in one area, then they will
>> emerge elsewhere, as if sexuality was driven by an internal pressure.
>> Although simple, the hydraulic model is not widely accepted today, in part
>> because suppression of sexuality in one domain often leads to its
>> suppression in other domains as well.
>hmmm. We must not forget that one or a few sexual acts will do to get
>a child. So suppression is not such a problem I think. Also women can
>be suppressing their secuality, but in a relationship they will be
>under a strong pressure to let that go now and then (by the man that
>All seen in a statistical way of course, In specifici relations this
>may not be true at all times. Culture will also play a part I think
>in these matters.

TP/MC: We thank Hans-Cees for this comments, and agree that women may
suppress or repress their sexuality. We also agree that culture plays a
large role in human sexuality. However, we, like Lynch, were focusing on
male sexuality.

The likelihood that a SINGLE act of non-contracepting insemination will
produce pregnancy is surprisingly low. If we assume that this single act of
copulation occurs at random with respect to when ovulation occurs, and
estimating from the *true* date of ovulation, the probabilty of pregnancy
is nearly 0 from 8 to 2 days before ovulation; it then rises to about 0.5
from 2 days before ovulation to approximately 1 day after ovulation; and
then drops back to nearly zero from approximately 2 days after ovulatio to
+10 days after ovulation (Bongaarts and Potter, 1983). Royston's (1982)
estimates are broader -- days during which the probability of pregnancy is
greater than 0.05 are from -4 days before ovulation to 2 days after
ovulation. Contrary to mythology, the likelihood that pregnancy occurs
when insemination occurs on the day of ovulation itself is approximately
0.45 (Royston, 1982).

The so-called "natural" or "rhythm" method of contraception is based on
these principles. But contraceptive technique aside, it remains a fact
that a single randomly-timed act of insemination is not reproductively
optimal. It follows that pregnancy is made MORE likely as the number of
non-contracepting episodes increases across the menstrual cycle, especially
if the couple is trying to have a child.

It would now seem reasonable to assume that a man who is sex-phobic -- that
is, his sexuality is repressed psychologically (or "suppressed," to use the
word we employed in our posting above) -- will tend to have FEWER
copulatory interactions during the woman's cycle, and will therefore have a
reduced likelihood of fathering a child. Sexual medicine and psychotherapy
has of course stressed this commonsense view ever since Th. H. van de Velde
in 1926 (1974). After all, a man who does not like or enjoy sex will
probably do it less in all its forms. It is here that sexual scripting
enters the picture.

"Erotophobic" sexual scripting means that the man will tend to dislike or
even fear sexual phenomena. In their analyses of erotophobia, Fisher and
Byrne note that such men in fact *do* have reduced coital AND reduced
masturbatory frequencies. However, Lynch's hypothesis claims that
reduction of masturbation will RAISE coital frequencies, and we are asking
for the source in the literature for his claim because it is contrary to
empirically well established correlations in sex research.

Bongaarts, J. and R.G. Potter 1983 Fertility, Biology, and Behavior: An
Analysis of the Proximate Determinants. NY: Academic Press.

Byrne, D. and L. Schulte 1990 Personality dispositions as mediators of
sexual responses. Annual Reviw of Sex Research, 1:93-117.

Fisher, W.A., Byrne, D., L.A. White, and K. Kelley 1988
Erotophobia-erotophilia as a dimension of personality. Journal of Sex
Research, 25:123-151.

Royston, J.P. 1982 Basal body temperature, ovulation, and the risk of
conception, with special reference to the lifetimes of sperm and egg.
Biometrics, 38:397-406.

van de Velde, Th. H. 1974 Ideal Marriage: Its Physiology and Technique,
Revised Edition. NY: Random House. [First edition, 1926]

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