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August 1959

Nocturnal Orgasm in Women: Its Relation to Psychiatric Illness, Dreams, and Developmental and Sexual Factors

Author Affiliations

St. Louis
From the Department of Psychiatry and Neurology, Washington University School of Medicine.

AMA Arch Gen Psychiatry. 1959;1(2):180-184. doi:10.1001/archpsyc.1959.03590020076006

A previous investigation concerning the recall of some of the phenomena of sleep revealed that nocturnal orgasm was reported by 47% of women with the diagnosis of a neurosis, as opposed to only 8% of control women.1 Although we have found no similar reports comparing nocturnal orgasm in psychiatric patients and in controls, the phenomenon of nocturnal orgasm has been referred to in the literature. Kinsey2 reported an incidence of 37% in a mixed racial group, and Weissenberg3 noted that 12% of 324 female Russian students experienced orgasms during dreams. The striking difference between neurotic women and controls noted above prompted a replication of the previous study with an attempt to find additional data relating nocturnal orgasm to dreams and to other sexual factors. It is these findings which are reported in this paper.

Subjects and Methods  A structured interview was held with 100